On this page we answer
most frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions please forward them
to us (see form at the bottom of this page).
is the difference between Calling Cards, Access Codes, and Direct Calling?
There are different types of long
distance services available on Canadian market. In general, they could be classified as
Cards - local or toll free
telephone number has to be dialed first. After the call is answered by switch, the Card
number and PIN number have to be entered, and then the long distance number to call.
Calling cards are usually prepaid, and come in different nominations ($5 - $50).
"call switch first" -
similar to calling cards, but usually don't require the Card number and PIN number entry.
Instead, the Caller ID is used to identify the customer. The Caller ID must be configured
on the switch first, to allow long distance calling.
Codes - sometime called
"Casual Calling". Seven digit code has to be entered just before the long
distance number to call. This service is faster than the previous two, because there is no
waiting for switch to answer the call after the access code entry. It allows to have
telephone lines registered with one long distance company, but make "casual"
long distance calling using other company (with lower rates).
Calling - this is the fastest
and most convenient type, it is also called "Equal Access" or "1+
Dialing". No additional codes or numbers have to be dialed, just the long distance
number to call (1+ in North America, 011+ for overseas countries). This service requires
the most advanced switch technologies, and is usually offered by bigger long distance
companies. It requires that telephone lines are registered with (or "switched
to") the long distance company providing the service. Direct Calling is preferred by
Low Rates Telecom
provides Direct Calling service for convenience and speed, and Access
Code service for those who don't want to switch their long distance companies.
to compare Low Rates Telecom rates with other long distance companies?
There are a lot of long distance
companies in Canada, all offering different types of services, and quite often it is very
difficult to compare their rates. Most "not so advertised" features are included
only in their "fine print". Here are some guidelines you can use in evaluating
Select the type of
service you are interested in (see above), and make sure the rates you compare from
different companies apply for the same type of service. Low Rates Telecom: Direct Calling and Access Code.
advertised rates are very low, but there are connection fees (for example $1-$2 extra per
call), first minute surplus fees (for example first minute is 50% higher), monthly
maintenance fees (to keep your account active), or monthly service fees (if your bill is
below certain value). Low Rates Telecom: no additional fees, you only pay for long
distance minutes you used.
Some companies offer
a lower rates for voice calls, and higher rates for faxes (with only lower rates
advertised). Faxes could not be sent using voice rates, probably because of the reduced
quality of voice channels, not suitable for fax data transmission. Low Rates Telecom: same rates for voice and fax calls, same
high quality for voice and fax data.
Some companies offer
lower rates on evenings and during weekends, and higher rates during regular business
hours (with only lower rates advertised). Low Rates Telecom: same rates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some companies bill
in full minute increments, and others in 6 seconds (with 1 min. or 30 sec. minimum). While
6 sec. incremental billing is in general better than 1 min., the real cost depends on
the base rate and the average call duration (the longer the call, it is better to have
rather lower base rate than the lower increments). Low Rates Telecom: low base rates, full minute billing.
advertised rates are low, but they apply only after signing a long term contact. Low Rates Telecom: no long term contracts to sign, cancel at
any time if not satisfied.
Lot of other factors
can be used in comparing long distance companies, including other services offered,
community presence, etc.
long does it take to switch my lines to Low Rates Telecom?
It usually takes about
1-2 business days to activate your lines on Access Code service, and 3-5 business days on
there any fee, setup or activation charges to switch my lines to Low Rates Telecom?
No, there is no fee,
setup or activation charges.
want to use your Access Code service. Do I need to switch my lines to Low Rates Telecom?
No, you don't need to switch your lines
to us, they will stay registered with your current long distance company (your current
long distance company will not even see that you are using our services). You only have to
provide your telephone numbers to us, so we can properly configure our Access Code service
to accept your calls.
rates to international cellphones could be higher?
There are designated
special numbers in some countries, which cost more to call. Most of them are mobile
(cellphone) numbers, where caller (not recipient) pays for the airtime. List of all
cellphone and other special numbers for each country can be provided.
Low Rates Telecom related to My Free Telecom, linked from this Web site?
Low Rates Telecom and My Free Telecom are both divisions of VSOFT Inc.
My Free Telecom provides free long distance services within the Greater Toronto Area
(GTA), and Low Rates Telecom offers competitive, low rate long distance services to
destinations not covered by My Free Telecom. By offering free long distance services to as
many locations as we can only afford, we can save you even more on your long distance
If you have any additional
questions, please forward them to us. You can also contact us
by phone or fax.
© 2000-2015 Low Rates Telecom, division of VSOFT Inc. All rights reserved.