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  • In the News
  • More Kudos

    Some of the media coverage from 2003 and 2004:

    12 December 2004
    Boston Globe - Pennies at a time, we chip away at long-distance firms
    "[...] Rich Sayers, editor and founder of 1010phonerates.com, says at least one plan is worth checking out. He recommends a 10-10-834 service from Acceris, which charges 3 cents a minute with a 39 cents-per-call connection fee. The service also requires the user to spend at least $3 per month or incur a $2.50 low-usage fee.

    26 November 2004
    CBS Evening News - Deciphering Your Phone Bill
    "Someone might assume that carrier costs recovery fees are related to government surcharges, when in fact they're an invention of the carrier," said Rich Sayers, a Consumer Advocate.

    9 November 2004
    The Hartford Courant - It Pays To Compare
    "Rich Sayers, a telecommunications analyst who tracks long-distance phone rates, said he recently encountered a discount offer while attempting to cancel a little-used Earthlink Internet-access account."

    19 September 2004
    The Miami Herald - A call to phone companies: Stop charging odd fees
    "Both the Florida Legislature and the FCC have thrown Florida consumers to the wolves,'' said Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10PhoneRates.com."

    14 September 2004
    Kansas City Star - The mystery of access fees
    A consumer watchdog recently pointed out that MCI has upped an in-state access fee in Missouri to $2.95 from $1.95.

    10 September 2004
    TRACNotes - by the Telecommunications Research and Action Center
    Using dial around carriers has been especially popular with users making international calls. Now, two dial around carriers are offering cheap international calls for wireless users. For more information on international wireless dial around, visit www.1010phonerates.com.

    10 September 2004
    The Oregonian - Qwest adds new monthly fee, lowers cap on long distance
    Qwest's new price structure is typical in the current long-distance market, said Rich Sayers, editor of 1010PhoneRates.com, a Web site that tracks phone rates. He said long-distance competition is intense, and phone companies have to offer low per-minute rates or flat-rate pricing to attract customers.

    26 August 2004
    The Oakland Tribune- FCC tries to preserve pay phones
    Rich Sayers, editor of the www.10-10PhoneRates.com Web site, said that consumers can avoid the possibility of paying more for prepaid calling cards in the future by shopping for them now at a warehouse store. The cards typically lock in U.S. rates and fees for the life of the card, he said.

    23 August 2004
    The Detroit News - 10-10 calling plan can dial up big savings -- or costs
    Unwitting consumers could get burned in several key areas if they do not fully investigate beforehand, says Rich Sayers, editor and founder of 10-10Phone Rates, an independent rate-comparison site.

    19 August 2004
    Consumer Affairs.Com - Phone Rate Tag Team Goes for the Gold
    Un"Among larger carriers, VarTec started the flat extra fee fiasco back in February 2003," according to Sayers. "Then AT&T; added a 99-cent fee in July 2003, followed by Sprint in September. With MCI and Qwest joining in this month, all five of the largest national long-distance carriers charge such fees. Why not just add a buck to the advertised monthly fee?"

    19 August 2004
    CBS 5 San Francisco - interviews Rich Sayers on the latest phone fee assault and recommends 10-10PhoneRates.com to viewers.
    They're the big guys like Mci And Sprint. And they are in the process of making their fees bigger too. rich sayers is the editor of a phone rate comparision site. He says the larger carriers are not alone. "The big guys have continually done it. Now, some of the smaller companies are following."

    13 August 2004
    KCRA-TV - Shop Around For Best Phone Charge Deals
    "If you're with a big company, there's a good chance you're paying monthly fees and extra fees. So, shop around and use the Internet to your advantage, where other people do the math for you," Sayers said.

    4 August 2004
    Bankrate.com - Dial for dollars with 10-10 calling plans
    You can save money using 10-10 phone services -- especially on international and intrastate calls -- but unless you do the math you could stumble into one of many dial-around money pitfalls.

    The above article mentions "unless you do the math", but the 10-10PhoneRates.com interactive database will do most of the math for you, pricing calls of various lengths..

    22 July 2004
    The Wall Street Journal (subscription required to view) - AT&T;, Sprint, MCI Increase Cost of Long Distance
    AT&T; has raised monthly minimums, surcharges or billing fees on more than a dozen calling plans, says Rich Sayers, editor and founder of phone-bill-alert.com and 10-10PhoneRates.com, Web sites that track phone costs.

    28 March 2004
    The Morning Call as published in the Sun-Sentinel - Take shortcuts to lower long-distance bills
    The best 10-10 numbers offer great rates for international calls and calls made within states with high rates," said Rich Sayers, founder and editor of 10-10PhoneRates.com.

