26 May 2009

What's Eating Up Your Phone Card Minutes?

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hidden_fees_webBefore I defected to PC calling, I used to buy phone cards from local grocery stores to place some long-distance or international calls. Oddly enough, for my supposedly 500-minute calling card, some weekly 10-15 minute calls would eat up the card in just a couple of weeks. It’s only after I worked for OneSuite, did I learn that most calling cards have different fees and hidden charges calculated to consume your minutes in no time.

Here are some fees that consumers should know about:

Maintenance fee: The most common of all fees that ranges from 50 cents per month to $1 per week.

Connection fee: Though calling cards are slowly getting rid of this fee, some still charge up to $1 per call.

Communication fee: I am really baffled by this fee. This fee in all its essence is unjustified, yet calling card companies charge up to 25% communication fee of the actual call cost, effectively making the rate 25% more expensive.

Long talking fee:  I have to laugh when I read this kind of fee. As if long conversations don’t help consume the minutes fast enough, the company has to charge another fee on top of it. But most consumers are not aware of this fee. The charge is usually 40 cents for every 20 minutes and again brings up the rate to additional 2 cents per minute.

Payphone surcharge: This fee is charged per call whenever you use your calling card through a payphone. The fee is mostly unavoidable as FCC regulations allow payphone companies to impose fees on outside carriers and dial-around services for using their phone. Charges vary from 50 cents to $1.

Disconnection fee: Of all the ridiculous charges, this one takes the cake! This fee applies whenever you hang up a call. Calling card companies charges up to $1 on this one. So, they’re charging you either way, if you keep talking or if you hang up. Can't win.

I’ve grown to be a wiser since then. But that also means I am a lot more addicted to fine prints. That was until of course, I found the perfect calling card with no hidden charges in OneSuite.


  • Comment Link Kelly Brown Friday, 12 June 2009 05:22 posted by Kelly Brown

    Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder'n bout this issue,so thanks for posting

  • Comment Link lazyking Monday, 01 June 2009 15:12 posted by lazyking

    All these fees are the "hidden fees", lool
    great post, when I was using cards formy phone, I always thought my minutes were stolen

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