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Correctional Billing Services - Page 3

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Insufficient Customer Information and Unfair Refund Policy
Posted by on
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 safegarding 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.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-11-16:
Tell your son to stop sharing "his" phone privilages to that account.
Sweettalker on 2009-11-17:
He isn't sharing...anyone from that facility that knows someone who is on his calling list and dials that number automatically gets through unless the facility is blocked which is what I tried to do.
PepperElf on 2009-11-17:
You're saying that inmates can just pick up a phone, dial a number and the bill goes to you

without them ever knowing your account information?


Better yet... how did those other numbers end up on his "calling list" unless he put them there?
Sounds like he has the ability to add in other people's numbers (like maybe a cell-mate's home phone number) to allow his buddy to call for free.

well free for the buddy and the buddy's family... not so free for you.



I personally suggest, if this continues to happen, it might be better to cut the account off and use letters.

that way, if your son is sharing the account, you won't be screwed over for it.
no he probably won't like it but... you shouldn't have to pay for his "generosity" either
Sweettalker on 2009-11-18:
What I am saying is that if a phone number is on more than one inmate's authorized calling list and if that phone number is also on a prepaid account with CBS, anytime that number is dialed the cost is deducted from the pre-paid account. It is not the inmate giving account information out. That is the way the pre-paid account works as I was told by the CBS representative. The only way to prevent it from happening is AFTER you find out your money has been used and where the calls came from then you have to ask to have the other facility blocked from ALL phone numbers on your account.
Sweettalker on 2009-11-18:
Each inmate can place numbers on their list and then the facility approves them. Sometimes inmates know the same people and that is how this happens. These calls were from another facility, NOT the one my son is in, so it is not a matter of sharing information. My complaint is that when I informed CBS of this problem and requested the other facility be blocked, they only blocked my phone number, not the other 4 phone numbers listed on this account (one of which was a number some other prisoner also had on his list) I set up. My son has no way to set up anything on a pre-paid account. He can only put numbers on the prison's approved list.
Anonymous on 2009-11-18:
I want to know how likely it is that your son is going to be in the same prison with someone else who knows the same people on your son's calling list.
Sweettalker on 2009-11-19:
Very likely, since there were at least 3 people from our home town area in the last facility he was in and 1 in the facility prior to that. Also, once this happened when a local guy in our local jail called one of my son's friends and the call was charged against my account from the jail phone. It's more common than you would think. And, it's not all the people on his list...it's narrowed down to one person who knows several people in prison and I've had that number removed now that they informed me what number was getting the calls from other facilities.
Anonymous on 2009-11-19:
No offense, but that doesn't say much for your town if there are that many people in prison who know the same people.
Sweettalker on 2009-11-20:
When I wrote that I knew there would be that comment from someone. The issue still is about a pre-paid account that can be accessed from unauthorized users (my term). Apparently anyone who does know the same people can make calls and the cost is deducted from a pre-paid account if available. Seems like the company could perhaps create a program which would allow the account owner to specify what facility can access that account...not every facility that uses the service. We have to individually block facilities from every number on our account and unless you know what ones to block in advance, you have this issue with your account. Enough said.
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Does anyone out there know how to start a class action suit against CBS
Posted by on
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 the 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 prez seems to want to tidy up corporate America maybe we the people can give him a helping hand. By the representatives 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.
     
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jktshff1 on 2009-09-24:
While I am sorry for your friend and the situation that her loved one has gotten her into, look at the More Reviews above.
No one cares.
I like the inmate billing in that the various correctional systems (from my understanding) receive a portion or commission on the calls, helping to pay the taxpayer for their upkeep. Payback's hell, but blame the proper person for the problem...the one who is in jail.
Anonymous on 2009-09-24:
jk, I will bow to you on this one. I have no sympathy for criminals. The OP should be complaining that their tax dollars are having to be spent to take care of all those criminals.
jktshff1 on 2009-09-24:
let's discuss this bowing thing, OK?
Anonymous on 2009-09-24:
Lol...I should have said I will pass to you on this one. :) No need to swell your head. :)
Anonymous on 2009-09-24:
If they can't do the time, you/he/she, shan't here the chime.