    14 March 2004
    Seattle Times - Getting to the bottom line on 10-10 calling
    To learn more about how these plans work and to get a comparison of rates to see what's available in your area and what might work best with your personal phone habits, check out www.10-10phonerates.com.

    This article also ran in the Arizona Daily Star.

    3 March 2004
    Chicago Tribune - MCI long-distance under pressure [...]
    "They nickel and dime customers with various fees and surcharges while keeping the per minute rates low," he [Sayers] said. "Sprint and AT&T; at least provide decent customer service. MCI's service has been bad for the past three or four years."

    A version of this article ran in the Miami Herald.

    26 February 2004
    Consumer Affairs.Com - More AT&T; Rate/Fee Hikes
    Consumer advocate Rich Sayers notes, "MCI also charges $2.50 and Sprint or Qwest customers pay $1.50 for co-billing. But smart shoppers who want the convenience of one bill can find discount carriers offering lower rates and no billing fee."

    25 February 2004
    WPXI TV Pittsburgh, PA - 11 News Investigates 10-10 Long Distance Problems
    The Mulders of Westview were billed $471 for their 10-10 calls when, in reality, they only owed $10. Kathy Mulder couldn't believe the amount of her long distance bill after she used 10-10-987.

    17 February 2004
    Chicago Tribune Stealth phone charges rile customers
    Looking back, Judy Leach realizes that her mistake was thinking that SBC's unlimited calling plan meant just that. "They have limits, but they don't tell you about them," the Marengo resident says.

    17 February 2004
    The Kansas City Star - Sprint will boost long-distance rates
    Rich Sayers, editor and founder of 10-10PhoneRates.com and phone-bill-alert.com, said the rate increase was typical of the large long-distance companies. Sprint, AT&T; and MCI all want a minimum amount of revenue from every customer every month.

    15 February 2004
    Chicago Tribune Finding best discounts on dial-around service
    So-called "dial-around" long-distance plans promise deep discounts, but with 10-10-this and 10-15-that, trying to figure out which provider is best for a particular area can make your head spin.

    A longer version of this article ran in the Sun-Sentinel.

    3 February 2004
    CBS.MarketWatch.com - MARSHALL LOEB'S DAILY MONEY TIP - Avoid dial-around run around
    The key, says consumer advocate Rich Sayers, is to match the service with the type of phone call you wish to make.

    Versions of this article ran in the Akron Beacon Journal on February 5th and the Detroit Free Press on February 9th.

    2 February 2004
    Consumer Action - Residential Telephone Rate Survey 2004 - Traps abound for unwary 10-10 dial-around users
    Dial-around "10-10" services can save consumers money—especially on international calls and in states with high intrastate rates. But don't get burned by rate and fee hikes, billing problems and other traps for the unwary.

    2 February 2004
    San Francisco Chronicle - Phone rates rising at blistering pace
    Some customers also swear by 10-10 numbers, especially for international calls, because they can offer especially low rates to some locations. But Rich Sayers, who runs the 1010phonerates.com Web site, which tracks phone rates, warns that customers need to check rates frequently, perhaps even every few weeks.

    31 January 2004
    The Philadelphia Inquirer - Consumer Watch: Tips from friends of consumers
    It's not easy making a living being a freelance consumer advocate. But Rich Sayers, founder of several Web sites that track hidden tricks in telephone charges, has made a go of it. This week, he again demonstrated why.

    25 January 2004
    The Times Herald - The long-distance war
    "Shop around, and compare multiple plans. Don't be afraid to go with a smaller company."

    23 January 2004
    WSLS NewsChannel 10 - Save Money On Your Long Distance Bill
    "A California businessman may be the "Robin Hood" of long distance rates."

    14 January 2004
    Consumer Affairs.Com - AT&T; Hiking Minimum Fees
    "While this AT&T; minimum is lower than MCI's, consumers can get better deals with smaller long-distance companies that don't require a minimum billing amount," says Sayers.

    13 January 2004
    WBTW News 13 - Beware of TV Commercials for 10-10 Long Distance Carriers
    Sam Best is an Horry County resident who has been using 10-10-220 when making long distance phone calls. He says he never had a problem until this month. He got his November bill, only to find that he was charged double the amount that he was supposed to be. When he spoke to the company, they informed him that they had raised the rates.

    10 January 2004
    Chicago Tribune - INSIDE TECHNOLOGY
    While informed customers pay about a nickel a minute for long-distance calls, about 10 million people still pay 35 cents a minute to use AT&T;'s basic service, Sayers said, and those people will soon pay more as a monthly fee is added to the basic plan.

