I posted essentially the same message when replying to the "July Trip Report" posting. Just wanted people to know about this rip-off.
We were in Caye Caulker last week and noticed that several of the regular BTL phones were replaced with blue international phone units. They look very similar to a phone we used in Bahamas several years ago (and were charged ~US$35 for a short phone call). The phone at the C.C. hotel we stayed at also had one of those phones. If the phones are the same, they’re probably owned by NCIC (www.NCIC.com
), a Texas-based telecommunications firm that specializes in operator-assisted international calls and inmate telecom services. You can see their rate structure here: http://www.ncic.com/FLASH/PDF/International.pdf
It’s a legitimized scam, since they have their exorbitant rates for everyone to see. Five minute calls will cost between US$17.50 to $32.50. All international calls have a US$10.00/call surcharge.
We bought a BTL calling card and that’s what we used for all of our international calls from Caye Caulker (just punch in the numbers on the blue international phones like any other phone). It cost us a fraction of what it would have had we used the phone company’s “service.” Please spread the word on this.