name- SaneScientist
location- England
View My Complete Profile
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Blogging Brits code adapted by
Liam's World

Top of the British Blogs
Blogarama - The Blogs Directory
Blog Directory & Search engine

My blog is worth $13,548.96.
How much is your blog worth?

African children have died of poverty since you loaded this page.

The Blogosphere

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Calling cards - a new form of maths!

Calling the UK can be expensive on a landline or mobile, so naturally I have been using alternatives. The most common option is those little scratch cards that you get at the newsagent. For $10 (plus tax, naturally) I get a little piece of card with a scratch off pin number. Phone the local access number for free (all local calls are free here, even from and to mobiles), enter the pin and you can call the UK for 1c per minute. Allegedly.

So here is how it works in reality.
I phone the number. I enter my pin.
"You have 10 dollars and zero cents on your card".
I call my parents number.
"You can talk for one thousand minutes".
We natter for 45 minutes.
Next week, I call again.
"You have seven dollars on your card."
"You can talk for seven hundred minutes."
I talk for about 45 minutes again.
Next week
"You have three dollars and ten cents remaining."
Still 310 minutes.
Final call, one week later.
"You have 45 cents remaining".
"You can talk for 45 minutes".
This time the parental units aren't in. As soon as I hear the BT voicemail, I hang up and call again (just in case they were halfway down the stairs when the voicemail cut in).
"You have 44 cents remaining."
Fair enough, they round it up to the nearest minute.
Still not in. Again I hangup when I hear the dulcet tones of the BT lady.
The next day I call again.
"You have 27 cents remaining".
"You may talk for 27 minutes."
They're in, great.
Ten minutes 50 seconds later.
"This card has no credit remaining." Click. Buzz.....

Nowhere on the card, or the associated website, does it mention
a) A connection fee.
b) A daily "activation charge"
c) Tax (which I paid when I bought the card surely).

It does say "Call the UK for 1 cent per minute, no hidden charges!".

And surely when it tells you that you have x minutes to talk - you have x minutes to talk?

I have spoken to other Europeans, using different cards, and they claim the same thing. Not surprising, if you look at the websites they all seem to be run by the same company.

Fucking con. I am probably going to switch to Jajah or similar, but that ties me to my computer, at least whilst I am setting the call up. The calling card was almost as convenient as direct calling the number. With the time difference, I usually call mid-afternoon from a coffee shop or wherever I may be at the time, rather than at home. I've tried using an online system that recognises the phone you are calling from, rather than having a PIN, but those bastards simply took US$10 off my credit card and offered me 15 minutes. Then refused to return my calls or answer my emails. Consumer protection seems a little lax over here.



BBC News
NewScientist Online
The Onion


January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
June 2007

Get awesome blog templates like this one from
Copyleft 2005-2006 SaneScientist Creative Commons Licence
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

The Tuesday Twat Archive


Powered by RSS Digest All content copyright BBC 2006.