SANTA BARBARA — Bigredwire.com said it will offer free long-distance calling to frequent U.S. visitors to its Web site, giving those who can tolerate additional advertising an opportunity to save more money.
New subscribers to Bigredwire.com can make as much as $150 a month in free state-to-state or international calls if they visit the Web site within five days of making a call.
Fiber-optic networks have made the cost of moving phone calls a lot cheaper, and Bigredwire.com thinks its marketing and customer-service costs will be minimal. Revenue from Web site and other transactions will exceed costs by a lot, the closely held Santa Barbara-based company said.
Callers who fail to spend enough time on the company's Web site will have to pay for long-distance service, including 5 cents a minute for state-to-state calls. The site offers video, audio and other entertainment.
"What really drives costs for companies like AT&T is marketing and customer service. By offering services for free, our word of mouth is more effective than a Super Bowl commercial," said Frank Jiang, Bigredwire.com's general manager. Giving customer support on line rather than by phone will cut costs also, the company said.