Anonymous on 2009-09-24:
Why has this become an issue all of a sudden. It seems this is the fourth or fifth posting about this company within the past month. I don't recall ever hearing these concerns before then - perhaps those with many, many stars do remember. Did CBS launch some marketing campaign to get people to call a bunch of inmates?
DigitalCommando on 2009-09-24:
Its funny because I just can't remember a single TV show where the judge says "The jury has found you guilty of xyz charge and I hereby sentence you to 72 years in prison and your relatives to decades of financial burden by whatever scumbag phone company that paid off local officials to get the juicy contract decides to charge them"
I just don't remember that anywhere! Sources, anyone?
goduke on 2009-09-25:
I'd be interested in hearing more about this class action suit. What's the basis for it?
PepperElf on 2009-09-25:
I dunno but I know how to fix the issue...
if people don't break the law they usually don't end up in jails... then their families aren't left struggling trying to pay for phone calls
Starlord on 2009-09-25:
If you really want to throw your money away, consult with an attorney about the possibility of a class action lawsuit. People keep yelling class action suit lik eit is a magic mantra. The last thing any sane human wants to be involved with is a class action suit. They make lawyers rich, filing bills for obscene amounts for their fees. The members of the class might, and that is if you are lucky, might get a five dollar coupon apiece for your next bill (watch the expiration date.) And the defendant company will admit to nothing. It is a loss-lose situation. I saw a T-shirt once that could apply to class action suits. Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. The copmmpany has the right to recoup what it costs them to allow you to talk to your inmate, I.e. equipment, lines, hookup to the phone grid, buying time from your local phone company. Try arguing monopolies with Qwest or whoever your phone company is.
clutzycook on 2009-09-25:
Yeah, don't care. If you want to get in touch with your relative in jail, write a letter. It's cheaper.
Skye on 2009-09-25:
Now that's funny, class action suit. We all know who gets rich from those, and it certainly aren't the ones who are crying for this type of action.
ccdiane on 2010-07-26:
This woman reviewed Correctional Billing Services. Comment on her review. Don’t use the comment section to insult people affected by the way this company does business.

Have you people ever *looked* at our criminal justice system? It's a farce. You think Correctional Billing Services is good for the taxpayers? Wrong. The money various governments spend on their incarceration is in no way balanced out by the funds collected from Correctional Billing Services. If non-violent prisoners (in other words, the majority) were working and paying taxes, that would be good for taxpayers.

There are people in jail who haven’t been (and may never be) formally charged. I've paid Correctional Billing Services hundreds of dollars over the last 33 days to talk to my child, who hasn't even been *indicted*. In Texas, we pay close to $6 to connect (it varies). It costs between $7.20 to $8.39 for a 15-minute conversation. I can’t find any reason (time, day) for the cost difference. Would you want to use a phone company that charges you a different price for the same length of call?

When her case is dismissed, this company won’t refund the money I’ve spent. And while the dollars are nothing compared to the days she’s lost, to her job, her health insurance, or her *life*, the fact that this company gets away with what it does is infuriating. That unthinking people believe it’s “justice” makes me sick.
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Can you say monopoly?
Posted by on
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?
     
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yoke on 2009-09-08:
You could always write letters. When my husband was in the military that was the only way we could communicate unless we wanted huge phone bills.
Anonymous on 2009-09-08:
Alley, be careful. When you say things like that you will be called heartless and a troll and many other names. It is not advisable to speak the truth on these boards. I'm just saying....

PS..my thoughts exactly.
Anonymous on 2009-09-08:
Yes, folks could write letters. Yes, they could (and SHOULD) stay out of jail.

