US long distance rates rising

The nation's largest long-distance carriers have raised their basic rates by an average of more than 55% during the past four years, socking consumers who haven't signed up for special calling plans, says a report by Consumer Action, a consumer watchdog group. In addition, phone companies have also quietly raised the price of collect and calling cards.

The nation's largest long-distance carriers have raised their basic rates by an average of more than 55% during the past four years, socking consumers who haven't signed up for special calling plans, says a report by Consumer Action, a consumer watchdog group. In addition, phone companies have also quietly raised the price of collect and calling cards. MCI has increased the rate for a 10-minute calling card call to $14.25, up 25% in just the past year. And Sprint charges $14.89 for a 10-minute collect call, up 16% from a year ago.

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