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Saving on Long Distance
Phone Calls with BigZoo

Rate comparisons and actual costs
Summary of BigZoo services
Recommendations
Discussion Forum


Rate Comparison: And % savings with BigZoo (best viewed in courier font)

          Rate   USF      Taxes   Cost   Saving%
   Bigzoo    3.9   incl     incl    3.9    ----   + no monthly service fees
   1010636 ( 5.0 + 4.9%) +  8.5%    5.69   31.47%
   ATT     ( 7.0 + 4.9%) +  8.5%    7.97   51.05% + CarrierLineFee of $0.99
   MCI     (10.0 + 7.2%) +  8.5%   11.63   66.47% + CarrierLineFee of $1.51

   USF fee is added to subtotal, and is then itself taxed with total charges!
   A double wham charge! And, these totals don't include monthly service fees!


Service Summary:

  • 3.9 cents/min Instate, out-of-state(except to Hawaii & Alaska).
  • Use it like a phone card from any phone in the USA.
  • Use it for in state, out state, local toll calls, even 1 min local calls!
  • Rate applies 24 hours x 7 days a week.
  • No monthly minimum like those in ATT, MCI & Sprint.
  • Tax is already INCLUDED in rate (typically 8.5% of taxes)
  • Universal Service Fund already INCLUDED in rate (4.9% of charges)
  • Must prepay in set amounts ($5,10,20 or 50) with VISA or MC credit card
  • Six month expiration from date of purchase or date of any recharge.
  • When using from payphone or hotels, surcharges apply (~55 cents).
  • Billing statements on Web only.
  • Dial tollfree access number, then PIN# (home#+4digits), then phone#.
  • When dialing in, remaining credits & minutes are reported.
  • Press "#" after entering each number to skip reports to speed up dialin.
  • Also can begin dialing access numbers as reports are being read.
  • Can disable reports via your web account to speed up dialin.
  • Recommend using quick dial to enter dial-in numbers from home phone.
  • Some reports of busy signals during evening hours by customers.
  • No customer phone service - assistance by email only.
  • Therefore, recommend buying only $5 increments.
  • When minutes are used up, you're call is disconnected.
  • Can use with local phone carrier WITHOUT subscribing to a LongDist carrier.
  • Local phone carrier charges ~$1.04 access fee/mo for not having LD carrier.
  • But LongDist carriers charge the same access fee nevertheless.
  • International calling rate are available too.
  • More info at http://www.bigzoo.com/faqframe.asp

Recommendation
I give Bigzoo my nod of approval. It has been working well as  I have dropped my long distance carrier altogether. Looking over my phone bills over the last five months, I've calculated that I could have saved about $135 (about 350min long distance calls per month). I was paying about 10 cents per minute with MCI, including their 5 cent Sundays. You can see an example of my BigZoo online billing statement. It clearly shows that I'm getting exactly what I pay for. No additional fees, taxes, or monthly minimums. Very nice!

Some more useful tips:

  1. Use one account for business calls, another for personal calls, to easily keep track of business expenses.
  2. If you live with housemates or room mates, you can all have your own accounts to simplify bill payments.
  3. Use it for 1 minute local calls.
--Allan Jeong

 


Visits Sept 22, 1999