About Us - LatinStop.com
General information and Terms and Conditions
The phone card industryís exponential growth is a direct result of the
consumers need for cheap and convenient communications services. Pre-paid
phone cards and monthly billed calling cards often offer considerably lower
long distance rates than the more traditional phone services such as coin,
cellular and collect calling. Additionally pre-paid phone card rates remain
constant no matter what time or day the call is placed. Pre-paid cards were
introduced in the U.S. in the early 90ís and the large phone companies used
traditional channels to market their cards to their customers. Until 1996 the
phone companies made no significant effort to sell their cards as they already
had a thoroughly established and entrenched profitable market. New products
and concepts were also hard to sell to a public who already had a system that
The advertising industry and a number of small telecommunications companies
eager for some of the massive communications market first identified the power
and "sellability" of the pre-paid card and before the big phone
companies wiped the sleep out of their eyes the phonecard industry exploded.
Mass production, the pre-paid cardís relatively low cost and the ability to
produce low denomination cards suddenly produced a new advertising medium. By
printing a company name on a card or information commemorating a specific
event, innovative telecom companies began marketing the cards as promotional
items. Cards were sold as prizes or incentives and tourist souvenirs. They
also became collectors items exactly like stamps and baseball cards due to
their being run in limited editions. The retail phonecard had arrived and was
turned into an expendable bulk consumer product like gum, toothpaste, film and
razors. All this with the added incentive that you could, at very low cost,
deliver a consumer message to the holder who has to look at the card to make a
call. Combine this with the fact that a calling card actually allowed you to
call long distance cheaper than your regular long distance company and you
have a winning combination. To add the icing to the cake you had a number of
cards to choose from and you werenít bound to the captive suppliers of old.
The combined reach of the new markets expanded the distribution of phone cards
from a few hundred thousand in 1992 to over 70 million in 1995. Calling cards
are now sold through virtually every conceivable channel, from convenience
stores and corner cafes to vending machines. Pre-paid cards now co-exist with
and in many case have replaced collect calling and coin pay phones as the
preferred method of placing calls. Calling cards are also extensively used to
make local or intralata calls where the local phone company is unable to
provide competitive rates.
Phone cards are here to stay. They are now being packed with additional
services. Pre-paid internet accounts, e-mail services, paging, SMS messaging,
voicemail, cellular phone service, international callback, and a variety of
audio, text and digital information and entertainment services. WAP technology
is here too.
The industry is still full of surprises and the first disposable cellphone
cards are already edging into the market. This is a wafer thin phone card
complete with a keypad, microphone and earpiece which you use as a combined
phone/calling card. When its used up you throw it away and buy a new one!
Phone Cards and Calling Cards
A calling card or phone card is defined as telecommunication credit card with
an Identification Code for using a pre-selected long distance carrier when the
customer is away from their home or office. Phone cards are now being used
extensively for residential calls. Phone cards are often considerably cheaper
than collect calling, coin operated payphones or having the phone call charged
to your hotel or motel room.
Phone cards or calling cards are available in prepaid and credit (monthly
billed) forms. Typically a calling card user will pick up a phone anywhere and
dial a predetermined number (often Toll Free). The phone card user is then
prompted for a user ID and/or a Password or both, before dialing the number
"Cards" is a misnomer as some calling cards are available without
the issue of an actual plastic "credit card" and are delivered in
PIN only from.
Q) What is a prepaid card?
A) A prepaid card is exactly what the name implies. You pay a fixed amount up
front which may be for units, minutes or Dollars. Typically the time based
phone cards come in increments of 100, 300, 600, or 1000 minutes. Dollar based
phone cards start at $5 and go up to around $300.
Q) What is a credit based phone card?
A) This is a phone card which is monthly billed. (Normally to your credit
Q) What is a re-chargeable or re-usable phone card?
A) This is exactly what the name implies. It is also user friendly as you only
buy the original card. You can instantly add more calling time using a credit
card. Service providers have toll-free numbers or you can access their web
sites. Certain cards allow you to prepay using wire transfers or cheques -
this obviously has a time implication and users are advised that your recharge
can take up to 15 days to clear and be activated. Many providers now also have
an e-mail payment system like PayPal. You can e-mail your payment for your
Q) What is an instant PIN?