    5 January 2004
    WNDU-TV - Do phone bundles really save you a bundle?
    WFirst, says Rich Sayers of www.1010phonerates.com, "Read the fine print or else you might find out the hard way that a price quote on a phone plan doesn't always include everything." Rosa got an ad from Bellsouth about a plan for $49.99 a month. She signed up but instead of the bill she expected, she got billed June and July for $74 per month.

    A similar story ran on WOAI News 4 on January 13th. It includes more details and a video clip you can view online.

    3 January 2004
    Reno Gazette-Journal - Prognostications 2004
    Rich Sayers, publisher, www.10-10phonerates.com: "First, look for rate and fee hikes on lower-end plans and dial-arounds. Carriers say they’re losing money on people billing small amounts because they have pay fees to the Bells. [...]"

    11 December 2003
    The Wall Street Journal (subscription required to view) - The Surprise in Your Phone Bill
    The companies say they hope to keep most of the customers whose bills are going up. But they seem willing to lose some, particularly those who spend only a few dollars a month, says Rich Sayers, publisher of phone-bill-alert.com and 10-10PhoneRates.com, two Web sites that track telephone charges.

    26 November 2003
    WTAE-TV Pittsburgh, PA - Call 4 Action: '10-10' Phone Calls
    Rich Sayers interviewed about 10-10-987 billing problems. "Some people said they were overcharged by hundreds of dollars."

    24 November 2003
    Consumer Affairs.Com - AT&T; Hikes Fees by $40 Million
    "While the new five-cent weekend rate might sound good, the $3.95 fee will result in a higher bill for many users," says Sayers. "Weekday rates continue to be quite high at 35 cents per minute peak time and 29.5 cents off-peak."

    21 November 2003
    KOMO News AM 1000 Seattle - Watch Out For Rising Dial-Around Rates
    Rich Sayers, who tracks dial-around rates on his Web site (www.10-10phonerates.com) says the heavily advertised 10-10-220 recently changed its plan. "A 20-minute call used to cost 99 cents, now it's $1.74," Sayers says.

    1 November 2003
    Chicago Tribune - WorldCom plan wins approval
    Another indication that MCI won't trigger a price war can be seen in price hikes it has imposed on long-distance customers, said Rich Sayers, founder of 1010PhoneRates.com, a Web site that tracks phone prices.

    15 September 2003
    Bankrate.com - Saving money on long-distance calls
    Part One: If you've been with the same company and the same calling plan for years and years, you're probably paying too much for your long-distance service.

    Part Two: Another advantage of going small with your long-distance company is six-second call rounding. [...] "If you have a lot of short phone calls or send out a lot of faxes, you can really save a lot of money," Sayers says.

    18 August 2003
    Lexington Herald-Leader - KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FAMILY
    Many 10-10 services boast 5-cent-per-minute rates for both interstate and in-state calls, far less than most telecommunication packages students get in their dorms.

    15 August 2003
    KRON TV-Channel 4 San Francisco - Get Great Long Distance Rates
    Includes link to streaming video of the news segment!

    Sayers' website 1010phonerates.com makes it really easy to shop around, and the savings can be huge. "You could pay a couple of bucks or more a minute to call Italy, wheras if you use a 10-10 number without signing up for anything, just dialing around, you can end up with 9 cents a minute, with no monthly fee," he says.

    20 July 2003
    La Opinión (Spanish-language newspaper) - La confusión de los números 10-10
    "Quienes se conformen con la información que sale en la publicidad de estos planes pueden pagar un alto precio", dice Rich Sayers, fundador y editor de la página 10-10 PhoneRates.com, especializada en analizar los planes existentes en el mercado, incluyendo las "letras pequeñas" que explican las condiciones de la llamada y en hacer seguimiento de quejas presentadas por los consumidores.

    14 July 2003
    St. Paul Pioneer Press - CORRECTION NOTICE related to article below
    A story about long distance rates on of the Business section on Sunday misstated how the commercial phone rating Web site 10-10PhoneRates.com makes money. The site gets revenue from text ads or banner ads. It does not get sales commissions.

    13 July 2003
    St. Paul Pioneer Press - Compare What's Out There
    Here is a short list of services that compare long-distance rates for consumers and may help you find others.

    AND in another article the same day... "A bundle of choices"
    "[...] But all that name recognition is coming at a price, he contends. Like many consumer advocates, Sayers criticizes the major long-distance companies for raising fees and rates bit by bit over the past year, a trend he tracks on his other Web site, phone-bill-alert.com."

