The concept of paying for a good or service before you actually get to use it probably caught on when the business world wanted an alternative revenue stream. As compared to the conventional method of collecting payment after delivery, pre-payment is ideal in ensuring collection beforehand. As the saying goes, bird in hand is worth two in the bush. How do prepaid phone cards work to the benefit of telecommunication carriers is a simple principle of revenue assurance. Since business and leisure travelers are on the rise, there is an obvious need to keep these users connected. Although most are mobile phone users, these cards are great options to reduce roaming charges or complement those without roaming access. Some may choose to keep certain dialed numbers off the record. As such, these cards are the logical solution to fulfill this need.
Generally prepaid phone cards come in varying denominations with specified periods of expiry upon activation. Some cards come with a bonus amount such as a percentage on top of the total prepaid amount. Each card's prepaid amount is duly deducted based on a call's duration, source and destination, as well as number type. These are the known factors under the caller's control. Unknown factors which also dock the balance can be more subtle in nature but terrifying in reality. It is also recommended to purchase phone cards from reputed carriers or distributors to avoid fly-by-night establishments which give poor service and quality, or worse.
How do prepaid phone cards work is normally explained upon purchase. Since these cards come as physical or instant cards, instructions on how to use them are provided at the back of card or via email. Instant cards purchased over the phone may require some prior experience in case instructions are not forthcoming. Each card comes with an access number to which the caller dials to access the service. This can be done from a phone booth, fixed or mobile line. Upon connection, the caller is prompted to enter a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to verify an active card and keep track of its balance. This PIN is normally printed at back of card or in the email. The card's balance may be announced prior to or after the call is made. Dial the destination number as you would on a regular phone, complete with international dialing code for a foreign number. Some announce the amount of time available to service this call. Upon call completion, proceed to dial the next number by punching in a specific follow-on code. Otherwise, hang up to terminate all calls.
As calls are made, the card's balance is reduced until fully drained. If its expiry period is attained beforehand, the balance is automatically nullified. Some allow balances to be topped up, allowing the caller to maintain the card's number and reduce roaming charges whilst traveling in that card's country of issue. Top-up is normally permitted so long as it's performed prior to the card's expiry period.
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