Prepaid phone cards
can be difficult to choose, but we've developed these buying tips to
equip you with the information necessary to make fully informed buying decisions. We
invite you to compare
our prices and service with those of the largest
sellers of competing
Weekly service fees
Prepaid phone cards charge a weekly service fee,
although most competitors do not advertise this fact. The GBS prepaid
phone cards that charge this fee do so in one of two ways:
- At the beginning of the the first successful
call, and once a week thereafter.
- Later the same day, or a few days afterwards.
On cards that charge the weekly service only after
a certain amount of time (usually one or more days), the best strategy
is to use them up before the charge time. For instance, if the weekly
fee is charged at midnight on the first day of use, try to use the
entire card that day. That way the more money will go to talk time, and
less to fees.
Most calling products (ours and our competitors!)
charge a "communication fee" which is levied on percentage basis, like
a tax. Some companies actually refer to it as a "back-end tax", hoping
that customers will think the money is paid to the government.
Here's an example of how the fee works.
Normally a call costs
Call length x Rate
per minute + Connect fee
With the communication fee, it's really
(Call length x Rate
per minute + Connect fee) x communication fee
Some cards do not charge communication fees.
Some cards charge a connect fee while others
don't. What does that mean to you?
Connect fees These
products usually charge a low per-minute rate
because they can count on the connect fee as an additional income
stream. Spread over a long call, the connect fee becomes insignificant,
which on top of an already low per-minute rate makes this type of card
best suited for long calls.
No connect fees These products
have to make up for the lost income stream by charging higher
per-minute rates. Despite this, the lack of any connect fee makes these
cards great for short calls.
So don't dismiss the possibility that a product
with a connect fee is not for you. It may be the best choice for your
particular calling habits.
You are normally charged 50¢ to call from
All calls from payphones used to cost you, even when the line you were
calling was busy. This is because, in actuality, the first number you
called was the 800-access number to which you obviously got through. We
complained to the FCC about this unfair practice. Some of our cards do
not make the payphone charges when you get a busy signal. Contact us if
this charge has been applied to your calls.
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