Joyce Evans of Hampden Township, a user of calling cards for calling long distance on her phone, found out that one minute in AT&T time equals 12 seconds.
Her revelation happened after she found out that her 500-minute card only contained 100 minutes of talk time, while her smaller 150-minute card only contained 30 minutes of talk time, which was a shocking change from her usual 500 minutes of talk time from a 500-minute card.
Although she called AT&T, the state attorney general’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Public Utility Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, it was only until she read the fine print at the back that she found out that calling from a particular area to another state can cost differently when calling from another area.
The government agency State Public Utility Commission could not do anything about it since they do not have jurisdiction over long-distance carriers, including AT&T.
AT&T, however, places the blame on the FCC for its minutes since it made a ruling that prepaid cards should still pay state access fees since it is still a basic phone service, this, in turn, will be taken from those who are buying the calling cards.
Ultimately, consumer awareness is the only thing that AT&T is telling people like Evans since AT&T, as well as other long-distance carriers who have prepaid calling cards, cannot do anything about it due to the FCC’s regulations regarding calling card fees.