Cagey Consumer

Alert: Dial-Around Long-Distance Telephone Service

Over the last couple of years, several companies have been promoting accessing their long-distance telephone services by using the "10xxx" access code mechanism. Although most long-distance companies can be accessed through this technique, these particular companies are referred to in the industry as dial-around services because they encourage you to "dial around" the carrier you have designated to your local phone company as your primary inter-exchange carrier or PIC.

The good news about these services is that, like other long-distance companies that can be accessed with a "10xxx" access code, you can use the service without being charged a "switching fee" by your local phone company. The bad news is that the rates offered by these companies may not be as attractive as they first appear.

What to watch out for

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