Prepaid Cards? Caller Beware

You painted a very rosy picture in lauding the service of European telephone companies in issuing prepaid phone cards ("Cell phones for all," European Business, July 12).

But how about getting the true story by speaking to some consumers of these prepaid cards? Then you will come to know what con men all these telephone companies are.

In Spain, we have Telefonica and Airtel, both of which are laughing all the way to the banks.

That's because these companies don't have to justify the charges they make to the consumer: There is no end-of-the-month invoice detailing calls made. When you're busy making phone calls, before you know it, you are shocked by the telephone informing you that your card has no more credit remaining on it. This has been confirmed by all my friends who bought this scam and have now converted back to the monthly contract.

R.K. Nawalrai

Las Palmas

Canary Islands