How do pre-paid calling cards work and how are they most commonly used?

telephone keupadPre-paid calling cards offer consumers an alternative way of making national and international calls to a variety of destinations.

Calling cards are often purchased by consumers from local retailers, including newsagents, grocers, or over the internet.

Calls are then made from any fixed line or mobile phone by the consumer dialling an access number (020 7, 0800, 0845, 0870 and 0871 access numbers are commonly used) and then by typing in the unique PIN number on the back of the calling card.

Calling cards are generally sold in denominations of £5, £10 and £20, although discounts can often be obtained for the purchase of multiple numbers of cards.

Ofcom opened a monitoring and enforcement programme into the advertisement and sale of international calling cards in January 2011.

This followed research which showed that consumers were often confused about the charges and terms and conditions of international calling cards.

Read more about Ofcom’s international calling card probe