Cagey Consumer[13k]

For Immediate Release September 7, 1997
For more information, contact Eli Mantel, +1 650-493-7228

"Revolutionary" Savings Mean Higher Costs for MCI Customers

Reduced Sunday rates outweighed by other increases

Call up MCI customer service and you'll hear repeated messages about their 5¢ a minute rates that apply to interstate calls on Sundays. If you ask a customer service representative what's happening to your Friends & Family rates, though, you're almost certain to get incorrect information.

Here are the stories we've heard from MCI Customer Service about Friends & Family rates:

In fact, the entire rate structure on which Friends & Family rates are based, MCI's "basic" rates, has changed. Instead of having day, evening, and night/weekend rates, there are now just peak and off-peak rates. Because the peak rate period includes some times that used to be either in the evening or night periods, prices of calls during these periods have increased as much as 100%. The chart below gives a rough idea of how basic rates have changed for typical interstate calls.
Monday - Friday12:00 midnight - 6:59 a.m.+40%
Monday - Friday7:00 a.m. - 7:59 a.m.+100%
Monday - Friday8:00 a.m. - 4:59 p.m.+20%
Monday - Friday5:00 p.m. - 6:59 p.m.+80%
Monday - Friday7:00 p.m. - 10:59 p.m.+20%
Monday - Friday11:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.+40%
Saturday24 hours+40%
Sunday24 hours-70%

Existing Friends & Family customers can avoid the full impact of these increases by switching to a different rate plan. For a comparison of rate plans from MCI as well as several other long distance carriers, they may want to check out the Cagey Consumer long distance rate calculcator at

The Cagey Consumer web site is hosted on GeoCities at The editor and publisher of Cagey Consumer is Eli Mantel, a computer systems analyst in Palo Alto, California.
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