Sellers of Prepaid Calling Cards Fined $30 Million for Deceptive Marketing

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued separate orders imposing $5 million forfeitures against six companies for deceptively marketing prepaid telephone calling cards. As explained in each forfeiture order, the FCC concluded that all six companies – Touch-Tel USA, LLC; Sti Telecom Inc.; Simple Network, Inc.; NobelTel, LLC; Lyca Tel LLC; and Locus Telecommunications, Inc. – sold inexpensive calling cards that claimed to allow consumers to make international phone calls for hundreds or thousands of minutes. However, unless all of a card’s hundreds or thousands of minutes were used in a single call, a consumer could make calls for only a small fraction of the card’s total advertised time. Additionally, the FCC found that while the companies all disclosed terms and fees related to their calling cards, these disclosures were “misleading, confusing, and inadequate.”

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