Choosing a Long Distance Plan

Written by Alyice Edrich

Continued from page 1

Dial Around phone service simply means that you are "dialing around your current long distance carrier." This means that you are using a 800 number, then dialing a pin number, then dialingrepparttar number you wish to call. (Automatic entry on pre-designated phones such as your home phone.) You can use a Dial Around phone service even if you do not have a land-line long distance carrier because it worksrepparttar 133554 same way a calling card works. The difference is that you are billed monthly based onrepparttar 133555 calls you make. Dial Around programs work best when you live in an area that doesn't offer great low rates for long distance, when you travel away from home and tend to make a lot of calling card or hotel room calls, or when you live in a dorm where you do not haverepparttar 133556 option of changing repparttar 133557 long distance carrier or getting cheaper long distance rates. Make sure you knowrepparttar 133558 fees involved in Dial Around programs...

What are their universal service fees (USF)? Is there a minimum usage fee? What isrepparttar 133559 per minute fee? Is there a monthly fee and will it be waived over a certain usage? Are there time restrictions on when you can call forrepparttar 133560 best rate?

The most important thing about picking your long distance plan is sit down and figure out what types of calls you make on a daily basis, what time of day, what city and state, how many minutes per month, etc. Once you have this broken down, it is time to research plans. Pickrepparttar 133561 best plan forrepparttar 133562 calls you make and don't shy away from a monthly usage fee because adding in that fee can still cut your over all monthly costs down substantially.

Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer specializing in helping busy parents balance life. Visit her online for free information on how she can help you succeed, today.

Fast Forwarding your Business with Instant Messaging

Written by Lee Traupel

Continued from page 1

Whose technology do you choose? There are some clear market leaders inrepparttar Instant Messaging marketing including Microsoft (no surprise here) But, like most Microsoft technology ools you pay a price forrepparttar 133553 software/services, albeit a small one. You have to register with Microsoft's NET Passport service which is designed to be a universal login - this only takes a few minutes but be forewarned they also try to get you to setup a Hot Mail account, but you can work around this.

The other dominant IM product is AOL's ICQ product - it has similar functionality as Microsoft's application. A great Israeli company, Mirabellis, Inc., subsequently acquired by AOL, developedrepparttar 133554 original technology. My chief complaint with this product isrepparttar 133555 irritating banner ads that AOL keeps pushing at you when you are utilizing their product. But, it's a small price to pay for a free product onrepparttar 133556 client side.

Yahoo also has an IM product ("Yahoo Messenger") but I am not convinced this will stay as a core part of their business, as they appear to be still trying to figure out what they are going to become inrepparttar 133557 post ".com gold rush era" market; i.e. Portal, Directory, Media giant, software/services company, etc. And, they've certainly jettisoned parts of their businessrepparttar 133558 last 12-18 months and I would wager they've had discussions about getting out ofrepparttar 133559 IM business.

Finally, IM is also quickly moving into other markets and devices including PDAs and Pagers - if you're a real geek and you can't stand to be out of touch while your inrepparttar 133560 shower and you have a water proof device you can ping away. But, I think we all need some down time for friends and family, but wanted to make sure I covered all possible bases with this column - until next time!

Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience - he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc., a marketing services and software company which provides strategic and tactical marketing services exclusively to small to medium sized companies.

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