The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU’s Resicom gives long-distance providers a run for their money

Students’ parents complain that they don’t call home enough. Students say phone rates are way too high. If phoning home is breaking the bank, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

The right phone card is hard to find. The multitude of different plans and gimmicks could confuse just about anybody. Between monthly service fees and hidden charges, customers often feel like they didn’t get what they paid for.

But among the big names like MCI and AT&T,

SMU provides the best deal by far. The school has chosen to employ a system integrator between the phone supplier and long distance networks. Resicom, as they call themselves, provides numerous plans and discounts geared primarily toward students living in residence halls.

With Resicom, SMU picks up the tab for all local calls. All other nationwide calls are priced at 3.9 cents a minute. The special discount offered to SMU students is free of a surcharge, monthly fee or usage minimum. The only added cost is a $2.50 mailing fee that can be waived if you apply for billing through your e-mail.

Sophomore Jessica Burek wasn’t aware of the SMU phone plan last year when she arrived at school. She had already bought a calling card with a prepaid 600 minutes for $25.

“I always buy from Sam’s Club because I prefer one fee up front,” Burek said.

MCI sells the standard phone cards in increments ranging from 5-40 minutes, but they also have a card that has 200 prepaid minutes on it for $9.95. That’s only 6.5 cents a minute, but after reading the fine print, MCI throws on a $2.95 monthly service fee.

AT&T gives almost no information. They say they have the card buyers want, but will not announce prices or a guaranteed surcharge unless customers speak directly to a service representative.

If the charges don’t get you, selecting the best company from the many will. MCI and AT&T are not the only top dogs on the market. These, along with others, now compete with online providers such as BigZoo.com and Tel3.com.

The online phone card venders seem to have a wider selection to choose from. BigZoo.com promotes their introductory, six-month, three-month and one-month plans.

Domestic calls through BigZoo.com are 3.9 cents a minute and local calls are marketed at 2.9 cents a minute. These exclude Hawaii, Alaska and China.

Another big provider, Tel3.com, has two main plans they promote. The standard plan charges 3.9 cents a minute with an added 250 free minutes after a $1.95 monthly service fee. Payphone fees are also taken into account. Their premium plan is a monthly plan that gives you a free week, 24 hours a day for seven days, absolutely free. The next three weeks are 3.9 cents a minute, plus 250 free minutes with a monthly service fee of $3.95. Again, payphone charges are added.

Preference and convenience are popular drives in purchasing one plan or another.

“And most importantly,” Burek’s mother tells her, “you use calling cards because it is what your mother gave you.”

More to Discover