Top 6 Tips Before You Buy An International Calling Card
In this article, you will learn how to find the best international calling card. Ask these 6 questions:
One of the best things you can do as a customer is asking the right questions, when you do this you end up buying the best products and having fewer issues.
- 1. Which is the best calling card to call [country] [mobile] or [landline] (or both)
- 2. What is the billing increment?
- 3. Are there any hidden fees with this card?
- 4. When do these calling cards expire?
- 5. Do I lose my money if my international calling card expires?
- 6. How long does it take to resolve technical issues?
- Top Issues And What To Do
- PIN number not working
- International calls not connecting
- Poor audio, call dropping, call going to a different person
- More money deducted than advertised
1. Which is the best calling card to call [country] [mobile] or [landline] (or both)
The reason for asking this is simple, you want to ensure that you are getting the best international calling card for your specific situation.
An additional question you can ask is “I typically for about [length of time] to [country] which international calling card would you recommend?”
Some international calling card services sell international calling cards that come with a connection fee which offers lower per-minute calling rates, these calling cards are designed to benefit people who make longer calls.
This isn’t always an option but it is a good idea to check in and see what options are best for someone who makes long calls vs. short calls.
2. What is the billing increment?
This question is important because it indicates the true per minute calling rate.
For example, you may see a calling card advertising a very low rate of 1c per minute but has a billing increment of 15 minutes which means you are charged 15c every 15 minutes, this means that unless you are ending your call on the 14:59 second of every international call you will be losing money.
My recommendation is to find cards that have billing increments anywhere' from 1 to 3 minutes.
This is an important question to ask because almost all phone cards come with some form of an additional fee, the worst of which is the daily service charge, which essentially bills your calling card every day, week or month regardless of whether you are using your calling card or not which guarantees that you will never be able to use the full balance on your calling card.
There are other fees like connection and disconnection fees, these aren’t really “hidden fees” since they’ll be located near the per minute rate and I’d recommend avoiding these calling cards unless they offer lower per-minute rates.
4. When do these calling cards expire?
On rare occasion I have heard of people purchasing pre-expired calling cards from newsagents and supermarkets, this is largely unheard of with specialist retailers and if it does happen it is a tech fault and is rectified quickly.
My recommendation is to avoid buying international calling cards from general retailers like newsagents and supermarkets since they can have those items sitting on the shelves for months.
Calling cards will typically include an expiration date of anywhere' between 3 months to 12 months.
Rechargeable phone cards can be renewed and used for years.
5. Do I lose my money if my international calling card expires?
I think it is natural for people to think that their money will be automatically removed by the calling card company but in some cases this is not the case, some calling card services will keep your balance available to you, all that is required is to recharge your phone card and you are back in business.
Keep in mind some calling card providers will charge you a reactivation fee.
6. How long does it take to resolve technical issues?
If you are going to be using calling cards for a long time you will run into tech issues, this is largely unavoidable but if you are a customer with the right company a lot of these tech headaches can be resolved very quickly.
Tech issues like, poor audio, call drops, calls not connecting, calls being routed to a different location, etc. To name a few can be resolved that same day if you are with a good calling card provider, so make sure you ask this question.
Top Issues And What To Do
If you are buying international calling cards you are going to hit some technical speed bumps at some point, here are some tips on how to either avoid or deal with them quickly.
PIN number not working
If your PIN is not working it could be one of two things:
It could be that the phone card automated system is not “hearing” the tones (DTMF) on your phone correctly, to confirm this try using another phone and see if you get the same result.
If the result is the same then it could also be that your calling card has expired or even that there is a tech issue, in either case, give your calling card provider a call, they should be able to resolve this fairly quickly for you.
International calls not connecting
If you are trying to connect your call then you want to first eliminate the easiest and most common issue first and that is, if this is your first time using that specific calling card, you want to make sure that you are dialling the correct international number, so double-check that.
If you are doing everything right then you will need to call or email the customer support team, my biggest tip here is to be as clear as possible about the problem, for example, once you’ve dialled the international number, what happens next? Is there a dial tone? Is the line being routed to a different person, etc. the more clear you are the faster this can be resolved.
Poor audio, call dropping, call going to a different person
In this situation call the customer support team and let them know, there is nothing you can do on your end, just be clear about the type of problem that you are experiencing.
More money deducted than advertised
Unfortunately, this is a common problem and the cause (in a lot of cases) is not reading the website carefully in terms of hidden fees, connection fees, etc.
These should be clearly displayed on the site, but sometimes it takes a bit of digging.
My advice here is to get the customer team on the phone and ask them if there are any special fees that you should be aware of and this will save you time, digging their their website.