OT: Long Distance, phone card

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Perhaps not the same thing.
I was referring to the phone card major providers used to issue that allowed a user to make calls from any non-home phone and charge to his home phone acct at the same rates as direct dial. Last time I used one, I discovered all had changed and got charged absurdly high rates and immediately tossed the card. I suspect you are referring to the pay-as-you-go cards popular with illegal aliens. I have no experience with that type of card.
nb
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On 3/21/2011 10:06 AM, notbob wrote:

I was.
They are not only used by illegal aliens. They are often used by those people at home who usually make few long distances calls and aren't invested in bundled communication packages. The cards impose no monthly fee, and the per minute charges are much lower than the cheapest long distance plan the typical telco offers. The cards work fine with certain caveats. (1) You have to dial an incredible number of "toll free" digits before you enter the phone number you are calling, and (2) if used outside the home, there may be unexpected added charges from the hotel/motel you are staying in for dialing a "toll free" number. In the days when coin operated pay phones were still common, it would usually be more economical (and safer for the wallet) to find a pay phone and use the phone card there rather than from the hotel room.
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Using them from a payphone also costs, depending on the card, from 2 to 5 or 6 minutes. I spend a few months on the road every year and love them. As you mentioned the biggest pain is dialing the 800 number, then your pin and then the actual number you want to call. From my personal experience it is usually easier just to get another one than to get your old one refilled. Target used to have the best deal I could find, although last December when I went looking, I couldn't find that they still had the good deal from ATT. They are also available at Office Max, Office Depot, WalMart, many gas stations, so look around for the best plan.
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So, which card brand am I looking for? Any Office Max/Depot, etc? Any backed by ATT? The only ones I ever looked at were Walgreens.
Will
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Yes. My suggestion was to look around at all those places and see what was offered and which was the best for them.
--
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koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:

My wife buys cards to talk to her mother in Europe. I use the same card when I call my son in Australia. My son uses one to call me. Something like 6 hours for 5 bucks. You can lose some time for making the call itself. Different cards vary on that. You get told the number of minutes left when you connect with the provider, so you know if you're getting screwed. Some have quit working well before the allotted minutes are up. When she has trouble with any card, my wife gets a different branded card the next time, and sticks with it until it gives her a problem. Not saying this is a big issue, but it happens. She usually buys the cards at the Poilsh/Russian grocery where she food shops. Think she's bought them at the Dollar store too. If you have shops that cater to foreigners, try there. Might have national long distance cards too.
--Vic
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On Mon, 21 Mar 2011 14:17:33 -0700, Smitty Two

Besides that, first thing my wife does is write the tiny numbers down in big numbers on a big piece of paper. That way it's not so much torture dialing all those damn numbers.
--Vic
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In article

ALso look at the kinds of call you are making. For example, a couple charge more for Indiana intrastate calls than the nominal rate on the front. Seems to be something with the Indiana regulators because it seems to fairly standard across cards. (Some other states have similar intrastate added charges.)
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Many thanks to Kurt, Vic, and Smitty Two for further advice.
I'll check 'em out. If I don't burn my eyes out reading the garbage fine print, maybe report back.
Cheers, Will
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