Long-Distance Phone Service: Expert and User Reviews

Updated April 30, 2013
In this report

Long Distance Phone Service: Ratings of Sources

1. SaveOnPhone.com Long Distance Phone Service Comparison, SaveOnPhone.com, Not dated
Credibility:
Rate-comparison site SaveOnPhone.com's editors research long-distance plans to offer ratings of the best plans. At our last check, the rate-comparison chart featured nearly 30 plans. The top five include ECG, Pioneer, Telna, Total Call International and Covista. Telna is recommended for international callers, and it gives you a special access number so you can get low international rates from your cell phone.
2. TollChaser.com Continental State-to-State Long Distance Phone Rate Comparison, TollChaser.com, Not Dated
Credibility:
Another online rate-comparison site, TollChaser.com offers a number of tools to analyze your phone bill, resolve a dispute and find the cheapest plans. The site also factors in universal service fund charges to the quoted per-minute rates, giving you a better idea of your final cost. ECG's 2.5-cents-per-minute plan comes out to 2.77 cents when the monthly recovery fee is figured in. Plans from ECG, Pioneer and UniTel are top rated here.
3. LongDistanceSmart.com Best Residential Plans, LongDistanceSmart.com, Not dated
Credibility:
Like the other sites, LongDistanceSmart.com lists the cheapest plans by state. You can also filter results by entering your usage estimates. We appreciate the fact that in-state rates are easy to find. Pioneer, Total Call International and ECG are often the top plans here.
4. Telcompare.com Residential Long Distance, Telcompare.com, Not dated
Credibility:
Telcompare.com is similar to SaveOnPhone.com. However, while there are details about rates and fees for most companies, the ratings appear to be in no particular order. Some plans get a detailed review, while only basic information is given for others.
5. PhoneRateFinder.com Rate Comparison for State-to-State Calls, PhoneRateFinder.com, Not dated
Credibility:
This comparison site allows you to compare more than 200 plans, including interstate, in-state, international and calling cards. There's also a calculator for researching in-state versus state-to-state call rates. While most of these sites have similar entries, the order varies a lot. Several CogniState (now out of business), UniTel and Covista plans occupy top spots here, along with AmeriCom's Simplicity. ECG is not included in this chart. Also included, for comparison sake, are mainstream plans from Verizon and AT&T.
6. Dial-Abroad.org Long Distance Comparison and Reviews, Dial-Abroad.org, Not dated
Credibility:
Phone professional Andy Gray maintains this website dedicated to cheap phone services, including long-distance, VoIP and toll-free number providers. Comparison charts are provided. Pioneer and Telna get an Editor's Choice designation for long-distance, with Opex and AmeriCom also getting solid ratings.
7. CyberScans.com 1 Plus Long Distance Services, CyberScans.com, Not dated
Credibility:
CogniState, ACCXX Long Distance, Opex and Covista each earn ratings of 5 stars out of 5 at CyberScans.com. However, CogniState is no longer an active phone service provider. Since there are no negative comments here, it's hard to tell whether these picks represent editors' recommendations or are the result of paid product placement.
8. ABTolls.com Listing Of Domestic State Rate Pages, ABTolls.com, Not dated
Credibility:
This site presents information about long-distance rates, organized by state. Rate information from the telecom companies is put into a standardized database and then reported in day, evening and weekend time slots. ABTolls.com receives a commission if you purchase one of these services through their website.
9. 1+ Call Saver Best Bets : Residential, 1+ Call Saver, Not dated
Credibility:
This site runs a list of the top 32 residential long-distance plans. It seems to favor plans with no or very low monthly fees, even if the per-minute charges are a bit higher than other plans. ECG is in the top spot with its 2.75-cents-per-minute plan (including fees). Total Call International and Telna hold other top ratings on the chart. The site, which does not seem to have been updated in some time, receives commissions from some of the companies listed but says it is unbiased.
10. Calling-Plans.com Cheap Long Distance Phone Service, Calling-Plans.com, Not dated
Credibility:
Based on 14 years of telecom experience, editors at Calling-Plans.com list their top plans by price per minute. The top 10 all are less than 4 cents per minute. Billing increments, minimums and other fees are noted but not added into the calculations. The site also has a rate calculator to refine options.
11. The Digest Residential Long Distance, The Digest, Not dated
Credibility:
TheDigest.com is a good source for telephone industry news and views. It also provides this chart of long-distance services using VOIP that provides information on per-minute charges, minimum charges, fees, billing increments and billing methods. To get recommendations, the site requires you to enter your home state and the country you dial most often. Users can provide their own ratings, but most companies have not received much feedback.