Those things do not excuse a company from poor behavior.
yoke on 2009-09-08:
If letter writing is good enough for our military then it is good enough for the law breakers. I have no sympathy for someone in jail and then you get the families that come on here and whine about how expensive it is to call. There are people who do not talk to their loved ones for months at a time because they are out protecting our country. Yes that is there choice, just like it is the lawbreakers choice to break the law and go to jail.
Anonymous on 2009-09-08:
Yoke, I agree 110%. Nothing wrong with letter writing.


However, how does that excuse this company's poor behavior? I don't care of they charge 5 bucks a second. Calls are a privilege, not a right.

However, they seem to have some very shady/questionable practices based on complaints.
BokiBean on 2009-09-08:
Indeed, this is a consumer issue, not a justice issue.
DigitalCommando on 2009-09-08:
Hookers get free cell phones from their pimps so with that in mind, are our fighting men and women not deserving of a free use cellphone from their pimp, Uncle Sammy?
I can bring in unrelated comparisons just as good as any of the above posters have if I'm trying to be creative and bury the real issue at hand with moralistically unrelated extrapolated judgements.
Eloise on 2009-09-08:
Correctional Billing's web site explains best why the rates are so high.

'The cost of providing operator assisted calling is substantially higher than the cost of providing long distance. These costs include such things as special equipment, equipment maintenance, billing validation, billing and collections, customer service, and other expenses.'

You also need to add the payroll expenses, and taxes that they must pay. Based on this explanation I can see why their rates are high.
DigitalCommando on 2009-09-08:
Eloise, all good points but when do we ever find good and fair pricing in a monopoly? Since they have NO competition at all, a good part of the over-pricing is related to just that. They are also 'sharing' profits with the prison and we can assume state officials as well since the key to anti-competition is always a well greased government wheel.
JR in Orlando on 2009-09-08:
Eloise has a good point. Isn't it common for hotels to charge extra for calls from the room because of such expenses. This is the same situation, although the views are less desirable.

This is a lot like a defendant on trial for murdering his parents, claiming he should get mercy because he is an orphan. The criminal gets sent to jail, and then claims his family does not have enough to live when it is he who created the problem. There would not be a loss of half the family income or the need for $0.75 per minute calls but for his criminal acts.
MRM on 2009-09-08:
AlleyS... long time, no see! Where you been hiding!
PepperElf on 2009-09-08:
Perhaps the knowledge that they'll be making their loved ones spend half an income on phone calls... perhaps that will be incentive for some potential inmates to stop breaking the law?
Anonymous on 2009-09-08:
wishful thinking pepper!!
jktshff1 on 2009-09-08:
Plus, these businesses kick back $$$$ to the system they are working with.
I don't have a problem with that.
PepperElf on 2009-09-08:
hey it's worth a shot.

tho now I have Jim Carrey in my mind, the line from "Liar Liar"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbOtyWTRZ_g
Anonymous on 2009-09-08:
O.ooooo No fair Pepper. That's going to be in my head for days now.
*Brenda* on 2009-09-08:
Allison you shouldn't take your aggression out on others.
PepperElf on 2009-09-08:
I though rick said "I'm rich bi***"
or was that dave chapelle...

=)

*Brenda* on 2009-09-08:
Please excuse my rude sister.(Who doesn't know about Rick James obviously)
PepperElf on 2009-09-08:
ack you're two people now?

=)
Anonymous on 2009-09-09:
Victor/Victoria lol.
PepperElf on 2009-09-09:
O_o I think I remember that movie.
Eloise on 2009-09-09:
Correctional billing provides all the equipment as well as the repairs. It would be difficult to have a number of companies.
*Brenda* on 2009-09-09:
Me two people? No, she is my sister though. :-\
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Correctional Billing Services is a joke.
Posted by on
I just found out my son, whose 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 aboout them even though it seems like the system doesn't.
     
