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A warning about credit card pay phones at airports

17 posts in this topic

Posted

i may have done something wrong here. anyway, recently changing planes at heathrow, i called the u.s. from a payphone. i didn't have any british money, and i didn't go looking around to buy a phone card either. i just stuck my credit card into the slot and called. two separate calls of about 1 minute each, and one wrong connection, or maybe i dialed the wrong number. the damages came out to about 35€. even the airphone on the trans atlantic flight only charges something like 12 usd per minute. the german payphone in hamburg charged about 1€ per minute, but i did have coins for that one. anyway i didn't see how much i was being charged, and only found out about it now. i tried some toll free access number that was advertised on top of the phone, but i didn't want to say my credit card number out loud in a busy area. paying 1,4 euro cents per minute for normal calls from germany to the u.s. (what i normally do) seems pretty cheap. paying something like 10€ per minute seems crazy. i'll never make that mistake again.

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Posted

Welcome to rip-off Britain - sorry you had to find out the hard way.

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Posted

Actually it really does not seem right. First they probably charged you on a 3 minute basis rather than second by second, or minute by minute, but even so Euro 35 for 9 minutes is Euro 4 per minute which really isn't right.

If you can't contact the company who charged you for the phone calls, contact your credit card company, say you were overcharged and see what they say. There's also probably a consumer protection group in the UK who would have an interest in this kind of rip-off.

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Posted

Write to any one of the consumer watchdog programs, or even the daytime TV morning programs. They love shit like that.

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Posted

i . i tried some toll free access number that was advertised on top of the phone, but i didn't want to say my credit card number out loud in a busy area.

I think this was your problem. Who the hell is standing around with a pen and paper taking down credit card details? What use would it have been to them? Its a busy area, as you say. Chances are that they wouldn't hear all the numbers. I grant you that a memory man might chance to go by at exactly the time you give your card details to a complete stranger at the other end of the line. Every time you use the card you give it to a complete stranger with all the details stamped on it. What is the difference? I bet all the call charges are posted on the phone. Should have read them.

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Posted

According to the BT website, calls to America from a BT payphone should cost 40p plus 10 pence per three seconds. I'll let you do the maths to see whether you were overcharged or not.

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Posted

I once used a British credit card to make a local call from a payphone in Paris. When I could check the charges, I saw they were outrageous (don't remember exactly how much) so I sent a complain to France Telecom using their website. Not having ever received an answer to this, some days later most of the money was refunded into the account. The price finally paid seemed reasonable but the whole situation left me quite amazed.

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Posted

So just to give out some advice, or at least my experiences. I recently travelled via Brussels and London. I had to make phone calls from the terminal and used the credit card phones. The phone conversations were short, maybe not more than 10min. I just got my CC statement and saw that I was charged with ridiculously high rates. One call from Brussels - to Germany I might add, was charged at about 45€!! :( A shorter call from London - same story and just as expensive (around 25€). I´m tempted to track these people down, it´s highway robbery!

 

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Posted

Eh? I've had to use these phones a couple of times and although over the odds I never had to pay such huge sums, just say 4 Euros or something.

Read the sign with the prices. Keep the call short but bear in mind there may be a higher starting charge for the first X minutes.

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Posted

I, recently called from Switzerland(swisscom) using my credit card from the "Top Of Europe" (Jungfrau). I could see the price for the length of the call and it all sounded reasonable. Your's looks something fishy.

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Posted

Lupo, what does it say on your credit card statement – who did the money go to? Was it BT?

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Posted

There's a firm in Munich calling themselves BT. On two occasions they've billed my German telekom account for large amounts of which I had no knowledge. A complaint to Telekom has sorted it and refunded my money. But watch these guys Huh! I don't know who they are.

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Posted

STB, it doesn´t say anything other than "call from blgium" then a card validation number in GB. I will investigate.

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Posted

my parents had a similar experience...they were on their way from the US to Munich and missed a connection in Amsterdam so they called me to let me know and it ended up costing $40 for a 2 minute conversation.

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Posted

I just got "scammed" as well. I arrived in Houston from Frankurt and found out that my connecting flight to Austin was delayed by 2 hours. Since I didn't have any american money on me, I used my commerzbank credit card to make 3 phone calls to my sister's mobile, her husband's mobile and the home line to inform them of the delay, thinking it's going to cost me $1/call each.

 

Three days later I logged into my commerbank account online and saw that each call costed me EUR 9.75.

 

So these calls (which lasted less than 30 seconds each, because I just left a short message on their voice mails) have costed me EUR 28.30. :angry:

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Posted

A tip if your flight is delayed or you miss a connecting flight due to your plane arriving late. Find a counter for the airline you are flying and see if they have calling cards.

 

A couple months ago I flew from Munich to Houston via Toronto on Air Canada. The flight was late leaving Munich (we actually boarded over an hour late and then had to sit on the plane at the gate for another 2 hours). Anyway, missed my connection in Toronto and while I was at the Air Canada counter arranging another flight, I asked the woman where I could find a phone to call to let my family know the new flight number and arrival time. She gave me an Air Canada calling card. I'll fly Air Canada again.

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