    13 July 2003
    Reno Gazette-Journal - Telephone firms seek Nevadans' business
    "Long distance companies are catching up with the banking industry in nickel-and-diming people to death," said Rich Sayers, a telephone watchdog based in the San Francisco Bay area.

    12 July 2003
    Kim Komando Radio Show and newsletter - Site of the Day: Tame the 10-10 Chaos
    10-10PhoneRates.com removes confusion by providing a breakdown of the different phone rates and plans. It also updates any rate changes, so the information is up-to-date.

    9 July 2003
    Palm Beach Post - Lawsuits: Cellular firms' fees added illegally
    "The fees are fueling a consumer backlash," said Rich Sayers, editor of Martinez, Calif.-based 10-10Phonerates.com, who pointed out that long-distance companies AT&T;, Sprint and MCI are also adding fees.

    2 July 2003
    St. Petersburg Times - AT&T; jumps on fee bandwagon
    AT&T;'s new fee works out to a surcharge of more than 8 percent on an average monthly residential long-distance bill of about $12, according to Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10phonerates.com, which monitors long-distance rates.

    22 June 2003
    Palm Beach Post - Fee-ding frenzy
    Sayers also points out that a high proportion of AT&T;'s customers are elderly people who stayed with the company after its monopoly was broken up in the 1980s. "Older customers don't feel as comfortable switching phone carriers," Sayers said, "so they don't feel empowered to do anything when they see the fees."

    9 June 2003
    BusinessWeek - Honey, I Shrunk the Phone Bill
    As long-distance rates rise, simple steps can yield savings.

    8 June 2003
    Newsday - Phone Companies Dial for Dollars
    "They [phone companies] try to make it look like the government's fault and not their fault," said Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10PhoneRates.com and PhoneBillAlert.com.

    8 June 2003
    Boston Globe - Talk gets cheaper
    Rich Sayers of 1010phonerates.com says: "They're undercutting themselves, so they must be running out of suckers with 10-10-220."

    15 April 2003
    Chicago Tribune - WorldCom plan seeks new name, new home
    But like most telecoms, MCI faces stiffer competition ahead, Sayers said. [...] "In California, SBC is offering an unlimited local/long-distance package that is priced under MCI," Sayers said. "And there's a dial-around service that underprices 10-10-220."

    2 April 2003
    San Diego Union-Tribune - SBC fights rivals with 5¢-a-minute long-distance plan
    But like most telecoms, MCI faces stiffer competition ahead, Sayers said. [...] "In California, SBC is offering an unlimited local/long-distance package that is priced under MCI," Sayers said. "And there's a dial-around service that underprices 10-10-220."

    1 April 2003
    The Oakland Tribune - SBC slashes rates on calls
    "With these new packages, SBC is now trying to compete with discount carriers" as opposed to its initial strategy of trying to go after MCI, Sprint and AT&T; long-distance customers, said Sayers. "While the new rates are low, they can still be beaten."

    1 April 2003
    Sacramento Bee - SBC's long-distance cut heats up rivalry
    In fact, the new prices are more in line with smaller, independent long-distance carriers that charge in the 3-to-5-cent range per minute, said Rich Sayers, who's 1010phonerates.com Web site tracks long-distance rates.

    4 March 2003
    BITS & BYTES: MCI continues raising its rates - If you're an MCI long-distance customer, here are some words of advice: get out now.
    That means if you're an MCI long-distance customer, your bills are going to climb. In fact, rates for some older MCI plans have jumped 80 percent. Details on MCI's rate increases are available at www.phone-bill-alert.com, a Web site operated by phone rate activist Rich Sayers.

    26 January 2003
    Kansas City Star - Even minor changes in your phone plan can save money
    Look at details such as billing increments. Rich Sayers, editor and founder of 10-10PhoneRates.com, said going with a company that bills in six-second increments rather than one-minute increments could cut 20 percent off your phone bill.

    23 January 2003
    San Jose Mercury News - Mike Langberg: Bundles can offer phone bargains
    Local phone service, one of the nation's oldest monopolies, is moving slowly and imperfectly into a new era of competition.

    19 January 2003
    Asbury Park Press - Turnabout
    "The telecom industry took their cue from the banking industry," said consumer advocate Rich Sayers, founder of PhoneBillAlert.com and 10-10PhoneRates.com. Telephone companies are not only focusing on per minute rates, but are adding monthly fees as well, he said. "There are a lot of ways they can get you here and get you there if you don't watch these fees."

