Monday, August 24, 2009

Foul Odor of Decaying Prepaid Calling Cards

Prepaid calling cards have become popular for international calls, primarily because of their jaw-dropping low advertised rates. They’ve probably caught your eye in the store with their large numbers of very small cents per minute. You may think that you’re going to call around the globe at will for a couple of cents, but you won’t be calling anywhere when the card goes bad.

Stinky fish smell almost as bad as a decaying prepaid calling card. Click for a better option.Goes bad? You mean like milk and fish? Yes, exactly. You see, most prepaid calling cards decay once you start using them.

Think I’m kidding? Get out your magnifying glass and read the small print on the back side of the card. What will you see? Horrible things. Things like connection fees, minimum call times of 10 or 20 minutes, and weekly service fees.

What’s a weekly service fee? Hold your nose. You’re not going to like the smell of this.

A weekly service fee is a charge placed against your card every week after you first start using it. Buy a prepaid calling card and sit on it for a month. You’ll still have all the minutes you paid for. Buy a prepaid calling card and make a short call on it. Then put the card back in your wallet. Make another call a month later and you’ll probably find that some of the minutes have magically disappeared. They’ve been eaten up by those nasty service fees.

That’s the decay I’m taking about. Your minutes start to go bad as soon as you open the card. You don’t even have to stick your nose in the refrigerator and sniff. After a year or so that card that you thought was good for a few cents per minute has just run out of minutes. Add up the minutes that you’ve actually spent on the phone and you’ll find that you’ve paid over a dollar a minute. Not so cheap in the end, is it?

There are two ways you can avoid the stench of calling card decay. First, when you start using one of these cards use it up as fast as you can. Preferably, just make one long call. That way you’ll only pay one connection charge, not be affected by a minimum call charge, and be done before the service fees start.

What’s the other way? Use a service that gives you the cheap international rates that you want from a prepaid calling card, but doesn’t have the small print and seamy side to using it. A good choice is TEL3Advantage.

What’s different about TEL3Advantage is that there are no little paper cards involved. You order the service online for $10, $25 or so. Then you use it from any phone, including your cell phone. The process is similar to using any calling card. You dial a local access number or toll free number to reach TEL3Advantage. Then you dial the international number you want to reach from the US or Canada. You’ll pay the low per minute rate but no connection, hidden or monthly fees. You only need to avoid letting your account go inactive for a year.

But what about the rates? They can’t beat prepaid calling cards, can they?

What if I told you that you could make calls to China for 1 cent per minute right now? Is that cheap enough? OK, that’s a limited time promotion rate. The standard rate is 1.7 cents per minute. I’ll bet that’s cheaper than most of the calling cards you’ll find at the convenience store.

Here’s a bonus. Depending on how much service you choose to sign up for, you can get free bonus minutes added to your account. How many? Oh, how about as many as 900 free minutes to China? Does that sound reasonable?

Of course, there are low rates to all of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and so on. You don’t need a special card to maximize your savings to any particular part of the World. Just sign up for TEL3Advantage international calling service and the world is at your fingertips. Call all you like. If you run low on minutes, just recharge your account. Best of all, there are no service fees draining your account. Oh, that does smell sweet.

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