Millions of people across Canada have friends and relatives living in other provinces and countries. And these days, it’s easier than ever to place a long distance call using cheap international calling cards and wireless services.
There’s one hang-up, however. Most long distance services won’t give you access to call history. That’s because the more you know about your calling habits, the more money you’ll save. Here are a few reasons you need call history:
True call duration
This is an important feature to have, especially if your service allows you to make free international calls. A true call duration setting sends you an alert after a pre-set amount of time (say 55 minutes, if your free calling duration lasts for 60 minutes).
This allows you to keep your long distance expenditures minimal, without interrupting quality talking time with close friends or dear family members.
Any long distance service you use should offer real-time rate updates. If a call to mom in Bangladesh costs 5 cents more per minute than it did last week, you should know about it and plan accordingly.
Rates are sometimes subject to change throughout the day, as well. That evening call to an old friend might cost a lot more than dialing them up in the morning would. Making sure your service provides you up-to-the-minute rate updates helps you save money.
Many cheap international calling cards and long distance calling services don’t provide easy access to exact expenditure statistics. They tell you where you called, and how many minutes you used, but you don’t see any dollar signs until the bill comes.
Using a calling service that gives you exact expenditure numbers for every call you make is a great way to watch your budget. Also, you should know whether your service allows you to round up unused time to the next minute.
Remaining balance for a particular country code
Getting hit with big fees because you went over your pre-set minutes for a given country can be painful. It’s also easy to avoid. Choose a service that lets you track usage in real-time, and even gives you an alert when you’ve gotten close to the country code limit.
Managing your long-term budget
Once you have all the statistics in place, you can sit down and plan your long distance calling budget for this month, quarter or year. Knowing how many minutes you used last month talking to relatives in Greece, or old school friends in Vancouver, will help you plan for the future.
Also, make sure to take advantage of all the opportunities for free and cheap international calls. Some long distance services will give you a set amount of free minutes each month, provided you meet certain conditions. The more information you have at your disposal, the more you can save!