Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Telephone Choices Require Planning before You Reach out to Touch Someone

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Telephone Choices Require Planning before You Reach out to Touch Someone

Article excerpt

``URGENT REMINDER! SIGNATURE REQUIRED,'' reads one envelope.

``IMPORTANT SERVICE INFORMATION ENCLOSED,'' reads another.

The envelopes look important and official, but it's all basically a sales pitch, folks. Who's after us now? The phone companies.

Today, we have a lot more choices in our phone services, but with freedom of choice comes more confusion. We can choose our long-distance phone company. We decide if we want to purchase a service contract for phone maintenance. We can choose to buy our own phones or rent them from the phone company. In each case, the most obvious decision may not be the best one from a financial standpoint.

The phone foray started a few years back when it was decided by the powers that be in Washington that Ma Bell was a monopoly and needed to be broken up.

Today, we have two distinct phone entities. One is termed the Bell operating companies, or BOCs (some people call them the ``Baby Bells'') and the other is Ma Bell, or American Telephone and Telegraph. There are seven Bell operating companies, which cover local calling services. Most still have names we're familiar with from the good old days.

Now you have to do quite a bit of thinking before you reach out and touch someone. The way I see it, you should shop and compare your phone service the way you evaluate other consumer goods.

First off, let's tackle long-distance service. As I'm sure you've seen on television, you now have to choose which carrier you want to handle your long-distance calls. Don't just pick the one with the best commercial - think about your long-distance needs. Naturally, if you have one or several offspring at college, you'll want a carrier with good volume discounts and inexpensive rates. It also can help to ask your friends or co-workers how they like their service. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.