Business: Telephone
Calling Card Consolidator   (+4, -1)  [vote for, against]
A device for sucking the left-over balances off pre-paid telephone calling cards

A device where you could swipe in a handful of half-used telephone calling cards, and have the balance refunded in cash, or a new card. It would work by automatically contacting the card vendors and transferring the balances.

[UnaBubba: parents for their kids going to camp or college, tourists, people who travel a lot. bristolz: a first, eh? phoenix: we're not trying to hack the card - see explanatory note.]
-- DrCurry, Mar 09 2003

Breakage (accounting term) http://en.wikipedia...eakage_(accounting)
A term from accounting for gift cards that have been sold but not redeemed. Generally, any paid-for-but-unused value. [land, Dec 13 2007]

This is clever +
-- bristolz, Mar 09 2003

...and swipe your debit card to have the balance refunded to your bank account.
-- hippo, Mar 09 2003

I did it on a vacation to the States.
-- FarmerJohn, Mar 09 2003

If you can hack the card, why not just add unpaid-for time?
-- phoenix, Mar 09 2003

[UnaBubba], prepaid cards are used a lot in the western US, as Mexican immmigrants can use them to call to their families down south.

[DrCurry], this is definitely worth my croissant.
-- rudyvalencia, Oct 25 2004

yep, a great idea
P.S. [Unabubba], everyone not using Skype uses them, surely, it costs me 1/2c AU a minute to the UK.
-- neilp, Oct 25 2004

I like this idea, even though I think that the card vendors, once they have your money, are not going to give it up. These guys make at least some of their money on "breakage" (see link).
-- land, Dec 13 2007

random, halfbakery