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Skye on 2009-08-10:
Inmates shouldn't have any rights.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
That's why we have the POSTAL SERVICE! (NFH)
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
It's cheaper to mail a letter.
old fart on 2009-08-10:
Kinross...isn't that the closed down air force base in upper Michigan that they converted to a prison?
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
It absolutely without a doubt IS a racket.

Make sure to complain to your local congressman/woman...there is legislation in the works for these inmate phone systems. They've been out of control for too long.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Sorry your son is putting you through this. It's all his fault. If he hadn't been breaking the law, you wouldn't be in this fix. It's HIS FAULT and has nothing to do with "them" moving him.
I'm actually glad these services are popping up. The gubment gets a portion of these fees for letting them use this service exclusively from what I understand. Better than coming out of my tax dollars.
Boki, I hope that the gubment controls you are talking about put more dollars to the gubment and raise the rates for the inmates. I REALLY don't care, and read this carefully, that if someone is CONVICTED AND SENTENCED of a crime and is in jail can't talk to someone.
Write a letter like the others say.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
I used to be on the letter writing band wagon for inmates with the rest of 'em, but I am trying to see the other side. The phone service is out there for the inmates and their families to use and the customer service is horrible. The OP has every right to come here and voice their displeasure. We should do our best to try to respect that.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Do we really need the government monitoring inmate phone call privileges and the cost? I think and hope not.
Ever see what they have paid for something as common as a SCREWDRIVER? THe best form of government is the LEAST!
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
WE do respect it and WE have a right to OUR opinion don't WE?
Now put that in you pipe and smoke it, pilgrim!
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
JIC..yes and I understand where you are coming from, but when an inmate can get FREE HEALTH CARE, FREE EDUCATION, FREE ROOM AND BOARD, FREE EXERCISE EQUIPMENT, FREE MEALS, ETC...see where I am coming from? WE ARE PAYING FOR IT!! And yes, I am yelling. It is the convicted criminal that caused the problem, I really don't care if they can't talk to someone.
ZZ they don't need to monitor, just collect a cut of the profits.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
zz, my comments were not inflammatory and I was voicing MY opinion as you were yours. There is no need for you to get worked up.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
The mother of this inmate is not IN prison. She is the one being ripped off.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
jkt, I am looking at it from the view that the company is providing a service that the government allows. That is it. I have an opinion about the other aspects of the inmates situation, why they are there and what the taxpayers pay out but that is not part of the review and I won't comment on it.

Exactly Boki.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
Its just flat out denial for people to excuse this kind of ripoff because the relatives/loved ones of the "ripped off" are in prison. That doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the complaint. Focus.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
zzrokk, knock it off with the rude comments at others that disagree with you would ya? talk about nfh!
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
I understand John and Boki, and do sympathize with the families. They are placing the blame on the gubment and not the person responsible, ie the convicted felon. But with honest people struggling to get by, especially in the current economic times, honest hardworking people working just to get by and take care of themselves, I don't care what the inmate gets. Put them to work cutting grass on the interstates, making plates, choppin' cotton and beans, shovlin crud, work them so hard they are too tired to call, much less write a letter. But noooooooo that would be cruel, how 'bout if your sister had been raped, your business had been held up and someone shot, your mother had been killed in a burglary???? What would the "oh, he/she had a troubled childhood, or had a drug problem and that's why they did it" ...BS ..... Make it so bad they don't want to go back.
Sorry guys, but this hit home.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
jkt..that just has nothing to do with the complaint! Apples and oranges. Its not that I don't agree with what you've said, I just don't think it has any bearing on the OP's complaint.

old fart on 2009-08-10:
Prison was meant to provide isolation.
A chance for the inmate to look inward and repent his folly.
It doesn't work.

