DALLAS, TEXAS -- This is the 3rd time this has happened to me. I set up an account with my number and some other numbers for friends and family to receive calls from my son. Another inmate made calls to a number on my account and funds were deducted from my account to pay for those calls (over $15.00). I called and wrote and emailed and was told that since the phone number accepted the call I was responsible. I was told I would have to "block" that facility. I did.
When my son was moved again, I then blocked the facility he was moved from, but AGAIN calls were made by another inmate and AGAIN I was charged ($27.00) and was told that now I had to block the prison from EACH on the numbers on my account, not just my account. I have been using Correctional Billing Services for several years and NEVER was any information given to me regarding safeguarding my account. When I specifically did what they told me to in blocking facilities... then when another incident happens, the rules change.
It is particularly disappointing as I asked each time if my account was protected and was told absolutely; which was not the truth at all and has cost me money I cannot afford and deprives my son from talking with his family and friends. Something needs to be done as the billing service REFUSES to make any adjustment AND the representative wouldn't let me speak to her supervisor at first, then kept me waiting over 30 minutes to talk to the supervisor who said there wasn't anyone above her who could help me and wouldn't give me a name of anyone else to talk to about the problem.
I just had a phone conversation with Correctional Billing Services for an elderly lady I know. She faithfully pays her 2 to 3 hundred dollar CBS charges to Verizon to keep in touch with her family member. CBS says that she has reached her credit limit, however, there is no contract, no account number and no verification anywhere as far as the representative is concerned as to what was paid, when it was paid, and who paid. Oh and according to the representative that wrote the article CBS is only paid one a month in one lump sum. If that is the case then how do they know who deserves what credit limits?
According to the representative CBS owns 85 to 90% of the prison systems phones and/or lines. What representative did not research is What Does Monopoly Mean? A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition, which often results in high prices and inferior products.
With that said if there are any lawyers out there that feel like taking on a career making challenge JUST LET THE PEOPLE KNOW. This is a business issue people and since the press seems to want to tidy up corporate America maybe we the people can give him a helping hand.
By the representative's own admission this company knows they have the ability to make people do what they want because they have control. The system really needs to allow citizens of loved ones who have made bad decisions options. Instead of offering just CBS maybe offer three separate providers. It was done to Ma Bell so why not CBS?
This company has a strangle hold on anyone who has a loved one in jail or prison. They have what seems to be an exclusive government contract and use that to shamelessly extort vast amounts of money from people who are already suffering financial troubles. When 1/2 of the monthly income for a household is gone you can't afford 50 or 75 cents a minute to talk to your husband. Slow response times from the "customer service" in India is another drain at least emotionally. I have yet to speak to a person at this company that could be understood. How can they get away with this?
I just found out my son, who's in Kinross Corr, is unable to call me due to a block put on by CBS. It's not that there's a balance each month because there isn't. CBS has decided that $55 for 90 days is my limit. They can't tell me how they come up with that amount even though I state that I pay the collect call fee and the phone company fee every month without their help.
Forget that they move him further and further away from his family. Now he can't call when he wants to. HOWEVER if I prepay x amount of dollars he can call whenever. This is nothing more than a racket. I will petition and contact whomever to rectify this illegal practice. A lot of inmates have friends and family that care about them even though it seems like the system doesn't.
I don't understand why others are having problems with Correctional Billing Services. I set up account to receive calls from my son. First you have to find out what billing service to use from the jail to set up a phone account with so you know you are going through the right company, and you may or may not get your money back depending on what company you use. You must read their terms and conditions. When my son left Harris County, I had $97.00 left on the account so I called to get a refund from Correctional Billing Services and I received my refund check within 6 weeks. No problem! Harris County did not offer electronic mail to inmates so no problem. I sent him letters.
If you have problems with a phone representative, ask for another or hang up and call again later to get someone else. Some of those foreign people don't know what they are doing. Some companies don't take time to train well so the employees learn as they go, and sometimes you just can't understand with their accent what they are saying.
