Tele-rape: when local telecom companies conspire with phone card companies

I’ll be editing this when I have more time back in Korea, but I just had to write something about this when fresh in my mind…

I just flew into Seattle yesterday to visit family.  I’ll be leaving soon, but what’s critical on short trips back home is being able to call and connect.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a cell phone because mine from back home doesn’t roam here in the states.

Just like last year, I bought a phone card — the only ones that are basically available at the airport.  Last year, it was an exactta communications card for $20.  I called literally like 4-5 times and it was used up.  It tiny little writing on the back which you basically won’t find out until you buy the card is that they add a surcharge of $1 every time you make a call.  So, it’s a minimm $1.00 plus the time which some agency/organization should audit because I’m thinking the rate is MUCH more than what they even say is what they’re charging you. I was soooo shocked that basically, I needed to buy ANOTHER card after just a few calls.  I didn’t even talk for more than a few minutes. 

This year, I got sucked in again because after walking the ENTIRE concourse, I couldn’t find any other options except these pretty cards with a picture of flowers and Mt. Ranier on the background.  I remembered last year’s experience and bought the mininum value card at $10 knowing I’d probably get “tele-raped” again.  THIS TIME, it was a surcharge of $1.50 per call!!!  These Paracom phone cards (a division of IDT, it appears) are probably just a rebranded form of the exactta cards.  I wish I had time to research this.  Ridiculous…

I couldn’t make more than 4 calls literally…

There has to be some relationship between the calling cards and the local phone company…  I don’t know what it is exactly, but there should be NO reason it costs more than $2.00+ a call.  Why do I buy a phone card?  It’s to save a few cents, but now I’m thinking I should just pay via quarters and probably save a few cents.  It’s simply just a form of “tele-rape” to me…

This truly will inspire me to build a consumer protection website when I get back.  I’m definitely entertaining the idea.  Anybody else wanna join?  I might be making a big deal of a smaller deal and I’m thinking not many people are affected in the middle class, but I’m thinking lots of people new to the area are along with immigrants who sometimes barely have any money in the first place.  It’s simply an abuse of a situation. 

1 Comment

Filed under Random thoughts

One response to “Tele-rape: when local telecom companies conspire with phone card companies

  1. hi i just found your blog and i was wondering if you could help me if its not to much trouble. im trying to write to a freind in korea and im not sure if i’ve put this in the right order or if it even make’s sense.
    나는 당신인 좋아해요, its ment to say ‘i like you’ but i think its wrong. could you help, if not its ok!

    thank you for your time!

    P.S. thought your story about the man on the bus was funny lol

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