Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Omega Phone Card TV Commercial

It's Been a While Since I last posted so I thought I would start out the New Year right with a new Phone Card Commercial!

Enjoy & Happy New Year!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Boost Adds Unlimited Calling To Mexico, DR, Brazil, Colombia & More for $15 & Month


Look out calling cards, Boost has put a shot across the bow by offering a $15 Month unlimited plan for all Boost monthly unlimited plan subscribers to call 40+ countries including:
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Mexico (including calls to mobile phones)
  • Peru
  • Spain
  • Venezuela
  • & Much More!
The plan was announced earlier in the week by the MVNO and at present is good until at least the June 6th and may (or may not) increase after that date but details are still pending. However, they did state that anyone  that anyone who signs up for this plan between now and June sixth will be grandfathered into the deal. The plan also includes unlimited text messaging both domestic & international, another feature that not many of it's competitors currently offer. It also features free push to talk calling between the US & Mexico as well as US & Peru, US & Chile, US & Brazil and US & Argentina.

The $15 plan also comes with reduced international long distance rates to over 200 other countries worldwide!

For more information you can visit boostmobile.com

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Next Angel LLC Aquires Majority of Vivaro Corporation's Assets

In the latest news on the Vivaro Corporation Bankruptcy, a joint venture lead by Angel Telecom, Next Communications Inc. and Marcatel Telecommunications, LLC announced last month that they have acquired all of the assets of Vivaro Corporation and most all sub company assests. The joint venture company is to be called Next Angel LLC, with Angel Telecom having the largest stake at 42.5% overall.

Vivaro and six of it's sub companies including STi Prepaid, STi Telecom, Kare Distribution filed for Bankruptcy protection back in September of 2012 after running into some significant cash flow issues due to various missteps by the company in recent years. The companies main business revolved around selling prepaid calling cards to the Spanish speaking customers in the US and was once a very dominant player in the prepaid phone card industry.

Angel Telcom AG was founded in 2004 and is located in Switzerland. Their website which now shows as under construction includes a brief blurb about it's new aquisition and it's stargey going forward:

"as you already might have heard this year started out to be very exciting for Angel-Telecom. Significant network expansion and the successful acquisition of 42.5% of the assets of Vivaro Corp. in the US made us decide to give our website the long needed work over. We will soon be back with our relaunch1"
It's clear based on some comments posted in another article by Peter Waneck, Angel Telecom's CEO, that they truly believe in a solid future for prepaid calling cards, but also acknowledge that only through strong management and  forward looking behavior will they achieve success. Seems a little vague to put much belief in it, especially to those of in this business for years. Time will tell I guess but I wish them all luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saturday, February 09, 2013

A List of Some of Vivaro Corporation Creditors

I recently came across a list of some of Vivaro Corporation's outstanding creditors and the payment amount claimed to be owed. Here is a list of a few of the companies who have filed a claim with the courts to date:

  • AFFILIATES OF VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC - $2,177,991.65
  • BESTEL(USA) INC. - $275,508.62
  • BLUE WOLF GROUP LLC - $107,840.00
  • CALLTRADE CARRIER SVCS - $166,935.00
  • CITY OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE - $410,259.00
  • COMNET (USA) LLC - $406,588.30
  • D EXPOSITO & PARTNERS - $800,684.72
  • DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY - IRS - $195,794.95
  • DIAMOND PHONE CARD - $15,000,000.00
  • DIGICEL JAMAICA - $488,051.33
  • EASTERN POINT COMMUNICATIONS LLC - $279,112.18
  • EMPRESA NACIONAL DE TELECOMUNICACIONES SA - $840,553.90
  • GENBAND US LLC - $122,079.00
  • GEOTEL INTERNATIONAL LLC - $83,367.78
  • GLOBAL INTERLINK LTD - $352,550.54
  • IBASIS GLOBAL INC - $138,658.16
  • ISEND LLC - $215,351.96
  • JAZZ TELECOM S A U - $763,207.98
  • LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS LLC - About 2.5 million in total claims
  • MARCATEL COM SA DE DV - 12,306,097.00
  • RAZA COMMUNICATION INC - $3,393,167.96
  • SPRINT - $17,376,272.48
  • & many more...
A complete list is available here (you can search one by one or you also have the option to perform a search to get a complete list).

