Top 12 TIPS to choose a Best Phone Card
Consumer Affairs recommends consumers use the following information as a guide:
1.Ask family or friends who have used pre-paid phone cards to recommend service providers.
2.Confirm the current rate for a minute of conversation time before purchase - very low rates may indicate poor service. Call rates are usually subject to review at any time and can change quickly as competition between suppliers fluctuates.
3.Ask whether calls are debited in second, minute or multi-minute blocks. You might find a 30 second call costs a minimum of three minutes.
4.Check to see whether the card has an expiry date. If the personal identification number (PIN) has been exposed, chances are someone else could have already used the card.
5.Some rates are quoted for calls to the cheapest cities in destination countries. Higher rates may apply to smaller cities and towns.
6.Higher rates may also apply to and from mobile phones.
7.Check whether the local access number is a local number as some calls attract an additional surcharge up to ten times the per-minute cost. Also find out if there is an access charge simply for dialling-in to the system even if your call isnt successfully connected (engaged, disconnected or incomplete).
8.If you intend using the phone cards overseas take a list of local access numbers for each country.
9.Read and consider all the charges including access fees and any other additional charges, and then calculate the actual call costs - which may be significantly higher than the advertised rate.
10.Check whether service fees apply. Some phone cards charge a monthly fee that is automatically deducted from the card balance.
11.Confirm the service provider is registered with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, who will be able to assist if problems arise.
12.Ask the retailer if they are happy to provide a refund if you are unhappy with the service.
Consumers seeking more information can call Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.