A) Certain providers will provide you with an instant phone card (often by
e-mail) provided you pay for it up front either with cash or with a credit
card. You donít get a piece of plastic. You just get your PIN number. These
cards are normally low value and expire.
Q) What is an International Phone Card?
A) An international phone card is one which can be used from a whole variety
of countries in the world. Each international calling card is different and
will be restricted to use in the countries with which the phone card company
has reciprocity. Be sure to check that your International PhoneCard works from
the country you will be visiting before you go. International calling cards
are also used to bypass a countryís existing carriers and use the carrier of
another country. (often with immense savings).
Phone calling card charges explained.
- Time based charge: The actual time you spend online either in units
purchased or a time increment in seconds. The time increments vary from 1
second to 5 minutes.
- Connection Fee:
A one off charge for initiating a single call. Each and every time you use
the card and your party answers, you will be charged a connection fee which
will be deducted from the available minutes. This amount is deducted from
the card value either in money or in minutes. If a calling card has a very
low per minute rate, the chances are it has either a high connection fee or
a surcharge. It is a logical extension that cards with a connection fee are
hopeless for short duration phone calls whereas they may be highly effective
for long duration calling.
- Initial Connection/Weekly/Monthly Service/Maintenance Fees:
Some cards have an initial set up fee. This could be a one off just to get
you on the road. Some, however, charge a weekly or monthly fee of around
$1.00. This is charged after the first time that the card is used and is
deducted in minutes or dollar from the card. Even if you are not using
your calling card you may be racking up a charge.
- Pay Phone/Cellular Phone Charges
Nearly all phone card calls originating from a Pay Phone are charged a fee
per call. This is required by federal law and the fee typically ranges
from $.35 to $.50 per call. This goes to pay Uncle Sam or the owner of the
payphone. This amount is deducted in minutes from the card. If your
cellular or mobile phone company allows you to call from your mobile
phone, there maybe a charge per call fee. Some Cellphone contracts do not
allow the use of alternate carriers like phonecards or dialaround
There are FCC/State/Local charges taxes based on where the call
originates. (This is the same tax that appears on your phone bill each
month and is calculated on each call.) Normally this is factored into the
rate but it can be deducted separately and will be deducted from the value
of the card.
Lost and stolen phone calling cards.
It is generally good practice to keep a record of all your phone card, calling
card, credit card, bank account, passport, ID, Social Security, tax and
driving licence numbers in one place. We recommend a small notebook which
should be locked away in some secure place or kept in a safety deposit
box,strongroom or safe. Many financial institutions have safety deposit boxes
at a minimal annual rental.
Virtual Calling Cards & Instant PINS.
Instant PINs, virtual calling cards and instant phonecards are an everyday
reality. These are mostly credit card based and are predominantly delivered
over the internet. They are nearly always pre-paid and come mostly in low
denominations. In each case no plastic card is delivered and you will recieve
a set of access numbers and identity or PIN codes. These cards normally are a
one off purchase and expire. You need to buy a new one which will come with
new codes if you wish to use the same calling card vendor again. Typically the
time based phone cards come in increments of 100, 300, 600, or 1000 minutes.
Dollar based phone cards start at $5 and go up to around $300. When you make a
call, the total cost of the call (which is often made up of several
components) is accumulated and the remaining value on the card is reduced by
the cost of the call.
In a slightly different form, this technology has become so sophisticated that
it is now possible to buy a prepaid card which is actually a miniature
disposable cellphone. This card comes preloaded with airtime and when the time
is used up the card is discarded. This form is particularly suited to foreign
travel where you can make use of the local mobile phone system at local rates
for short duration.
Terms and Conditions
AfricanMarket.com makes all commercially reasonable effort to ensure the
high quality of its products and to provide you with the most up-to-date
information regarding phonecard features and rates.
1) We guarantee the phonecards we sell to operate according to industry
standards. If any product sold by AfricanMarket.com should fail within 60 days
of purchase, a replacement or refund will be made.
2) Phonecard billing rates, connection, and maintenance fees are subject to
change without notice.
3) No additional warranties are given or implied, except by written agreement
of AfricanMarket.comís management. AfricanMarket.comís liability will not
exceed the purchase price of its defective products. AfricanMarket.com makes no
warranty of its products with respect to incidental, consequential, or other
4) No refunds will be made where the PIN number has been exposed. (Do not
scratch PINs until sold at the retail level).