Buy cheap international phone cards online
from to
 
 
 
 
↓ All Services Of Phone Cards Shop
   
 
 

Best Rates Phone Cards from:

Albania
Angola
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Belarus
Belgium
Bermuda
Bolivia
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba Guantanamo
Cyprus
Czech Rep.
Denmark
Dominica
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Fiji Isl.
Finland
France
French Antilles
French Guiana
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Haiti
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Korea South
Kuwait
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao
Macedonia
Malawi
Malaysia
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Monaco
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palestine
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Turkey
Uganda
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Uruguay
Unated States
Uzbekistan
Vatican
Venezuela
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Immigrants lose millions in calling card ripoffs


13/11/2007

STUDY | Per minute cost 87% higher than advertised

MIAMI They can be seen hanging behind the counter at the minimart, those brightly colored phone cards for calling Latin America, Africa and Asia. Often, they are the only reliable way for immigrants to stay in touch with their families.

But many buyers are being ripped off to the tune of millions of dollars a year.

Some cards fail to deliver the promised minutes. Others tack on confusing fees that may not be listed in the microscopic print on the back of the card. Still others round up each call to the nearest threeminute mark.

Sometimes they give you all the minutes. Sometimes they dont. Then you have to switch to a new card, said Augusto Revolorio, a Miami Beach grocery stocker. He buys the $2 or $5 cards regularly to call his mother and four brothers in Guatemala. It costs me more to complain on the phone and be late for work, so I just rip up the card and buy a new one.

A 2004 study led by University of Georgia economics professor emeritus Julia Marlowe found that the costperminute rates for prepaid calling cards were on average 87 percent higher than those advertised.

Because many immigrants like Revolorio dont have time or are afraid to go to authorities to complain and the money they lose per card is small little has been done to crack down.

Every time I check, the telecommunications industry is a highly regulated industry. This one they dont want to regulate, said Gus West, head of the nonprofit Hispanic Institute in Washington, D.C.

Thats starting to change. In the last year, attorneys general in Florida, California and several other states have begun to take a closer look at the phone card industry, as has the Federal Trade Commission. In October, Rep. Eliot Engel (DN.Y.) introduced legislation to regulate the business.

Engels bill would require standardized disclosures of all charges on the back of the card or in ads, ensure companies provide promised minutes and prohibit charges for unconnected calls.

The push comes partly from an unlikely source communications giant IDT Corp. The Newark, N.J., company settled its own decadelong classaction lawsuit in January over allegations it failed to disclose its charges adequately. Now, it is leading the call for regulation at the state and federal level.

The most popular cards among immigrants and the ones least likely to deliver promised minutes are those offering super cheap rates to countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and India.

Norbert Dominguez of Miami said he buys about six $10 cards a month to stay in touch with his mother and 4yearold daughter in Cuba. Each card promises 18 minutes but usually delivers closer to 12, he said. Thats an actual cost of about 83 cents a minute, vs. the promised 55 cents. Still, it is cheaper than the typical longdistance telephone rate of $1.15 a minute.

Its the cheapest way to call because other ways are very expensive, but in the end, theyre still swindling us, Dominguez said.

Dominguez said he has complained with little success. They give you a customer service rep, but its never someone with authority, he said. AP



 

Related News

 
Shell Collects Consumer Info With Calling Card Promotion
07/11/2007
Shell, in a seemingly innocent effort to give away a free phone card valued at $2 to students away from home during the Chinese New Year, has, according to Tian, distributed promotional pieces around the Arizona State University campus. In order to redeem the offer,...
 
Canadian Competition Bureau cracks down on prepaid calling card companies
27/03/2008
Government crack downs on the prepaid industry are not isolated to the United States. North of the border, the Government of Canada`s Competition Bureau has started an initiative to ensure accurate disclosure of information from prepaid calling card providers.We have...
 
FTC takes aim at prepaid calling card giant (CTA or or the Clifton Telecard Alliance)
07/04/2008
The Federal Trade Commission today asked a U.S. district court judge to halt to the alleged illegal practices of CTA or the Clifton Telecard Alliance, a major distributor of prepaid calling cards in the US. The FTC charges that CTA misrepresents the number of calling...
 
Fla. gets settlement with calling card companies
13/06/2008
Residents who use prepaid calling cards can stop worrying about being cheated on their minutes.Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced Wednesday that the state has reached a settlement with nine calling-card companies. The companies must cease deceptive...
 
 
 
 
 
  © 2008 PhoCard.com
News | Articles | Sites | Help and FAQ | Legal | References | Affiliate | Country Codes | Contact Us