Cruising News: Beware Of Yellow Payphones In The Bahamas
In January, I was cruising in the Abacos Islands and one of my crew had to make several calls to Canada. He used a yellow payphone at one of the marinas. There was no company name on the telephone but it advertised credit card calls to the U.S., Canada and International locations. There were no rates posted and no announcement of costs given either before or after each call. My crew member assumed, to his regret, that the calls would be comparable to similar long-distance calls made within the U.S. He made six 2-minute calls, one 5-minute call and one 10-minute call, all to Canada. The charges for his 27 minutes of calling totalled US$346.53. This works out to $12.83 per minute! I strongly suggest you do not use yellow payphones in the Bahamas unless you first get the cost of a call from the operator. If you can’t get a cost, don’t call.
There is a good alternative to yellow payphones. BATELCO, the Bahama Telephone
Company, sells prepaid long-distance calling cards called HELLO cards. These are available at most marinas and many stores. Their cost for calls to the U.S. is $0.47 per minute and there are no additional connect charges. The cost for calls to Canada is $0.50 per minute. You can call from any BATELCO payphone and you can dial the toll-free access number from any other regular telephone.