I have a nephew who has spent hard time for dealing drugs..
since then he's had three, count 'em, three drunk driving convictions.
He's the same ignorant horse's A$$ he always was..
I doubt if phone privileges would have changed him one iota...
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
sorry Boki, it has everything to do with it, we are getting some of our tax dollars back for giving the inmate the privilege of speaking with loved ones, the loved ones should be mad at the incarcerated for putting them in the situation they are in, not one's granting them the privilege to do it. I wish they would charge them more.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
ZZ, you OK?
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
King, was I talking to you? I am merely voicing my opinion as the rest of us are doing.
What I don't understand is why some trusted (and non- trusted) members choose to critique someone's comment on a given review.

Furthermore , If don't have a dime then tell your loved ones to not do the crime! (BA)
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
The inmates here get free DTV with the sports package, paid for by all of us generous citizens. Oh and did I mention that their fitness facility now has a new sauna. And if that isn't enough for you they have xbox, wii, ps3. Yup. Makes me wonder why I even bother following the law when I can get DTV and a sauna and 3 squares a day.
old fart on 2009-08-10:
Amen Princi....
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
I agree OF. Prisons need to go back to the way they were in the old days, I'm talking Dark Ages where you got bread, water, and were lucky if you had a pile of straw and a pot in your cell. I have a close relative who has been in and out of prison for drugs, gta, burglary, assault, and DUI. Hasn't changed since. Actually said he likes it better in prison because he's got a roof over his head and knows where his next meal is coming from.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Yes, I am fine . Just doing my "Monday Monitoring..... "
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
You're espousing political viewpoints...that's all well and good, but what we're talking about is a consumer ripoff.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Where is the prison at? Must be one of those "country club" type Federal prisons for politicians and the likes go to, right?
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
A telephone is a privilege, not a right. Nowhere does it say that inmates have the right to a phone whenever they want it.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
Nope, that's the county jail.
old fart on 2009-08-10:
Zzrokk... the prison is way in the he11 up in the upper peninsula of Michigan... It's not a country club but it's not a h3ll-hole either..
old fart on 2009-08-10:
Princi... the only telephone right they have is a call to their lawyer... that's the way it should be...
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Princi*******************
The convicted criminal looses all right except to be fed and clothed and not abused.
Your are right, a phone is a privilege as well as tv, rec room, exercise room etc.
ZZ, nah, it's spreading like roaches.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Wow!
Boki, politics in one way or another play out in our everyday lives. From the workplace and far beyond that.
Hence, certain people here getting censored.
DebtorBasher on 2009-08-10:
Bread and water...that's it. If they complain send them to Sheriff Joe!
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
I am looking at this complaint from the standpoint of a business ripping off the consumer which happens to be the family of an inmate. Like I said, I do have personal opinions about what I think life should be like in prison. The crimes require punishment, and the victims should get justice. I get that. But what I say doesn't go and my opinions on that subject don't belong here.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
Exactly, John. Who CARES what our viewpoints about prisoners in general are? Its not relevant. What we're talking about here is a consumer product/service that is not living up to its price.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
If they don't like the service they get from the company, don't use them. It's that simple. It's the same thing we say to people who don't like return policies and the service at restaurants. They have a choice to use this company or write a letter. And they should consider themselves lucky they can. Before we became a society of whiny little crybabies prisoners didn't get letters or visits. They were lucky to be let out of their cells for recreation time.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
A business ripping off consumers? Not in this case. IMO
They didn't put John Boy in jail?!

Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
True Princi, but we don't tell the person returning the product that they don't have the right or the option to write a review on this site. The OP was castrated for writing this review.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Two choices: Stamps or Green Stamps.
Which is cheaper and less stressful?
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Surely there is an ex-inmate in this membership, with first hand experience on this subject. I know there just HAS to be!
Step forward please.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
John, Your opinion is valued, but I respect your restraint.
I see your point, but I believe we should get what we can and let the family get their restitution from the criminal when/if they get out. The families would not have this problem if the convicted had not done what they did.
Morally questionable, but the guy that came up with the business plan for this had a great idea. Ya can't blame them for making a buck.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
John, you are giving me a headache, my friend. That could be the worst analogy in the history of mankind!
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
I hear you Jkt. The benefit of being allowed to use the service should come at a price. My issue was with getting into the other aspects of the responses posted and believe me on the inside I share a lot of the same views. Its just my opinion that this is not the right place to say them. Now, if someone wants to initiate a thread on the forum side about crime and punishment . . . I will happily contribute. :)
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
I don't think the OP was castrated, and apologize if I did that. The posts I made were my opinions and we know what those are...everyone's got one and they all stink but mine. LOL.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
zz, I respect your opinion but it was not my analogy. I responded to a post. If your issue is with the way I responded I stand by it. Everyone with a consumer complaint has a right to post here. The person making the return at Target is no more justified in posting here than this OP. If you can't see that I will gladly send you Tylenol, aspirin or Excedrin for your headache.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
LOL JIC... you are being too "politically correct", but knowing your background from your own statements, I can really can respect that.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
I don't apologize for anything I said. Like I said, I have a very close relative who has been abusing our revolving door prison system for YEARS to milk the system and tax payers out of free room and board and meals.

True story. A friend of ours got sent to jail while he was in the navy for drugs down in Norfolk. Not only was he not allowed television, he was only allowed one phone call a month and one visit a week. They had 30 minutes of outside time per day and that was it. The lights went out at 9 sharp and you were expected to be asleep or praying. Anything more and you'd get extra duty around the brig.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
The review isn't about if someone deserves rights (or what rights they deserve) while they are in jail, but about a company that is *not* doing as it said that it would.

The OP has a very valid complaint. One that we have heard here before, as well as on other sites.

OP, please contact your local congress people and the comunications dept for your area to make a complaint.

Best of wishes to you and your family.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
They do have a valid complaint and as I stated above they also have a choice to not use the service of this company anymore. And if I were them, I wouldn't continue to do business with them any longer.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Yep, as said before, they have a choice. It's that simple.
Just a little more info,
SUMMARY: The fee to cover the average cost of incarceration for Federal
inmates in Fiscal Year 2008 was $25,895. The average annual cost to
confine an inmate in a Community Corrections Center for Fiscal Year
2008 was $23,882.
That's over $17 billion of your tax dollars at work (that was in 1996 which was the latest I could find.
And YOUR tax dollars are paying for it, not the incarcerated.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
"It's the same thing we say to people who don't like return policies and the service at restaurants."

That's not going to work..there are other restaurants and other stores that the people we tell that to can turn to... In this case, there is not another alternative.

"Before we became a society of whiny little crybabies prisoners didn't get letters or visits. They were lucky to be let out of their cells for recreation time."

When was THAT? Surely before your time and my time put togther. Prisoners have always gotten letters and visits in my lifetime.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
They do indeed have that choice not to use this company.

They also should have every right to complain to the proper people about this company.

I also hope that they can find some help and use the company as contracted if they so wish.

BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
Indeed, Mrs. V. Prison is big business, and people are getting rich off the services provided.

One of the reasons these phone companies get away with ripping off consumers is because they are giving a portion of the profit to the prisons themselves..makes it hard to complain with any effectiveness.
old fart on 2009-08-10:
I know that the subject of this post took a left hand turn into another topic...
The poster got taken by the phone company...
The point is that if her son had not strayed from the straight and narrow, he would have saved her all the grief...
'Nuff said!
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
jkt - I don't doubt your figures on how much Federal Inmates cost taxpayers.

What I really have a problem with is that the OP didn't ask for help/write a review asking if people that are in jail deserve to have phone contact.

The OP asked for help/wrote a review on the phone company.

She really deserved to have fair answers on what she asked. Not if her son was worth haveing phone contact.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Common sense old fart. Just good old common sense.
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
"Not if her son was worth having phone contact."

