Reviewers say ECG (Est. 2.5 cents per minute) offers the best domestic long-distance phone plan for those living much of the United States. Reviewers give ECG especially high scores in customer service -- rare for any phone service these days. While some companies charge you by the minute (a 61-second call billed as two minutes, for example), ECG charges in six-second increments with an 18-second minimum.
Charge for paper billing. ECG's cheapest plan -- 2.5 cents per minute for domestic calls – includes a 99-cent monthly fee; the company automatically charges your credit or debit card. If you want to receive a monthly bill in the mail, you'll have to pay 3.5 cents per minute plus a $2.50 monthly bill-processing fee. One significant advantage is that ECG charges in six-second increments with an 18-second minimum, unlike some carriers that charge by the minute. Note that calls to Hawaii and Alaska cost more: 24 cents per minute for Alaska and 21.4 cents for Hawaii.
Unusually good. One drawback is that ECG long-distance service isn't available everywhere, but entering your local phone number on the ECG website will determine eligibility. Customer service appears to be a factor in some of the reviews we read, and ECG excels in this respect as well. Editors at SaveOnPhone.com say customer-service response time was less than one minute.
SaveOnPhone.com says it monitors about 350 long-distance plans as the basis for this top-10 list. ECG ranks first based on cost and customer service (including options for paying online or by check for a higher price).
Review: Long Distance Phone Service Comparison, Editors of SaveOnPhone.com, Not dated
The prices in the TollChaser.com rankings chart include the universal service fund fees that increase the advertised rates, giving a more accurate picture of the user's actual cost. The chart ranks the ECG 2.5 plan first. TollChaser.com's reviews give the most accurate cost per minute, as they factor in the fees charged to all subscribers.
Review: Continental State-to-State Long Distance Phone Rate Comparison, Editors of TollChaser.com, Not dated
3. 1+ Call Saver
The site receives commissions from some of the companies listed but says it's unbiased, and its rankings appear to favor plans that have no monthly fees, even if the per-minute charges are relatively high. ECG ranks first on the chart.
Review: Best Bets: Residential, Editors of 1CallSaver.com, Not dated