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Baylor long distance affordable

Sept. 11, 1996

Baylor long distance


Kristin Toman, a Richardson sophomore, uses the Baylor long-distance service from her room in Dawson Residence Hall. Baylor's rates are competitive with national carriers.

Chelsa Dunn/

The Lariat

By Theresa D. Jacoby

Lariat Reporter

The day almost every student who lives on campus dreads is about to bill day. As one walks through the mail box room of the Bill Daniel Student Center on this gloomy day, one can expect to see looks of horror and shock on the faces of students who are peering at the little piece of paper that can be worth what seems like an unimaginable sum of money that can otherwise be better spent at the mall.

The first thing some students do in this situation is blame the University for charging high costs on their long-distance phone calls In comparison, however, the University's rates are favorable to those of the other major long-distance companies,

When compared with the Basic 1+ rates of AT&T, MCI and Sprint, Baylor's VarTec Telecom service actually has the lowest rates of the 'Big Three.'

Janet Knox, telephone services coordinator for the University, said she compares the Basic 1+ rates of the 'Big Three' excluding their special offers such as True Reach, MCI Friends and Family or Sprint Sense. Then she said she tries to make the University rate lower than the lowest of the basic rates.

'We try to stay a little bit lower than the lowest of the Big Three,' Knox said. 'We want to offer the Baylor student a fair and reasonable long-distance package.'

Some students said they enjoyed the University's service.

'I enjoyed the code, it was private and the rates were fine,' Kristi Hamlin, a Bay City junior, said. 'I didn't mind it at all.'

Students living in the dormitories are not allowed to hook up with other long distance companies other than Baylor's telephone service. Still, Knox said they can use other companies' calling cards or call people collect.

She said that the reason for this requirement is that the University pays for all of the local services on the telephone lines used in the dorms.

According to customer information, AT&T offers the AT&T Direct Bill Calling Card with which a person who made over $10 worth of calls each month would save 10 percent on their monthly bill. There is, however, an $.80 surcharge on each and every call made that month.

MCI has the MCI Card where it charges a set rate per minute depending on the time of day a person were to make a call. According to the MCI pamphlet, there is a surcharge on every call made with this card as well.

SPRINT offers a card make expressly for the student population, according to a SPRINT pamphlet. Moonlight Madness is the name of SPRINT's program. The rate is only $.09 per minute during the hours of 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., but then it becomes $.25 per minute at all other times. There is also an $.80 surcharge on each call with this card.

Some students opt to use the various calling cards available for their long distance calls instead of Baylor's service.

'I think its (a calling card) is cheaper in the long run,' Matt Clark, a Phoenix junior, said. 'We also get free offers every now and then.'

Students who live off campus are free to choose which long distance company they want to use. However, Knox said Baylor is now offering those students who live off campus a new option­DimeLine. This service permits students to call anywhere in the United States for only $.10 a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for only $5a month

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