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Hidden Charges in Calling Cards


    When you choose a very cheap Calling card, it usually associate with more hidden charges. You need to pay attention to several common hidden charges, or the card can turn out to be a lot more pricey.

    As a leading Calling card retailer online, our mission is to choose phone cards with high quality to our customers. We always try our best to collect any information that's relevant to the cards and make the information available online. Certain phone card companies update their rate table or hidden charges without any prior notice. We always try our best to catch these changes and put the most updated information online.

    • Connection Fee: Also called first-minute surcharge. It's charged when a telephone call is connected. It varies between 25 cents to as high as $3. The easiest way to evaluate whether a cheaper phone card with connection fee is worthwhile or not is to estimate the average time for your phone calls. If you make 10 mins calls, a card for 5 cents/min with $0.50 connection fee is actually more expensive than a card for 9 cents/min with no connection fee. It's better to use a phone card without connection fee if you are not sure the person you are calling is there, and the phone call may trigger an answer machine. Phone cards with high connection fee is good for the case when you know your party is there and you intend to talk for a long time.

    • Tax: Believe it or not, some Calling cards charge a monthly tax or one-time tax, and it can be as high as $1.50. Try to avoid it by checking the information for your phone card carefully.

    • Maintenance Fee : Maintenance fee will be deducted from your phone card if there is still enough balance. It won't be charged on your credit card. Some phone cards will start to charge a maintenance fee either when the first phone call is connected or after the first phone call is finished. It could be as high as $1.50, so check it out, too. The maintenance fee can be charged every month, every two weeks, or every week. Maintenance fee is also called sweet fee by certain phone card companies.

    • Minutes Rounding: This is the basic unit to record the length of your phone calls. Industry standard is one minute rounding, as in the case of your residential telephone services. Calling cards can be rounded to one, two, or even three minutes. If it rounded to 3 minutes, your 30 seconds phone call will be considered as 3-mins phone call and your 4 mins phone call will be considered as 6 mins phone call. Statistically, on average, for 2 mins rounding, you will be charged for one more minutes for each phone call, and for 3 mins rounding, you will be charged for one and half more minutes for each phone call. So try to avoid using phone cards with more than one minutes rounding.

      Minutes rounding on our website:

      • 1 min rounding: your phone calls will be billed at 1 minute increment. You don't lose any minutes.
      • 2 min rounding: your phone calls will be billed at 2 minutes increment. For example: calls between 2-4 mins will be billed at 4 mins, calls between 6-8 mins will be billed at 8 mins.
      • 3 min rounding: your phone calls will be billed at 3 minutes increment. For example: calls between 0-3 mins will be billed at 3 mins, calls between 6-9 mins will be billed at 9 mins.
      • 6 min rounding: your phone calls will be billed at 6 minutes increment. For example: calls between 0-6 mins will be billed at 6 mins, calls between 6-12 mins will be billed at 12 mins.
      • 1 then 2 min rounding: for your phone calls, the first minute will be billed at 1 minutes increment, and after that it will be billed at 2 minutes increment. For example: calls less than 1 min will be billed at 1 min, calls between 1-3 mins will be billed at 3 mins.
      • 1 then 3 min rounding: for your phone calls, the first minute will be billed at 1 minutes increment, and after that it will be billed at 3 minutes increment. For example: calls less than 1 min will be billed at 1 min, calls between 1-4 mins will be billed at 4 mins.
      • Note: the last two types of rounding offer benefit to the customers. If the party you are calling is not there or if you reach an answering machine, you may only lose 1 minute.

       

    • Pay-Phone Surcharge: Calling cards provide the most convenience when you want to make cheap phone calls anywhere, but there is usually a surcharge between $0.30 up to $0.75 associated when you use a public pay-phone. Payment for the use of a public pay-phone is required by FCC. However, from the variation of this surcharge, it's obvious that some phone card companies use it as a way to profit.

    • Communication Fee: Some phone cards that look pretty cheap can turn out to be not cheap at all. Certain phone cards are advertised with an attractive total minutes in the card. But that number was calculated based on a single call per card. Certain phone cards charge a communication fee up to 25% of the phone call's cost. This makes the rates to be 25% more expensive in reality. The advertised total minutes looks more attractive because this fee is usually applied after the call is finished.

    • Long Talking Fee: Certain phone cards charge this fee that's rarely known to lots of customers. If the customer talked for more than 20 mins, 40 cents will be charged for every 20 minutes talking time. This equals to 2 cents more per minute.

    • Hang-up Fee: When the remaining balance of a phone card gets to less than the amount required for a one-minute phone call, this fee may apply to reduce the balance to zero. Then the phone card will be purged from the system soon.

    • Your Time is Precious: Your time can't be simply evaluated with dollars, but it's usually more precious than you think. If you spend time on one thing, the opportunity cost prevent you from doing something else at the same time. For an IT professional paid at $30/hour, if you can't make a phone call for 6 mins just because the line is always busy, you really lose $3, without considering the frustration associated.


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