The Regulatory Commission of Alaska advises consumers that the terms and rates associated with STi Prepaid LLC (STi) calling cards that are sold in retail stores are not necessarily as represented at the point of sale. 

Last month, the RCA's Consumer Protection Section received 14 complaints regarding a substantial rate increase which STi has recently imposed on cards which contained representations at the point of sale of a much lower per-minute rate.

The RCA recognizes that prepaid calling cards provide Alaskan consumers with a convenient and inexpensive way to make intrastate long distance calls. Unfortunately, however, purchasers of STi cards are apparently not receiving the number of minutes advertised on the card they purchased and are being charged undisclosed or inadequately-disclosed rates that have materially reduced the value of the prepaid cards they purchased.

Section 3 AAC 52.377 of the RCA’s regulations requires that detailed information regarding the rate, term and condition of calling card service must be disclosed at the point of sale.    However, STi may have technically complied with that regulation by indicating on its card that “all rates are subject to change.”  Nevertheless, STi’s practices may be contrary to the public interest and warrant further investigation for compliance with laws outside the scope of the RCA’s jurisdiction. 

If you recently purchased an STi prepaid card and wish to file a complaint against STi, please contact the AG’s Consumer Protection Unit at (907) 269-5200 or toll-free at 1-888-576-2526 (outside Anchorage), or visit the AG's website.

Date Issued: 12/4/2009