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A Thing Calling Cards

Calling Card Sales Opportunity has Problem


In issue 97:07:02 we gave you some hints about how to choose which prepaid phone card company to represent. A new lawsuit filed by Blackstone Calling Card, Inc., shows there are some people who could have benefited from that information.

Blackstone, which makes and distributes prepaid calling cards, is suing Frontier Corporation, a $3 billion telecommunications company. According to a Blackstone press release, the suit charges fraud, racketeering, and negligence on the part of Frontier who allegedly canceled access to PINs Blackstone had already purchased.

Blackstone purchased the services and PIN numbers for more than 100,000 prepaid cards from a Frontier subsidiary. Blackstone then manufactured and sold the cards through 2800 distributors and retailers. But, just prior to Father's Day (the third busiest long distance calling day of the year), Frontier terminated the network services, which left Blackstone consumers with100,000 useless cards-and Blackstone with a lot of explaining to do.

Blackstone alleges that Frontier set up the subsidiary to avoid taxes and when they realized they would be discovered, services were canceled. The suit also says that Frontier intentionally rerouted calls to "Hard Body Escort Services" to further damage Blackstone's reputation.

Luis Arisa, president of Blackstone Calling Card Inc., said, "This is a classic David and Goliath story in a deregulated, complex industry that affects small business and the general consumer." We couldn't have said it better ourselves, except to include ISOs in the equation.



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