The year is 2023 and many people are using social media apps to communicate with their friends, family, and work associates from around the world.
But not surprisingly there are still many people who are using mobiles and landlines to call too.
And inside that group of people are those who are using calling cards (also referred to as calling cards) to connect with their social circles.
Calling cards and calling cards have been around for decades and probably should have died out with the dodo bird but even though technology inside the communication space has progressed the market is still hungry for cheap international calls.
Begs the question on why we are still being charged such high rates from the big telco companies.
So, I guess as long as big telco companies continue to hold their customers for ransom and charge exorbitant prices on international calls then there will always be a niche for international calling card companies to operate.
That said, the calling card and calling card industry are incredibly competitive since (from the consumer’s perspective anyway) all calling card companies pretty much offer the same service the main buying criteria for customers will ultimately come down to price.
Price wars very rarely work out for the players including their customers since in order to constantly reduce prices cutting costs need to be made which reduces the overall service and the customer gets less and less for their dollar – JT, nzphonecards.co.nz.
That said, not all calling card companies are prepared to race each other to bankruptcy there are companies that are able to offer competitive pricing (not the lowest) while still offering a great service.
Recently we stumbled upon an article that outlined the most common problems found with calling cards today and given my experience working inside the calling card industry I thought I’d offer my insights and opinions on them.
1. 9% of calling cards had poor quality audio
When you think about the fact that calling card companies are buying lower quality carrier lines so that they can offer much cheaper calling rates than the big guys consumers should be aware that with these cheaper carrier lines comes lower quality audio and 91% is actually remarkably good.
Carrier line providers have been offering better and better products for their calling card company clients at better prices which have been passed on to consumers.
My best advice is to find a calling card company that offers multiple carrier lines, this means that if any technical issues arise (which they will invariably do) like poor quality audio, call drop-outs, cross lines, etc. it is quick and easy to get this resolved.
All the calling card company needs to do is switch to another carrier line which takes about 10-20 minutes and you are back up and running again.
I’d recommend finding a calling card company that offers at least 10+ carrier lines because there can sometimes be an issue where the second carrier line they choose ends up with issues so they need to switch again, the more the better.
Expect to pay slightly higher rates when going with a company like this, think of it as insurance, believe me, you do not want a company that only offers a handful of carriers because if something goes wrong you could be waiting days, weeks or you may not get a resolution putting you out of pocket and lots of frustration.
2. 48% calling cards came with daily service charges
Daily service charges are incredibly important to understand and is something that catches most consumers completely off-guard since this feature is buried inside the terms and conditions page or otherwise not easily seen.
What is a daily service charge?
This is a daily, weekly, or monthly fee that is deducted from your calling card regardless of whether you use it or not.
There is no benefit to the customer (not from any calling cards that I’ve found anyway) for paying this additional charge.
You don’t get better quality service, you don’t get a better quality line, you don’t get any special perks or any kind whatsoever from these daily service fees.
The job of these daily service charge fees is to improve margins for the company owner – that is it.
My advice here is a simple one.
Unless the calling card company is passing those additional fees on to you that has a clear benefit like perhaps priority customer service support or premium carrier lines then avoid.
3. Just 28% of calling cards had information about rates, terms, and conditions
Granted calling cards from retail stores are limited in size so there is not a lot of information you can put on the calling card itself and most retailers carry a dozen or so different calling cards along with a hundred other products so it can be tough to have all of this information readily available for consumers.
That said, there should be a link that consumers can visit to learn more about the calling card they are about to purchase.
This is one of the main reasons I recommend using an online calling card retailer because there are no limitations on information, you view a calling card and can see all of the relevant information like call rates, call block times, any special fees like connection fees, etc.
I’d advise using an online calling card provider since you will be able to find all of the information you need in addition to a customer support team who can help you clarify any other questions you may have.
4. 94% of retailers couldn’t give any information about calling rates
This ties into the comment I made earlier about retailers selling a hundred other products along with calling cards.
Calling cards are actually quite complex, you are not buying a stick of gum.
The retail person has to understand a lot of technical information to ensure that they are able to sell the right calling card to the right person.
Here is just some of the information required:
- Calling rates to specific countries
- Calling rates to mobile
- Calling rates to landlines
- Calling rates to specific cities
- Special charges and hidden fees some cards will have them some will not
Along with knowing how to answer questions like:
- How do they work?
- What cards are best for which country and to what device?
- What if you are calling to multiple countries, which combination of cards is best, or is there one card that can offer an ok rate across all countries and devices.
That’s just the beginning, imagine having to know all of that information on top of the things they are already selling in-store.
My advice here would be to purchase a calling card from a specialist retailer who only sells calling cards.
They’ll be able to get the best card for your specific situation.