Long Distance Telephone Service

by : Marcus Rolland

This year's telephone study was the first that measures customer satisfaction with both local and long distance telephone service from the same provider. Cox's long distance telephone service was ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction in the nation among bundled Long Distance Telephone service customers.Power and Associates is measuring customer satisfaction with both local and long distance telephone service in one study, reflecting the growing percentage of U.S.
In the United States, long distance can refer to two different classes of calls that are not local calls. The most common class of long-distance is often called interstate long-distance, though the more accurate term is inter-LATA interstate long distance. This is the form of long-distance most commonly meant by the term, and the one for which long-distance carriers are usually chosen by telephone customers.

Another form of Long Distance Telephone service, increasingly relevant to more U.S. states, is known as inter-LATA intrastate long distance. This refers to a calling area outside of the customer's LATA but within the customer's state. While technically and legally long-distance, this calling area is not necessarily served by the same carrier used for "regular" long distance, or may be provided at different rates. In some cases, customer confusion occurs as, due to rate or carrier distinctions, a local long-distance call can be billed at a higher per-minute rate than interstate long-distance calls, despite being a shorter distance.

Often, in large LATAs, there is also a class known by the oxymoronic name local long distance, which refers to calls within the customer's LATA but outside of their local calling area. This area is normally served by the customer's local telephone provider, which is usually one of the Baby Bells, despite attempts by some CLECs to compete in the local telephone market.

Take note that while there have traditionally existed long-distance carriers who provided simply long-distance services, today most if not all of the Baby Bells can provide service for all long-distance classes as easily as local service, competing with the long-distance carriers. While the welfare of this agreement is restraint of billing and backing for the client, long-distance carriers can frequently provide lower rates or money-saving service plans.