ZapTel - Frequently asked questions - FAQs - about selecting and using phone cards
Customer Support
Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs (frequently asked questions) cover a wide variety of topics. If you do not find the information you are looking for here, please Contact Us with your questions. See also, Phone Call Tips For International Students, and For First Time Phone Card Buyers.
My Order My Phone Card My ZapTel Account Payment Options and Issues Problems and Issues ZapTel Website About Phone Cards About ZapTel

My Order

After I place my order online, how long does it take for me to get my card?

If this is your first order with ZapTel, a representative will review your order and may optionally contact you within 30 minutes after you submit your order to verify your information. These calls are placed during the business hours of 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday, central time U.S. ZapTel then processes your order and releases your order to your online account and also sends an email with your PIN and dialing instructions. Future orders process instantly on your computer screen (you must use the same email address and password that you registered with). You may also receive a follow up phone call for confirmation if your billing information changes.

How can I get a copy of a receipt for my purchase?

On your account page, click on the Order History option in the blue menu bar. Your entire order history is available on this page, including recharge transactions. Click on the row to display a detailed receipt.

What is your refund policy?

Because our product is virtual and is instantly delivered in the form of a PIN that has immediate monetary value, we must be cautious when providing refunds. Our product cannot be re-sold, thus, you should be very careful in selecting the phone card you want. At ZapTel's discretion, we provide refunds or replacement cards if you have a problem with the card that the phone card carrier cannot resolve.

My Phone Card

How do I know how much time is left on my card?

Many card services have a recording that tells you the amount of money left on your card after you enter your PIN. Others give you the number of minutes you can speak after you dial the number you are calling. Some cards give both. When there is one minute of talk time remaining, you will hear a tone or a recorded voice warning you that time is almost up and you should prepare to end your call. Your ZapTel account history page will display the balance remaining on any of your active, rechargeable cards.

When a card (PIN) is all used up, what do I do with it?

If the card has the recharge option, you may add time to the card and continue to use it again and again. If the card does not have the recharge option, the card is no longer useful and you must purchase another card (PIN).

If I have technical issues regarding the use of my phone card, who do I call?

Call the Technical Support number provided with your PIN. The phone card carrier is equipped to handle technical issues and to apply credit back to a phone card if necessary. The (toll free) Technical Support number is stated on the phone card email that ZapTel delivers to you at the time of purchase. You can also find it on your account dashboard under your PIN. For carrier technical support customer service numbers, click here. If the carrier does not help you to your satisfaction, ZapTel will be happy to assist you. Click here if you need to contact us with a technical issue.

My ZapTel Account

Will my name and email address be sold to anyone if I register with ZapTel?

Absolutely not. We do not sell, rent, or loan any identifiable information regarding our customers to any third party. Any information you give us is held in strict confidence and security. We will not use it in any way without your consent. In the event that ZapTel is a party to a business transaction requiring a transfer of your data as a result of a merger or sale, you will be notified in advance and will have the option of closing your account.

What happens if I forget my password?

ZapTel will email your password to your registered email address. Click on the link forgot your password, below the login boxes, and enter your email address. If you need to change your email address, you must call our Customer Service number 1-877-532-2737 or e-mail to update your account.

What happens if I lost my PIN and/or Access Number?

Locate the Member Log In area (upper right of our web page). Type in the username (your email address) and password. Click login. This shows your secure private account page with your entire past phone card purchases. To see the dialing instructions or any other information for a card, click on the card name.

Payment Options and Issues

Will you accept foreign billed credit cards as a payment?

Yes. However, as with all first time purchases, someone on our staff must verify the sale before we can deliver your first phone card PIN. This means that you must be available at a U.S. telephone number if you are purchasing a card that can only be used from the U.S.

Do you accept debit cards for payment?

Yes. However we can process only debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo.

I don't have a credit card. How do I order a phone card using a money order, cashier's check or personal check?

Create your online account, including your address information. Figure out the cost of your order. Then mail a money order, cashier's check, or personal check for the total amount payable to ZapTel Corporation, a description of your purchase, plus your username on your account, to: ZapTel Corporation, Orders by Mail, 836 S Arlington Heights Road # L, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Once your form of payment clears the bank, we will issue your order to your account within 1 business day. PayPal is a great option if you do not have a credit card account but do have a checking account. Open a PayPal account based on your checking account and then you can receive your orders instantly from the ZapTel store, rather than waiting for the mail to deliver a paper check to ZapTel.

