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FTC Fines and Sanctions Millennium Telecard
Posted by [realname-link] on 01 Feb 2012
The FTC has reached a settlement against Millennium Telecard and related entities for false marketing claims. Under the settlement terms Millennium must pay a fine of $2.32M and correct its deceptive marketing practices.
As we reported last year, Millennium sells calling cards thru a number of websites (some of which now appear to be offline), in many retail and convenience stores, and in their own retail outlets located in New Jersey. Millenium sells many of its calling cards to immigrants.
In addition to Millennium Telecard, the company owner and a number of related companies, including Coleccion Latina and Telecard Center USA, were also cited. The case was filed in the US District Court in New Jersey.
The FTC complaint was based on a careful analysis of Millenium phone cards which showed that Millennium was not delivering upon it's advertising claims. In particular, they found that customers were getting badly shortchanged on minutes receiving only about 45% of the minutes promised.
The FTC writes:
In extensive testing of the defendants’ cards conducted by the FTC between August 2010 and March 2011, the cards delivered an average of only 45% of the advertised minutes. Of the 141 cards tested, 139 – more than 98% – failed to deliver the number of minutes advertised on the point-of-sale posters.
The FTC also found that the company charges numerous hidden fees, such as 'hang up fees' and weekly fees, which are not clearly or prominently explained. Such fees could, in some cases, wipe out the value of the card in a single call.
Obviously, we advise our visitors to avoid Millenium calling cards.
Incidents like this are why we recommend that people buy 'clean' calling cards from reputable vendors such as Pingo, Nobelcom, Enjoy Prepaid and other firms. 'Clean' calling cards are cards with few extra fees that are well documented.
These calling cards get our 'Best Buy' rating.
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