Today, we are lucky to have a plethora of alternatives for communicating with friends and relatives living abroad, many of which are free.
The internet has made it feasible to interact both verbally and visually needing only an internet connection, which is ideal if both you and the people you’re communicating with have a well-developed internet infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in the majority of nations throughout the world; completing a video call to a developing country is difficult at best, since emerging nations often suffer poor internet connections and power outages, all of which contribute to a miserable experience.
Let me introduce you to calling cards.
Even in this day of technological innovation, an antique technology like the simple calling card would be expected to fall by the wayside.
Calling cards not only exist, but they are still widely utilised for a variety of reasons:
The older generation, which grew up with phones, is insistent about avoiding embracing internet technology.
Even if a country has limited internet service, it still has well-developed call card technology, as we said previously.
Contacting cards are extremely inexpensive, allowing customers to save up to 80% or more on their calls, depending on where they are calling.
They’re easy to utilise. Simply dial the access code, enter your PIN, and then dial the number of the person you’d want to talk with.
However, there are certain things you should be aware of while using calling cards, since there are always hidden expenses in any company that claims to give the “lowest” pricing.
In fact, I just came across a research undertaken by a consumer watchdog group in Australia that revealed some fascinating data about how the calling card market functions, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on each of them since I’ve purchased a number of these items throughout my travels.
Let’s get this party started!
Only 28% of calling cards came with any kind of in-store information on rates, terms, and conditions.
“Most clients just look at the per-minute fee, which is a mistake; calling card firms are aware of this and employ deception to get them to purchase the most expensive calling cards.” nzphonecards.co.nz, JT
In terms of function, calling cards are simple to use, but purchasing them requires a lot more thought.
This is due to the fact that a few calling card businesses engage in questionable business tactics that take many clients off guard.
While most clients are concerned with which card is the cheapest, calling card businesses use deception to trick them into purchasing the most costly call rates.
When acquiring a calling card, bear the following in mind:
- Rate per minute
2. Call rounding is the frequency with which you are charged; only a few calling cards charge you every minute on the minute; most calling cards charge you every 3-4 minutes, with others charging you every 15 minutes.
3. Connection or disconnection costs — this is a price payable when a call is successfully connected.
4. Service costs – these are extra charges that are added to your bill regardless of whether you use your calling card or not. These are billed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
You also want to know what happens if you have a technical problem, which can occur. Will you be given a refund or will the calling card company be able to fix the problem, and how long will it take?
As you can see, fitting all of this information into a single calling card would be difficult, and most of these inquiries will be answered by the merchant, which we’ll discuss next…
94 percent of salespeople were unable to provide information regarding calling rates for their calling cards to customers.
I’ve bought a lot of calling cards over the years, and I can tell you that most sellers don’t know the answers to even the most basic inquiries.
Typically, you will ask the shopkeeper a question, and they will then begin picking up and reading the information on the calling cards, which you can clearly do yourself.
Basically, if the information you’re looking for isn’t on the calling card, you won’t be able to count on the calling card shop to assist you.
My recommendation is to buy from a specialist calling card store or an online calling card provider where you may compare prices, read FAQs and terms and conditions, and speak with a customer care representative.
9 percent of the bought calling cards had poor call quality.
I’ve had more than my fair share of technical troubles over the years, which is why knowing how long it will take to remedy such issues is critical.
I have very few problems these days since I know what to look for and have my calling card stores bookmarked for the next time I visit.
The biggest piece of advise I can provide to customers considering buying a calling card is to make sure the organisation has a responsive customer support team on hand.
This is by far the most critical need for me; if they do not have a customer service staff, I will move on.
Why? If they have a customer care team, you may ask them questions that can help you save a lot of future issues.
You should ask them the following questions:
- Which calling card would you recommend for a call to [COUNTRY]?
2. What are the extra charges? Is there a service charge? Is there a charge for using this phone card?
3. Is this card charged by the minute or by the block of time? (i.e. charges you every 3 minutes)
4. When it comes to technical concerns, how long do you take to fix them? (for example, phone dropouts, cross-lines, and bad audio)