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FAQ

Are account codes available?
Will I receive my bill on my local phone bill?
Why are there different rates?
Is there a toll free number for customer service?
Which carrier is actually providing the service?
What are the billing increments?
Is there any set up fee to start an account?
Is there a minimum usage requirement?
Do I have to dial any special codes to get my low rates?
How long does it take for my long distance service to be switched?
Should I tell my previous long distance company that I am switching?
Can I pay my bill online?
Where is the call detail?
Can I pay my bill with a credit card?
What fees will be included in my phone bill?
How do I place an international call?
What is an intrastate call?
Why did I get a notice telling me there is restriction/block on my service?
What is "slamming"?
What is a LOA (letter of agency)?
Is there any additional charge for an 800 or toll-free number?
What is a RESPORG form?
Is there any minimum commitment time as a customer?
What is a PICC charge?

 

  • Will I receive my bill on my local phone bill?
    No, you will receive a separate bill.

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  • Why are there different rates?
    The independent local carriers are allowed to charge much (300% higher) higher origination and termination fees to long distance carriers versus the old Bell companies.

    When you pick up the phone and make a long distance call, not every long distance carrier has lines on the pole. All long distance carriers must pay an origination fee to the local carrier per minute and a termination fee per minute to the local carrier where the call is ending up to complete the call. (it is our job to carry it in the middle of the two points)

    Thus a call that starts in Boston, Mass with Verizon and ends up in LA, California with Pac Bell and be 10 minutes in length will incur fees of:

    Verizon: 10 minutes of origination access fees
    Pac Bell: 10 minutes of termination access fees
    Pioneer: transporting the call for 10 minutes between Boston & LA

    Think of it as a rental fee for the telephone poles and wires.
    Congress in the Telecommunication Reform Act of 1996 allowed
    Competitive Local Exchange providers to charge up to 300% higher
    access fees to long distance companies to off set their short fall in offering cheaper dial tone to consumers.


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  • Is there a toll free number for customer service?
    All customers will receive a welcome e-mail or letter which will include the toll free number for customer service.

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  • Which carrier is actually providing the service?
    They use multiple networks to provide you with the cheapest possible cost. You will be notified by your dial tone provider (local carrier) that a change in your service has occurred and that the service was changed.


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  • What are the billing increments?
    They will vary from plan to plan.

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  • Is there any set up fee to start an account?
    No. some carriers may debit your credit card $10 upon sign up, in order to validate the card, however we credit the full amount back on your first invoice. (this is only if you provided a credit/debit card at sign up

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  • Is there a minimum usage requirement?
    If you receive a paper bill, and your bill is under $15 there is a some carriers may charge a fee. Check the companies individual FAQ to verify. With online billing the low usage fee is waived.


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  • Do I have to dial any special codes to get my low rates?
    No. You dial 1 + the number. The plastic card (if you ordered a calling card) in the welcome letter is a calling card to be used when you are away from home. Calling card rates are higher than your normal home or office long distance rates.


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  • How long does it take for my long distance service to be switched?
    Approximately 5 to 10 business days.


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  • Should I tell my previous long distance company that I am switching?
    No, this is taken care of for you. You may want to check with them in a month or two and make sure they don't have your account still open. You do want to make sure your old carrier doesn't bill you for monthly fee's, etc.


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  • Can I pay my bill online?
    Yes, credit or debit card payment or Automatic debiting of your bank account online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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  • Where is the call detail?
    The carriers provide a website for you to access your monthly calling detail.

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  • Can I pay my bill with a credit card?
    Yes, you can pay with a credit card. Discover, Visa, Master Card and American Express are all accepted.


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  • What fees will be included in my phone bill?
    A USF (Universal Service Fund-Required by the FCC) charge, Federal and State Taxes, Local and Municipal taxes that vary by state. Regulatory Fee's: PICC taxes for business lines and the Telecommunication Infra Structure Fee. (Late fee's if applicable). If you have a toll free line their may be a small monthly fee depending on the carrier.


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  • How do I place an international call?
    Just dial: 011 + country code + city code + local number

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  • What is an intrastate call?
    These are calls within your state. Your state government sets part of the rate and therefore they are different from the interstate rates. You can find these rates on the website.


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  • Why did I get a notice telling me there is restriction/block on my service?
    If you requested both out of state and in state service when you signed up, it is possible that one part is ok and the other service is blocked. Look on your previous statement and if you see you have all in state calls with Pioneer and no billing for out of state calls, then the out of state is blocked (and vice versa). As well it could be the data we have from your local phone company is not accurate, as they may not have supplied us with the newest information pertaining to your account. It is better to be safe and check it versus getting billed from your old carrier at rates that could be double or triple the rates.

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  • What is "slamming"?
    This is when a long distance company changes you to their long distance plan without your knowledge.


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  • What is a LOA (letter of agency)?
    An electronic document/contract that authorizes changing the service provider. Congress has allowed for electronic signatures to be as valid as a written contract. At the time of your order via the internet your IP address was captured and other information that you provided forms an agreement for service. A couple of states require a call verification.

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  • Is there any additional charge for an 800 or toll-free number?
    800 numbers will be billed at the same rates as your outgoing calls. There may be a small monthly fee (example: a 99 cent fee per number per month to own a toll free number).


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  • What is a RESPORG form?
    This is a form required to move an existing 800 number from your previous long distance carrier. This can be at times a lengthy process because your old carrier does not want to release the 800 number and takes their time signing off on the paper work. To insure a faster transition please fax the front page of the invoice from the current 800 provider to the carrier.


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  • Is there any minimum commitment time as a customer?
    No. It is these carriers job to do a good job so that you stay with them. You are free to switch to another long distance carrier at anytime.


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  • What is a PICC charge?
    PICC (Pre-subscribed Interexchange Carrier Charges) are charge to business lines. There is no PICC fee for residential lines.


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  • Are account codes available?
    Yes, Most of the carriers offer account codes to help you track calling patterns, enabling billing back to people or projects. There is usually no cost to set up nor no monthly fee. A great way to block unwanted use of the phone. Check the carriers FAQ if you want to be sure you will have this feature.

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 Long Distance Carriers Rates

Phone Number - XXXX
  State-to-State Minutes
  Minutes (per month)
  In-State Minutes           
  Minutes (per month)
                     # Lines       
Residential Business  
 


Carriers Rates Watch

Pioneer2.7
IBN Tel2.3
Opex2.7
Covista2.5
PNG Global3.9

VOIP Carriers per month

Packet8 VOIP$16.59*
Vonage VOIP$24.99
Vonage VOIP Canada$39.99
MyPhoneCompany$24.99
VOIP.COM$16.59*
Verizon VOIP$29.95
    * With Yearly Plan 

 

 

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