IDT Calling Cards Are A Scam

We’ve written about how IDT Energy tries to con ConEd customers into switching their electrical contracts, but they also sell calling cards…

According to a former employee, this side of their company is also a total scam.

First IDT lures in customers with extremely low rates, 2 cents per minute for most worldwide locations. Then they charge hidden connect and disconnect charges. These charges are disclosed in their extremely fine print, which most consumers won’t bother reading.

When people complain about all their minutes disappearing, or IDT’s frequent service crashes, IDT’s customer service staff is trained to tell any lie they need to in order to keep from giving away any minutes.

Our insider writes:

I remember one girl calling crying because she needed just one minute to call her sick mom. I tried to give it to her, but you have to ask the supervisor and he was checking me out because I always wanted to help too much. He told me: “look, these are the lies you’ve gotta tell…”, and started blabbing lie after lie after lie…

Read her full confession, inside…


Anonymous writes:

    “I was hired by a temporary job agency, along with many others, to work at IDT at it’s call center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We were supposed to be on a test period of 3 months, as any job here in the Island. After that, if we performed well, we woul be hired as IDT internal staff.

    First came the training. We would sit in front of the computer, with a headset, and learn the bowser-based, password-protected program to manage the calling card’s minutes, balance (in dollars), and be able to write comments about the card holder. Apart from learning that program, the training consisted, mainly, on how to say “No” to the customer without he being mad… After being there a few days, saying this was a “mission impossible” was an enormous understatement.

    I started doing my job, as I was trained, the best that I could. Of course, people would only call when something wrong happened, like, say, all the money went MIA, the minutes went MIA or simply the service went MIA, among other things. The point is, customers were mad as hell, and, on top of that, I had to tell them a big, fat “No, ma’am, you can’t get your money back, nor your minutes… Anything else I can do for you?”

    You see, the customer is always right, but IDT did not believe that. The supervisors were ALWAYS MIA (mostly at lunch), even tho’ they were behind the desk. Every time a customer asked for one, I’d have to go to his desk, and he’d look me with such a disgusting face, one would feel like an ass. I know this can be a personal thing, he might be a bad person and not the company’s fault, but one of IDT’s business is also Customer Service (CS), so they know how to do their thing, and that thing was NOT about helping their customers, it was about Customer Service Representative performance.

    In order to have an efficient CS business they need to have an efficient CS representative performance, and that meant each call must last less than 3 minutes.

    If one had an average of more than 3 minutes or so, IDT’s top brass would question you and your test period was in jeopardy. Of course, one would often put you on hold and, mysteriously, the call would hang up before the three minutes where up. Not that I was a bad person, but no one can mess with my food, you know, I had to keep my performance tight, and I always did and tried to help people as much as I could, but sometimes it was just necessary for me to keep my job.

    This being a communication service, people would often rely on it too much. And even though the service worked, it was ridiculously cheap, way too cheap. The service crashed all the time. People would often spend their last two dollars on a calling card, only for the service to crash and, with the connection and disconnection fees, loose the two dollars before reaching no one. Of course they’re gonna be mad!

    I remember one girl calling crying because she needed just one minute to call her sick mom. I tried to give it to her, but you have to ask the supervisor and he was checking me out because I always wanted to help too much. He told me: “look, these are the lies you’ve gotta tell…”, and started blabbing lie after lie after lie…

    I looked at him in utter shock. How’s it possible that you mess with someone’s necessity to reach someone? All she asked for was just one minute. I don’t know why, but that girl crying will haunt me for quite a while, along with my actions towards her, or lack thereof.

    I was so frustrated that I got sick of the job, along with many others. I started snooping around to see if I could find something good to bring them down, but no luck in finding someone to help me out, even tho’ I had some interesting info at the time. I did find out out that the minutes were going away in a very suspicious way…

    I was fired soon after that, but before the test period was over, mainly because I was no good for the company, trying to give away too much minutes and all.

    That’s why I updated Wikipedia’s article on IDT, but had to do so in an unbiased way, and their discussion page let me to you, The Consumerist.

    Bottom line is, IDT does NOT care about it’s customers, nor it’s employees. The Terms of Use are written in extremely fine print on the calling card and in extremely hard-to-understand, communication-business jargon (for the layman, but not even me could understand it, working there and all). Since IDT reserves the right to change these terms, they would change often, and often these changes would not help the consumer and would add more fees. Since they pay well in Puerto Rico ($2 above minimum, $7 total), there’s always people ready to work for them. If an employee snoops around too much, the internal mafia will replace you in a jiffy, no prob for them.

    All of this is a very small slice of a very big cake. I wish to remain anonymous, as I have no proof about these things, and IDT is an immense company. Take all of this with a big, ol’ grain of salt. And pardon my English.”

— BEN POPKEN