Why was my credit card declined/rejected?

ZapTel uses an industry-leading on-line processing system for all credit card transactions. This system reviews the submitted address. The credit card will be rejected if the billing address you provided on ZapTel for your credit card did not match the address that your bank has on file. Please check the address you provided to ZapTel and make sure it matches exactly the address your credit card company uses to send your statements. Also, when using a debit card, you must be certain to have the funds available in the bank account related to the debit card. Sometimes, you may have made a recent bank deposit, but it takes up to 72 hours to post as available, so you may be declined for insufficient funds even if you are certain you have the money in the account.

How can I pay for my ZapTel purchase?

ZapTel accepts VISA and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Discover, American Express and PayPal. You can pay by wire transfer or mail a check.

Problems and Issues

When should I contact ZapTel customer service?
  • To purchase a phone card or to request a recharge if you do not have Internet access
  • If you experience problems using the ZapTel website
  • If you did not receive the phone card products by email that you expected
  • If you have questions regarding our phone card products
  • You have had no luck with the carrier technical support and are still experiencing problems - Click Here to submit a trouble form.
When should I contact my phone card carrier technical support?
  • For any technical issues (dead air, fast busy, audio, etc.)
  • For rate calculations
  • For lost minutes/$

When you do contact the carrier, be prepared to provide the PIN, the number you were calling FROM when you had trouble, the number you were calling TO, the approximate time of the call, and details as to the trouble you were experiencing. Also, note that most carriers will not issue credits for problems that occurred more than 48 hours prior and/or if the problem call lasted more than 3 minutes. For carrier technical support numbers, click here.

ZapTel Website

How do I buy a phone card from ZapTel?

Just follow the 3 Easy Steps outlined on our home page:
  1. Search for the card that's right for you. (Use our search engine to find the best rates.)
  2. Select and Purchase your card. (You can pay with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal or with a bank debit card that has a Visa or MasterCard logo.)
  3. ZapTel instantly delivers your virtual phone card to your screen. You may print the card. In addition, we email the PIN and dialing instructions to you within minutes of your purchase. (First time orders may require a new account review before delivery).
How can I learn more about a particular phone card?

To learn more about any phone card product we offer, click on the linked phone card name or image. This leads to specifications for that particular phone card. It will show, for example, billing increments, expiration date, any maintenance fees, technical support toll free number, and more.

Is it safe for me to order online?

Yes. We take security issues very seriously, and have taken every precaution to ensure that purchasing online with ZapTel is completely safe. All transactions on our site are protected by digital encryption and are conducted on a secured socket layer. We protect all of your account data in the same way. As an added security measure, we use a third party verified online security system from Thawte. 
To protect your personal information, we use Security Metrics to test the security of our online systems from malicious users.

Does ZapTel use cookies? What is a cookie?

ZapTel uses a feature of your Internet web browser called a "cookie" to assign a unique identification to your computer. Cookies are files that your web browser places on your computer's hard drive. Cookies are needed for the ZapTel shopping cart system to work properly. We use cookies to tell whether you have visited our website previously so we may provide you with a customized greeting when you return to our site, and to help us determine whether you came to our site from a particular Internet link or banner advertisement. We do not and cannot use cookies to retrieve personal information about you from your computer other than information you knowingly and willingly provided.

About Phone Cards

Why are phone cards so popular with students, travelers, and international callers?
  • Works from any phone - Phone cards work from any phone, any time, to any place, at very good rates.
  • Save Money - Phone cards offer rates up to 80% lower than traditional services.
  • No Need for Credit History - Many calling plans require a credit history to sign up for service. Phone cards don't require credit and can be used by anyone.
  • No Surprises - You always know what you are paying per minute for a call. No surprise bills!
  • Planning and Budgeting - Control your costs. Prepaid phone cards allow you to set limits on your spending, as you are only able to use what you have already paid for.
What things should I consider before buying a phone card?
  • Budget - How much do you want to spend each month? Do you want to limit your spending? Prepaid phone cards are good for budgeting, because they limit your spending to the amount you've already paid.
  • Convenience - Are you willing to take a few extra steps to save money? Prepaid phone cards require that you enter an access number and PIN prior to calling, but save big money. Also, you can use phone cards from anywhere, including cellular phones.
  • Quality - Are you willing to compromise slightly on call quality to save money? Prepaid phone cards sometimes have inconsistent quality standards. Internet calling can also be a poor quality connection.
Can I use a phone card from anywhere?

