TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Calling Card Needed -- Short Interaction Sequence

Re: Calling Card Needed -- Short Interaction Sequence

Dr. Edward F Gehringer (
Thu, 09 Dec 2004 16:38:57 -0500

> The OfficeMax 1000 minute cards run 0.03/minute on sale, which is
> usually every other week. They are served by IDT and allow dial
> through the recorded prompt/advert messages.

I bought this card and used it on a trip. Unfortunately, while you
can dial through messages, the message about the charge for calls from
a payphone does not come on until *after* you dial the last digit of
the phone number, so it cannot be bypassed.

And even worse, although the card states, "Payphone surcharge of 13 US
minutes" (which would be 39 cents) the recorded announcement says that
the charge will be 99 cents!

So it seems that we have a case of downright consumer fraud on these
OfficeMax/IDT cards.

And again I ask, Why is it so hard to get information on the real
price of calls made with these cards? We have expiration dates,
per-month charges, payphone charges, and perhaps other fees in
addition to the advertised rate. It is hard to learn how much these
fees are, and even when the consumer is told, the information may be
incorrect. This reminds me of the car-rental industry, where the
actual charge may be up to 40% greater than advertised, preventing
effective price competition.


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