Prepaid Cell Phone cards can really save you money. Especially if your home phone doesn’t have a good international phone plan, you can get a phone card instead of having to cancel your whole service.
Not all prepaid phone card services are alike. You really need to make sure you are working with a reputable company.
Some of the complaints I’ve heard and experienced have been
- bad (or no) customer service
- Shorted minuted
- Bad connections
- Being charged a minute even if the call didn’t connect
- Hidden fees for using a pay phone
- Maintenance fees in super small script!
- Pin numbers that don’t work – but you can’t get a hold of the issuerer since their 800 number is always busy
If you want to avoid this type of trouble, before you buy your next prepaid phone card, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- Read the information provided carefully. They have to disclose all maintenance fees up front. Be on the look out for surcharges, fees for calling from a pay phone, fees for making calls to cell phones or 800 numbers.
- Look for expiration dates. Some cards have them and whatever minutes you haven’t used on the card when it expires are forfeited. You won’t get them rolled into a new card
- Look for a customer service phone number on the card. Call it if you can before you buy the card. Try to see how easy it is to get your questions answered. If you can’t get thru that can be an indicator of trouble ahead
- Is the rate really low? Much lower than most companies, BEWARE! That can mean that there maybe hidden fess that more than make up for the savings.
- Make sure the card comes sealed in a package with the pin number hidden. Its too easy for someone to write down pin numbers and activate a card without it ever leaving the store. Wouldn’t you hate to buy a card, get it home and find out there are no minutes left on it!
- Make sure you understand how to use the card and the instructions are clear
- Make sure you know what the rates truly are. International rates are generally more than the domestic rates.
About the Author
Tara Tiemann is a credit analyst for Go-prepaid.com which has been a resource site for people who want to live debt free. If you are on a budget using prepaid debit cards, pre paid credit cards and prepaid cell phone service can save you big money!