PSC Recommends Caution When Using Pre-Paid Telephone Cards on Mother’s Day
State of Florida
5/7/2009 Contact: 850-413-6482
TALLAHASSEE — Calling Mom using a pre-paid phone card this Mother’s Day? Mother’s Day is typically one of the busiest days of the year for call volume in the United States. Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) urges Floridians to be aware of the fine print when purchasing and using pre-paid calling cards.
Pre-paid phone cards are popular because they are easy to use, especially for making international calls. While the cards are convenient, they don’t always work as advertised. Common problems occur when the card does not deliver the number of advertised calling minutes, access numbers don’t work, or card issuers are no longer in business, making the cards useless.
“If you are using a pre-paid phone card to call Mom this Sunday, make sure you can talk for as long as you want to,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “Very low rates, particularly for international calls, are sometimes too good to be true. Read the fine print.”
The PSC’s new Pre-Paid Phone Card Brochure offers the following consumer tips:
Look for a toll-free customer service number; otherwise, you may not be able to contact the company if you have a problem.
Check the card’s expiration date.
Verify that the Personal Identification Number (PIN), which is printed on the card, is out of sight and hidden from view.
Make sure the card can be used to reach your calling destination because fees vary widely.
Residents can call the PSC’s consumer help line at 800-342-3552 with questions about calling cards or for complaints about cards that have Florida-based providers. The PSC does not regulate international calling cards.
For more tips on using pre-paid phone cards, the PSC’s new brochure on calling cards is available on the PSC’s Web site at http://www.psc.state.fl.us/publications/consumer/brochure/PrepaidPhoneCards.pdf.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida’s consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.