Please note this is only a partial list and only includes only companies who have field a claim with the courts. Other big companies on this list include many different local and state agencies throughout the country, Federal governement offices, real estate companies, banks, shipping service companies (UPS has a claim in for over 100k alone) and media agencies.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

WOW Prepaid Calling Card Commercial

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Phone Card Industry Year in Review


Well we are just about ready to say farewell to another year and for the phone card business, it wasn't the most exciting of years in recent history. Unfortunately just like the year before, the top stories continued to be focused around the FTC crack down on deceptive practices in the industry and bankruptcies.

Some of the top phone card related stories of 2012 included:
  • The once powerful STI going into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection (Vivaro is the parent company)
  • Skype pushing into the hard card space (available at 7-11, Best Buy and Radio Shack)
  • FTC fining DR Phone Card for deceptive marketing practices (case still ongoing)
  • IDT expanding it's Point of Sale activation products into Rite Aid stores
  • Millenium Telecard paying a 2.3 million dollar settlement to FTC for alleged deceptive marketing practices
  • Consumer Reports publishing scathing review on phone cards finding that most cards tested delivered far lower than the advertised minutes. This report led a month long media flurry around the subject, painting a terrible picture for an industry which cannot afford more negative press!

While all of the above are definitely not positive news items that is not to imply that there were not at least a few positive things this past year. For starters in 2012 there was a huge expansion and mass acceptance of the "virtual" type cards also known as Pinless products. The most popular of which seems to be the IDT Boss Revolution offer followed hot on their heels by VoxCall a SpeedyPin product. Another positive in 2012 was the huge growth seen with the International Mobile Top Up products (IMTU). The margins are a ot lower than traditional calling cards but the consumer demand is there and it has helped many distributors replace some of their lost calling card business.

To all of my readers and those in the business have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Here is to better things in 2013!


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Updates on Vivaro Corp. Bankruptcy

It has been about three months now since the powerhouse phone card company Vivaro Corporation and it's child companies STI Prepaid LLC, Epana and Kare Distribution entered into chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (filed Sept 5th 2012). The company continues to operate but it is not clear as to how long they can continue to operate in this environment as some of their distributors begin to withhold payments (more about this later). Unfortunately since the initial filing news has been limited and the company representatives mostly tight lipped so I thought I would put out a post with all of the updates I could provide.

  • In early September, Vivaro applied for and was granted by the courts the ability to continue to honor it's cards already in the channel.
  • In mid September, Vivaro made it known that it was open to a buyout.
  • In late September, Gustavo M. De la Garza the President of Vivaro Corporation, steps down from his position as chairman of The American PrePaid Phonecall Association (APPPA) and is replaced by Pete Pattullo, CEO of Network IP.
  • According to an article in the Prepaid Press from October, Red Cherry/Sigma Prepaid took over distribution for Vivaro's NY/NJ cards and in contrast to what you would expect with a company in bankruptcy, Vivaro is giving more minutes than advertised in some cases. Most likely to help continue the consumer and distributor trust in their products.
  • Numerous lawsuits filed from the companies owed monies are in process against Vivaro.
There are clearly a lot of rumors floating around in the phone card world but I won't dive into those and will stick with the known facts right now. I will post more information as it becomes publicly available!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Look Out World! Vonage Launches Digital Prepaid Calling Card!

Vonage put out a press release today announcing the launch of it's new stand alone, Digital prepaid calling card offering. A first for Vonage! They have long had a calling card feature bundled with their home phone service but they never offered a stand alone calling card until now.

The card is available exclusively online and is can be purchsed in $5, $15 or $25 amounts. The $15 purchase amount comes with a limited time intro promotional $5 bonus and the $25 purchase amount comes with a limited time inro promotional $10 bonus. The product seems to have very aggressive, yet not rock bottom, A to Z rates on par with it's main competitors like Pingo and PennyTalk. Some sample rates for the card are as follows:

  • India $0.017/min
  • Mexico $0.033/min
  • UK $0.01/min
  • Philippines $0.109/min
  • Pakistan $0.111/min

Vonage Digital Calling Card Promo
New Vonage Digital Calling Card

There are no connection fees, no monthly fees and is fully rechargeable! However, the card is not completely fee free, charging a $2 inactivity fee per month after 6 months of no use.

The card also offers pinless dialing from up one registered phone, speed dial settings and a convenient auto recharge option.

For more information about this card, visit the Vonage website at  http://lp.vonage.com/callingcard