You can use our cards to call any country in the world from any touch-tone phone in the (Continental) U.S. We also have cards you can use to call from nearly one hundred foreign countries back to the U.S. - at rates typically much less than direct-dialed calls from the originating country. You can use phone cards from home phones, cellular phones, pay phones, and hotel phones.

What are surcharges and service fees?

A surcharge is a percentage of the total value of your phone call and will also be deducted from the balance of your phone card. For example, a 10% surcharge means a 10 cent per minute rate will have a 1 cent surcharge added per minute, for a total of 11 cents per minute. A service fee is an amount of money the carrier of the card will deduct from the balance of your phone card in a specified time period. For example, a 50 cent weekly service fee means that once per week 50 cents is automatically deducted from your card balance after you make your first call with the card. Both surcharges and service fees will reduce the balance on your phone card.

What is a Connect Fee?

A connect fee is a charge that many card providers assess upon initial connection of every call. Connect fees enable the service providers to lower their cost per minute rate. Talk for more than 15 minutes on a card with a connect fee, and you will get the better end of the deal.

Should I buy a card with a Connect Fee or No Connect Fee?

The easiest way to evaluate whether a phone card with a connection fee is worthwhile is to estimate the average time for your phone calls. A Connect Fee phone card is best when you know your party is there and you intend to make lengthy calls, at least 15 minutes or longer. The card typically has a lower rate per minute but a connect fee for every call which is charged when the telephone call is connected. It's best to use a phone card without a connection fee if you plan to make short calls and if you are not sure the person you are calling is there, and the phone call may trigger an answer machine. No Connect Fee phone cards typically have a somewhat higher rate per minute but no connection fees. Extreme Talk Time International and Phone Bank are currently are connect fee cards.

What does it mean when a phone card expires after its "last" use?

Some phone cards have a hard expiration date of a number of days from the first time you use it. Other cards have an expiration date that is after the card's �last� use, which is a good feature to have. Instead of the date being fixed to the first time the card is used, the expiration date is fixed to a period of time after the last time you use the card. As long as you use the card at least once in the card's specified time period, the expiration keeps getting reset and it will remain active.

Why are cellular rates so much higher?

Calling overseas TO a cellular phone is more expensive because in all countries (other than the US), the calling party pays for the cellular service being used. In addition, the rates the cellular carriers charge long distance companies can change daily. If cellular rates are not listed for a product, you are best advised to purchase a card that DOES have cellular rates listed, as there is no guarantee that the rate will be acceptable to your budget. You can see significant savings If you can avoid calling cellular phones.

About ZapTel

Why should I order from ZapTel?

Today, you can find hundreds or thousands of phone card offerings in local stores as well as on the Internet. ZapTel has been in business since 1996. ZapTel was the first virtual phone card store online with our website launch in 1999. Although there are many copycats out there, ZapTel remains the leading provider of QUALITY products with an ongoing commitment to customer service. We have served hundreds of thousands of international students, business people, and residential users worldwide. Our customers return nearly every week to replenish their PIN or purchase another phone card. This ongoing loyalty says a great deal about the quality of our products and the satisfaction with our service. Read the Testimonials.

How can I benefit from offering ZapTel's services?

If you can send the ZapTel website traffic that is looking for quality phone cards, we have a system that will pay you a commission for sending customers our way. Sign up for our ZapTel affiliate program. With this program, you are compensated for putting a variety of links on your own websites that send traffic to ZapTel that convert to sales. For more information on this opportunity, click here.

Still have questions?

A Customer Service Representative will be glad to assist you. Please Contact Us. We will answer your questions promptly.

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