Why Calling Card Reviews are so Important
As you’re probably aware, calling cards can be rife with problems. Fortunately the online community can provide something of a safety net for you here, helping you to avoid charlatan services and fraudulent practices. By undertaking just a little research you can protect yourself from the rogue companies out there and ensure you are getting the best possible value for money.
Calling Card Review Sites
ConsumerReports.Org. This site is used for multiple industries and has a list of the red flags to look for when shopping for calling cards. Just search for ‘calling cards’ in the website’s search field.
Amazon.com sells calling cards and most cards have multiple reviews by users that can give you an idea of how happy people are with the card. This is advantageous in the sense that the reviews are a form of direct user feedback rather than having been collated by a third party site.
TrustPilot is a consumer review site that has information on a wide range of companies across the board. Just search for the name of that you wish to gain feedback on. Again, the reviews here are direct from the end user and an average score is given to provide an easy overview for users.
Calling card “apps” for mobile phones are also popular, and reviews for these can be found in the App Store for iPhone and Google Play store for Android.
Be sure to have a look at our other articles on the same subject for a little further advice.
Dangers and Annoyances
The most common fraudulent activity for calling cards is providing consumers with just a fraction of the call time that they are led to believe they have purchased. This is due to hidden charges and fees that can quickly eat up the balance of your credit. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has slammed the door on many of these types of charges, but new ways to take advantage of customers are constantly being sought.
According to the FCC, you should carefully read calling card reviews and keep your eyes peeled for the following types of complaints:
- Access numbers and/or PINs don’t work
- Service or access numbers are frequently busy
- Card issuers go out of business, making outstanding cards useless
- Actual rates are higher than the advertised rates
- Surprise “post-call,” “per-call,” or “maintenance” fees apply
- Charges take effect even for calls that do not go through
- Poor quality connections or dropped calls are frequent
- Cards expire quickly
- Daily access charges apply.
Honest Calling Cards and Alternatives
Calling card reviews can help you choose the lesser evil when shopping around. You can also go the safe route with a calling card from your local phone company - although the cost per minute may be higher (especially for international calls), any applicable fees are made clear to you from the start so you at least know exactly what you are getting for your money.
- AT&T has calling cards that are associated with your home phone and incur no extra monthly subscription fees. For long distance or international calls, you might have to pay a Universal Connectivity Fee (a fee AT&T has to pay the FCC and which they pass on to you); a fee may also be charged to calls made from a pay phone; and in some cases international calls may incur a termination fee for calls to a mobile phone (these are generally only charged in certain countries where there is no telecommunications free market).
- Verizon also has calling cards. One type is related to their Flat Rate plan which gives you access to lower international calling rates. Another is a regular calling card that charges standard rates and also requires a charge for every day that you make calls using the card.
- Rebtel is another excellent alternative to calling cards. This is an app based service that can be used on almost any type of device (iOS, Android and Windows). You don’t need a physical card, a 1-800 number or a PIN to use Rebtel and cheap rates per minutes are available to around 200 different countries. The transparency of service means that there are no hidden costs and the service is a market leader in terms of call quality.
Before you buy a calling card, make sure to read as many online reviews as possible and carefully consider all of your options. At the end of the day, a service like Rebtel could save you a lot of money and provide better service across the board. Don’t waste your money on calling card scams – often when it seems too good to be true it’s probably because it is.