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 Q: Phone Card Fee-Related Glossary

The following glossary will be helpful for our customers to understand our quality control system and surcharges in prepaid phone cards.

Prepaid phone card related charges:

Connection Fee: All phone cards sold on our websites have no connection fee. This fee is sometimes called a first-minute surcharge. It is charged when a telephone call is connected. It varies between 25 cents to as high as $3. The easiest way to determine whether a cheaper phone card with connection fee is worthwhile or not is to estimate the average time for your phone calls. If you make 10 mins calls, a card for 5 cents/min with $0.50 connection fee is actually more expensive than a card for 9 cents/min with no connection fee. It's better to use a phone card without connection fee if you are not sure the person you are calling is there, and the phone call may trigger an answer machine. Phone cards with high connection fee is good for the case when you know your party is there and you intend to talk for a long time. But eCallChina customers will never pay a connection fee on cards purchased from our website.

Service Fee: some prepaid phone cards charge service fee/tax as percentage, for example, 20%. It means if you make a 100-minute call, your PIN will be deducted 120 minutes. 

Maintenance Fee: Some phone cards will start to charge a maintenance fee either when the first phone call is connected or after the first phone call is finished. The maintenance fee can be charged every month, every two weeks, or every week. Maintenance fee is also called sweet fee by certain phone card companies.

Minutes Rounding: This is the basic unit used to record the length of your phone calls. Industry standard is one minute rounding, as in the case of your residential telephone services. Prepaid phone cards can be rounded to one, two, or even three minutes. If it rounded to 3 minutes, your 30 seconds phone call will be considered as 3-mins phone call and your 4 mins phone call will be considered as 6 mins phone call. On average, for 2 mins rounding, you will be charged for one more minute for each phone call, and for 3 mins rounding, you will be charged for one and half more minutes for each phone call. So try to avoid using phone cards with more than one minute rounding.

Minutes rounding on our website:

Pay-Phone Surcharge: Prepaid phone cards provide the most convenience when you want to make cheap phone calls, but there is usually a surcharge between $0.30 up to $1.00 associated when you use a public pay-phone. Payment for the use of a public pay-phone is required by FCC.