Mother’s Day week is probably tied with Christmas and New Year’s as one of the heaviest call periods in terms of volume. We also know that pre-paid calling cards are the ‘lifeline’ to those of us who still have close ties to our home cities and villages across Latin America and the world. But did you know that there is wide-spread fraud being perpetrated against consumers of these cards, especially Spanish-speakers and other language minorities?
This morning, we’re following our friends from Consumer Reports as they hold a press conference about the results of a detailed investigation into prepaid phone cards used in New York State for international calling.
Our very own Ruby Wright (@RubyDW), Director of our LATISM Philly Chapter, is live-tweeting from the Consumer Reports breakfast reception and press conference in New York City until 11:30am ET… Join us as we follow the conversation on Twitter using #LATISM!
Then TONIGHT at 9pm EST, we’ll host a special Twitter Chat on this very topic.
Consumer Reports just unveiled their most detailed study yet of prepaid phone cards used for international calling. They sent out secret shoppers who bought over 130 cards in more than two dozen shops throughout New York state, at stores ranging from bodegas to gas stations to national chains. New York State, which has a large immigrant population, is one of the areas where phone cards are most popular. They found that about three-quarters of the phone cards they bought didn’t disclose calling rates, which is certainly not surprising for an industry that is largely unregulated.
We have invited Elena Chavez from Consumer Reports (@CREnespanol), Jorge Montalvo (@jorgeimontalvo), Special Assistant to the New York Secretary of State and Deyanira del Rio, Associate Director for the New York’s Community Economic Justice Resource Center, NEDAP (@NEDAPNYC) to be our guests tonight to discuss this problem that so disproportinally affects our community.
- What’s the primary reason for the popularity of prepaid calling cards among Latinos?
- Does the way these cards are marketed influence purchases?
- Why do you think Latinos are preyed upon by scammers?
- How can consumers protect themselves from this kind of fraud?
- DATE: MAY 8th, 2012
- TIME: 9-11 PM EST
- HOSTESS: @ergeekgoddess
- GUESTS: @Crenespanol @jorgeimontalvo @NEDAPNYC
- TO JOIN: Visit http://www.tweetchat.com/room/latism