Channel Partners

February 1, 2000

4 Min Read
Industry News

Posted: 03/2000

Industry News
PhoneCard Services Assists Comerica Securities

PhoneCard Services Inc. (,
a Miami-based promotional phone card company, has developed a direct-mail campaign for
Comerica Securities, designed to entice attendees at an upcoming trade show to stop by the
financial firm’s booth to activate a prepaid phone card.

Booth visitors will be asked to complete demographic information that will help
Comerica build and update its databases.

"It contains all the key elements of a classic marketing campaign," says Paul
Sorota, president of PhoneCard Services. "It has the promotional sales pitch, an
invitation to come to the Comerica booth and a free gift for stopping by," he says,
adding that it also helps Comerica obtain prospecting information and leaves the prospect
with a Comerica logo in their wallet.

JDS, ITA Push for Full Disclosure of Prepaid
Card Charges

Amid complaints of misleading pricing practices in the prepaid card industry, at least
one company has taken action to eliminate the problem.

J D Services Inc. (JDS, has begun
a two-front campaign for industrywide disclosure of all charges on prepaid cards,
according to Ingrid Ricks, director of sales and marketing.

Ricks, who co-chairs the Standards Committee for the International Telecard Association
(ITA,, says the ITA currently is
trying to "beef up" industry guidelines to ensure prepaid companies include a
clear list of all charges–including connection fees and taxes–on prepaid cards so
consumers know exactly for what they are paying.

"Some companies aren’t disclosing to customers all of the charges [included in the
price of the card]," Ricks says. "Not that most of them are doing it to be
devious–they will put the charges on their posters, but consumers don’t always see the
posters and there have been complaints to [state] attorneys general over this. It is
dirtying the industry . . . and we want to clean it up."

At press time, Ricks says the committee recently had sent out a survey to state
attorneys general, consumer groups and prepaid companies seeking input on guidelines it
has written. It also is working with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC, to educate consumers in what they should expect
from prepaid companies when buying cards–namely, full disclosure of all charges.

On another front, Ricks says independent of the ITA, JDS is doing what it can to set an
example of full disclosure for other companies in the industry.

"We realized we’d say ‘taxes vary’ on cards, and, for starters, we’re going to
make sure our cards are clear [about all charges]," Ricks says.

She adds all JDS prepaid cards are printed with a statement on the front that says,
"For full disclosure, see back of card. Read before purchasing." The back lists
every charge attached to the card, so consumers have a clear idea what they are paying for
rather than having to assume the per-minute rate is all there is to prepaid card charges.

In addition, JDS began on Feb. 1 to mandate that anyone who does business with the
company must follow the full-disclosure rule on their cards, or face consequences.

"We won’t sell PIN numbers or anything [else] if we haven’t read the cards,"
Ricks says. "[We tell them] ‘here are the disclosures you need’ and if we find out [a
company is not following this] we will cease to do business with you."

Ricks adds solving the full-disclosure problem within the prepaid industry will save it
from crippling legislation state attorneys general, who do not have firsthand knowledge of
the prepaid industry, may impose if complaints continue.

American Print Solutions Taps R&C

Phone card manufacturer American Print Solutions, Brooklyn, has entered into a
partnership with telecom marketing firm, R&C Public Relations (R&CPR), Aventura,

R&CPR will represent American as it expands its services into the
telecommunications and smart card industries. American offers a full line of plastic and
paper cards for the telecommunications industry. In-house capabilities include printing,
packaging and fulfillment.

"Thanks to our many recent equipment acquisitions and increased staffing, we have
experienced tremendous growth over the past year," says American’s National Sales
Manager David Silbiger, adding the company’s growth has made it difficult to handle its
marketing and public relations requirements internally.

"R&C’s extensive knowledge of the telecommunications industry will certainly
be beneficial for the future growth and development of American," Silbiger says.

JDS Builds New Headquarters

The fourth-fastest growing company in Utah, telecom service provider JD Services Inc.
(JDS, rang in the new millennium by
moving into its new corporate headquarters.

The 56,000 square-foot building is located at 1890 S. 3850 W. in Salt Lake City.

Previously, the company occupied 22,000 square feet in two separate buildings. It
outgrew that space almost as soon as it moved in, says President Debbie Ricks.
Construction on the new JDS building began in May and was designed to house more than 240
employees as well as expanded production and storage areas. The new production area
includes fully automated technology to create, cut and pack prepaid phone cards.

"Our new building allows us to facilitate our customer service, network operations
and production department in a more efficient and professional manner so that we can
better serve our customers," says CEO Jerry Ricks.

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