MCI Plans to Cut Rates Up to 11%
MCI Communications, the nation’s second-largest long-distance telephone company, said Thursday that it plans to restructure rates on July 1, including rate reductions of up to 11% for residential and business services.
And American Telephone & Telegraph, the largest long-distance company, will reduce its rates for out-of-state calls by 5.6% on Saturday in compliance with a Federal Communications Commission order. Other long-distance companies said they are considering similar adjustments.
5% to 35% Discount
MCI travel-card rate changes include a 5-cent-per-call increase, a higher first-minute rate and decreases in most additional minute rates. MCI said its new rates are designed to give customers a 5% to 35% discount, compared to AT&T; interstate rates for calls inside the United States, including credit-card calls.
Most customers will see an overall reduction in their MCI phone bill.
The difference between MCI and AT&T; will be 15% for a typical MCI WATS customer and 5% to 20% for direct-dialed international calls.
AT&T;'s international rates to 88 countries also go down Saturday by as much as 6.6%. MCI volume discounts are also being adjusted.
Callers making more than $20 worth of calls a month will get a 2% discount; those with a bill topping $100 will receive a 5% reduction and a 9% discount will be given to those making $200 worth of calls a month. The discounts now are slightly higher.
MCI said it would also:
- Eliminate monthly fees for customers who have a device that automatically dials MCI access numbers and provides account billing services if those customers have bills of more than $200 a month. MCI calls this service Advantage.
- Reduce MCI WATS charges for customers who use more than 15 daytime hours of service a month.
- Increase some evening, night and weekend MCI WATS rates.
Carol A. Huff, Washington public affairs manager for GTE Corp. which operates the Sprint long-distance service, said the company will “obviously do whatever it has to do to remain competitive.” She said the company is reviewing its options now.
To Remain Competitive
Al Martin, senior vice president for marketing and sales for Allnet, a Chicago-based long-distance company, said “you can expect that Allnet will make an adjustment as well. We want to remain competitive.”
MCI gave these examples of rate changes, which it called representative.
A one-minute daytime call from Washington to Los Angeles will cost 53 cents, compared to a current charge of 58 cents.
A call from New York to San Francisco on the weekend, lasting 10 minutes, would be 11 cents cheaper, dropping from $1.82 to $1.71.
It said the average per-call rate reduction will be 4.2%.