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Prepaid calling cards (also known as “debit cards” or “phone cards”) are a hot commodity in the telecommunications industry. You can find them at your local convenient store, grocery store, service station, or many other retail outlets that make these cards available. Using a prepaid calling card fills the communication void created for those consumers who don’t have a home telephone, or those who have a home telephone but don’t have a long distance carrier. These cards are convenient to use when one is away from home and doesn’t want to incur expensive charges associated with making an operator-assisted call. You may purchase phone cards in different dollar denominations and for various blocks of minutes. But are these minutes “talk time?” Some of your minutes are used to cover connection costs each time you make a phone call from a payphone using a prepaid card.
The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) wishes to advise consumers of several things to take note of when purchasing a prepaid calling card. Doing so will ensure that you get the best possible value for your money, and that you are purchasing a card that meets requirements for prepaid calling cards set forth by the Commission. Following are things you should consider before buying a card:
If you have a problem with a prepaid calling card, report it to the service provider (not to the store where you made the purchase). Should you be unable to resolve the matter with the service provider, you may contact the Georgia Public Service Commission’s Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-282-5813, or 404-656-4501, press Option 1.