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    The 411 on 10-10

    August 13, 1999

    Whether calling Annapolis, Afghanistan or Zimbabwe, it pays to shop around for long-distance services, especially if you're changing your calling patterns.

    Consider: One national carrier offers 9- cents-a-minute calling six days a week and 5-cents-a-minute on Sunday, which sounds pretty good — except it doesn't include any bargain international rates.

    Skip the confusing and frequently silly advertisements (AT&T's "Lucky Dog," anyone?) for these proliferating "dial-around" companies and hit the 10-10PhoneRates Web site instead. Links there list rates for international, state-to-state and in-state calling; each details page clarifies the pricing plans. Always factor in monthly fees when evaluating your per-minute costs and be sure to dial with your eyes open and your calculator handy.

    Gabe Goldberg

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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