Be patient and believe things will work out for you. :) There is power in positive thinking. My son is in Montgomery County now so I had to change phone service company to Global Tel Link for that jail, and I don't think they issue refunds so I put the least amount on there. All is cool! :) When he goes to TDC, I will have to find what phone service they use. It's a chore, but I do it for the love of my son.
I have had trouble with this company as well. Thank God that I did not set up an account with this company and did research on them first. I researched the "Rip Off Report" website first, however when I called my son's prison and asked them about the emailing of letters to them they told me that they did have that service and gave me a 1-800 number to call, and lo and behold it was Correctional Billing Services.
The non-American speaking person said he checked and that they did not service that facility. I know for a fact that I used to write email letters to my son's prison through something called secure mail or something to that effect but I have a new computer now and cannot find it.
Anyway why hasn't anyone reported this company to the BBB? If they are being deceitful than they should be punished. No one should have to go through what all of you are going through, you have suffered enough. I am praying for you.
SAN JUAN COUNTY, UTAH -- This billing service is the most incompetent services I have ever dealt with. Because the clientèle they deal with have family or friends in Prisons or Jails they feel like they can treat people like dirt. I pay $15 for 30 minutes to speak with my son. I have paid them over $300 in the last 3 months and they still cut off the phone before the $100 limit is reached. I made a payment in Feb 2009 to them but because they set up two different accounts the posted it to the incorrect account. Then after calling they still did not move the funding to the correct account. It always takes two or more call to get anything done.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- I have had correctional billing. For a while I do receive the dates and time with my Qwest bill however, it is very important that you view these bills and always make sure you get confirmation numbers and names of the person you spoke to at correctional billing. I have caught duplicate charges on my phone bills costing me 5.75 a call for 10 min. I received some of the charges on my previous phone bill but was billed again on the next bill for the same calls. Also I have called and put money on my phone with my credit card and they said it didn't post but when I tell them I have the confirmation number they have to research it. It has been nothing but a hassle.
It is also very hard to get through to correctional billing and when you do, the customer services person does not speak English too well. And a couple of times I have been put on hold for hours at a time and/or hung up on. I would not recommend this services at all. If anyone knows of any other place I could go through please let me know.
This company really has no idea what they are doing and they need to check their systems out and get them fixed. I've been dealing with them trying to tell me I've had a check bounce when I know for a fact that isn't true plus I've been checking my account to see if it popped up and still a week later nothing. Now they're telling me my credit card is declined which is bullcrap too cause I know for a fact I have money on that too. I've spent the last 30 to 40 minutes on the phone with their supervisor and she still don't know what she's doing.
I DO NOT recommend this company to ANYONE!!! I heard there's another one that will allow your friends to call your cell and you can guarantee that I will find out that info because this company sucks and need to get their crap straight!!!
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I worked for CBS, that is till they shut down the Canada office. (They say they were losing money in Canada.) We started with them six years ago as their Main office. We had the training to resolve problems such as blocked line problems and had the best understanding how the system worked. That is, as much as they let us know. The rules changed sometimes weekly as to what we could do. It was very difficult keeping up with changes as they had us jumping through hoops, constantly.
Now that they fired us, maybe some of us will speak out. They turned it all over to Antigua, who tries hard but they do not have the yrs. of training as well they seem to have a language barrier. Now they have an office in TX & they know nothing. We constantly had to fix their mistakes. They are approximately 4 months old. After them comes Mexico! CBS insisted they wanted good customer service, then they turned the whole customer service over to 2/3 untrained people. The poor Lawyers & bail bonds co. whose business depends on their accounts being handled properly, no training for that dept. when we left.
I offer my personal apologies to all those customer who have had the nightmare of dealing with this co. I and many others took the problems seriously and tried to get things corrected through our supervisors. Their hands were tied most of the time also. In closing, I just want to say, good luck & good bye to all my customers who I went the extra mile for. My heart ached for all the families of the inmates & yes some of us did care.