    15 January 2003
    The Oregonian - Qwest presents its case for long-distance service
    "Qwest isn't offering anything radically new or different here," said Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10phonerates.com, a consumer telephone Web site. "The real benefit to a consumer is if they want to have everything on one bill."

    12 January 2003
    San Diego Union-Tribune - Call for our best offer
    The big boom of telecom competitors has already happened, said Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10 Phonerates.com, a price comparison Web site. There are hundreds of companies competing on price, and SBC's entrance into the long-distance market is focused more on convenience and marketing power.

    12 January 2003
    Newsday - Picking Up on Phone Rate Changes
    Even with letters giving advance warning, the new Verizon fee may have surprised its customers. "Some people probably tossed them," said Rich Sayers, editor of various telephone-related Web sites.

    10 January 2003
    Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - Smaller players ready for SBC's long-distance charge
    "The smart consumer who shops around, and especially uses online resources and comparison shopping tools - they are not going to go with the Bells," says Mr. Sayers. "They are going to find much better deals from the smaller providers."

    9 January 2003
    The Denver Post - Business briefs - Qwest’s rates to Mexico
    "Their Mexico Zone 1 plan stands out as very competitive. Calling border cities such as Tijuana and Ensenada can cost as little as 12.5 cents per minute if you use exactly 60 minutes a month," said Rich Sayers, editor of 10-10phonerates.com and phone bill-alert.com. Sayers added that Qwest's Mexico Zone 2 rate for cities further south is more expensive than some 10-10 services.

    7 January 2003
    Rocky Mountain News - Qwest launches long-distance service
    Even if that low rate is offered, consumers should be careful to shop around, said Rich Sayers, editor and founder of the consumer group 10-10PhoneRates.com. "Some of the better '10-10' dial-around services . . . will likely beat Qwest rates and may be especially useful to consumers who make few long-distance calls and want to go without a pre-subscribed long-distance carrier," Sayers said.

    7 January 2003
    The Associated Press as reported on USA Today.com - Qwest offers long-distance service again in eight western states
    Savvy shoppers can find lower rates elsewhere. The Web site 10-10PhoneRates.com offers options [...]
    Versions of this story ran in other media, including IdahoStatesman.com, ABC 7 Denver's TheDenverChannel.com and on The Union-Tribune's SignOnSanDiego.com

    5 January 2003
    The Sacramento Bee - Phone madness
    Picking a long-distance carrier looks to get more bewildering And those exceeding their allotted minutes get socked with much higher fees for additional long-distance minutes, warned long-distance analyst Rich Sayers [...]

    4 January 2003
    The Associated Press as reported on newsobserver.com - Long-distance rates are rising
    "In the short term, the Bells could put some pressure on the big three [long-distance companies] to delay rate hikes, but they cannot afford to lower rates," said Rich Sayers, who runs consumer Web sites such as 10-10PhoneRates.com and Phone-Bill-Alert.com. "AT&T;, MCI and Sprint have overhead that is far too high to compete on price."
    Versions of this story with a map of Regional Bell long-distance coverage and notes on recent rate increases ran online at The Detroit News and at The Olympian

    2 January 2003
    Light Reading - AT&T; Ups International Rates
    "With many long-distance carriers' domestic rate plans, you do not get discounted international rates," said Rich Sayers of rate comparison site 10-10PhoneRates.com. "This includes new long- distance offerings by SBC and BellSouth and applies to AT&T;, MCI and other companies."

    2 January 2003
    The Wall Street Journal as reported on Quicken.com - Big Phone Companies Prepare to Further Boost Rates
    Rich Sayers, editor of the consumer-oriented Web sites 10-10PhoneRates.com and Phone-Bill-Alert.com, said callers should check rates before making international calls. People who make such calls should shop around for the best rates and make sure the countries they call are covered by their calling plans.
    Another version of the article with an interesting quote on WorldCom and industry trends from Brian Adamik, president of Yankee Group ran in The Journal. Subscription required to view.

    Click here for media coverage prior to 2003


    More Kudos:

    30 January 2004
    CBS 2 New York - recommends 10-10PhoneRates.com to viewers.

    15 December 2003
    Recommended by Utility Consumers' Action Network, Favorite Web sites from UCAN's staff

    24 June 2003
    Recommended by Gannett News Service in The Detroit News and USA Today.

    17 January 2003
    Recommended as part of KOMO TV's Tips For Saving Money.

    January 2003
    Recommended by Remar Sutton in his University Federal Credit Union Consumer Issues column.

    January 2003
    Recommended by Timberland Regional Library.

    Click here for media coverage prior to 2003


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