With mobile phones and carrier long distance plans, the average consumer might not have much need for a calling card. But that doesn’t mean companies offering such products are exempt from scrutiny from federal regulators. As such, the Federal Communications Commission today announced a $30 million settlement with six companies over deceptive marking of prepaid calling cards. [More]
Back in May, our cohorts at Consumer Reports found that calling cards — especially those aimed at immigrants and intended for making international calls — were often loaded with fees and didn’t always deliver on the minutes they promised. Now, the folks at the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against the operators of one particular calling card that only provided an average of 40% of the promised minutes — and sometimes only a fraction of that.
Have you ever read the back of a calling card? This one takes the cake. I’ve seen, one and three, but this card billing calls in 5-minute increments. So if your call is five minutes and one second long, they’re going to deduct 10 minutes worth from the card. Yeeks. Better talk fast.
Some calling cards have all sorts of charges hidden in the fine print that like to play PacMan with your minutes. BusinessWeek has five to watch out for and what they really mean:
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AT&T is charging users of its prepaid calling cards up to eight minutes per minute spent making an in-state call. The practice began in February and affects in-state calls made from every state except Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
We’ve written about how IDT Energy tries to con ConEd customers into switching their electrical contracts, but they also sell calling cards…
Allegations have arisen that AT&T is abusing its power as a monopoly provider in US soldier’s PBXs in Iraq to block 1-800 numbers needed to use non-AT&T calling cards.