Bingo, Mrs V. Well said. In fact, its not our business at all.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
I never said her son was not worth having contact. I said that I don't care if they can talk or not.
A "fair" answer is write a letter, or use the services subject to their terms and conditions and understand what the penalties, prices etc are.. That's the problem, these people are just signing up and not knowing what they are signing for.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
jkt - I think that you may be incorrect here.

"these people are just signing up and not knowing what they are signing for"

The company is not following it's own contract. There are many comments on the web that this company 'changes' it's terms after they receive they costomers money.
Eloise on 2009-08-10:
Intresting Fact
Schools are not required to have air conditioning, due to budget constraints. Prisons are required to have air conditioning. I guess the government are more concerned about a drug dealer or the rapist, then innocent school children. The government should take a lesson from the sheriff of Pima County, AZ.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Mrs V, I think more than the people using this service are not understanding what they are agreeing to. Most of these folks (from complaints here and on other sites, JMHO) are desperate to speak with and are willing to accept anything for the privilege of communication with their loved ones. Rip off? possibly, legal, for sure, since our gubment is making money off it, moral, probably not, just in it for the buck.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
Eloise, shools are not required to have air conditioning (I think they should, btw) because they can send the students home if it is needed.

Prisons can't send inmates home.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
jkt, I do understand that some people do not read there contracts. That's a given. But, there are many complaints about this company charging the home phone when there is still money on the account. Also, continuious dropped calls, the people not being contacted when there is a hold on the account (even when signed up for this-and charge a fee for it). Quite a few other things as well.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
My youngest son's public school has NO air conditioning. They have heat, but no air. Most of the schools around here are older buildings and in order to put a/c in they would have to tear the darn thing down and rebuild it because the duct work is so old. One of the elementary schools was built in 1858. Just to show you how old these buildings are. The newest one was built (little man's school) in 1941.
Eloise on 2009-08-10:
Mrs. V, schools are extremely hesitant to send the students home. It's more than a little difficult to contact each and every parent. When I lived in Tucson AZ working in a school we never closed due to heat, because we were a Chapter One school. I'd much rather my students are comfortable then a convicted felon. It's incredibly difficult to capture a childs attention when it is 99 degrees with a humidity of over 50% and all you have is a fan.
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
OK, let's agree to disagree.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
I do understand that Eloise (my sis-in-law is a teacher at a school without air). As I said, I really thank that all schools should have air.

I also know that they 'can' send the kids home (even when they don't and should!) but they can't send inmates home.
Mrs. V on 2009-08-10:
Prin - 100 here today, no air in my sis-in-laws school and they still didn't want to send the kids home >_<

Parents were showing up to take their kids out of school early :(
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Problem is some of these kids are going to get jobs working in the heat....nah, I ain't going to go there.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
Little man starts school Wednesday. It's supposed to be 112 degrees and their solution is a box fan in each classroom. It's no wonder all these kids are getting diagnosed with ADD, who the heck wants to pay attention and listen to anything when they are hot and sweaty and on the verge of a heat stroke.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
I know they will jk. But there are some kids with medical conditions that I am concerned about. Little man will just strip naked when he don't care, I just worry about all those kids that are in wheelchairs and have asthma.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
More than likely they won't add air because they would have to do an asbestos abatement first, and they don't want to spend the dough. Schools that age are full of asbestos. Seldom are any of them fully abated.
Eloise on 2009-08-10:
Even if the kids go home the teachers can't leave till every single child does. How is that fair?
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Thanks C2O, that explains why I'm short; it's from all the asbestos I was exposed to in school
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
True C2O I didn't even think about that aspect. I don't think this area could afford that without putting people out on the streets.

Eloise, it's not fair, why, because you have the parents that think school is daycare and don't care that the teachers stay late as long as little Johnny is taken care of for the day.
PepperElf on 2009-08-10:
I didn't know it caused people to be short
unless it's a side effect of mesothelioma?

Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Pepper, I was joking. My parents are short so I am short. Two short people should not be allowed to marry and reproduce!
PepperElf on 2009-08-10:
hah.

move to Japan. you might be tall there. :)

I was (a little) at 63.5 inches :)
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
My brother lived in Japan for three years. He said he felt tall
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Maybe little could be a short massagee in Japan, Pepper?
I'm up for that.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
C20! Go to your room mister!
PepperElf on 2009-08-10:
I'm sure you are up
for that.

but knowing those parlors I wouldn't be surprised if they were yakuza-controlled.

and I'm actually not joking. from what I've been told they do control a lot of the prostitution there too.
one of the guys who used to be on my ship got rough with one of the girls and got beat the bleep up and landed in ICU for a while


and shouldn't that be
"go to your room - WITHOUT the nair" ?
>:)
jktshff1 on 2009-08-10:
Princi, good points, but it is the parents responsibility to send or not send the child because of health problems, not the schools. That being said, most public school systems have programs that allow make up work for children with disabilities. If they don't, it needs to be taken up with the local school board or gubment, whichever is responsible.
Principissa on 2009-08-10:
That is true. But I know down here you are only allowed x number of parent excused absences and x amount of doctor's excused absences. Go over that and either you get a visit from the truant officer or your kid has to repeat the last grade.
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
OK, I am in my room. Massagee?...
Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
I know I got in this a little late, But here it goes. Not every inmate is scum of the earth Garbage, some of these people locked up get thrown in the slammer for minor drug offenses.

some of these folks needs rehabilitation, not jail time. We don’t know there situation or what this individual was locked up for. I believe this phone company, should be investigated for fraudulent practices.

Anonymous on 2009-08-10:
Agreed, Wally!
BokiBean on 2009-08-10:
Yay wally!
jktshff1 on 2009-08-11:
well put wally
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I have had no problems with them
Posted by on
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.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-07-25:
(VH) And good luck.
madconsumer on 2009-07-25:
great revoew.

very helpful.
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Why Not Report This Company To The BBB
Posted by on
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 low 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.
     
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jktshff1 on 2009-06-04:
'Cause it would not do any good.
Just click on the more reviews.
Anonymous on 2009-06-04:
Whoa for a sec I thought the title said "Intimate Phone Calls" by Nana in KY and I thought is this a senior citizen naughty line?? Giddy-up!
BokiBean on 2009-06-04:
Old folks need luvin' too!

Nana, I don't know why someone hasn't exposed these companies for the rip off they are...its just not right.
jktshff1 on 2009-06-05:
Yea we do, we love golf, shooting, swimming.
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Poor Customer Service/Taking Advantage Of People Who Have Little To No Choice
Posted by on
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 alway takes two or more call to get anything done.
     
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jktshff1 on 2009-03-21:
No sense posting on old items.
Just got to the more reviews sections.
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Corrections Billing Is A Rip Off
Posted by on
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 phones 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 threw to correctional billing and when you do the customer services person does not speak English to 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.
     
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jktshff1 on 2009-01-12:
write letters, simple.
save a lot of time and look at the more reviews section.
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
^^^BA^^^
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
BA? ZZ....that was the ONLY answer given! LOL!
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
Basher, you are assuming that you know what BA stands for.

It's not wise to assume..... and that came straight from the horses mouth.
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
DB, with me being on both sides of this issue in the past, yes it is that simple as JKT stated.
Send a "kite" (letter).
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
Well...The BASHER has a BETTER answer ZZ...STAY OUTTA TROUBLE!
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
Hey, I was the VICTIM but because I was a guy, I went to the pokey!
Are you yelling at me again?
: (....
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
I'm not yelling at you...I am INSTRUCTING you to stay out of trouble...now, answer this question for me....

You said, because you WAS a guy, you went to the pokey.
Are you saying you are no long a guy anymore??? Hmmm? Huh? Are ya?
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
The OP paid 57-cents per minute for a call nearly all of us could place for less than a nickel a minute. Why? Inmate status. I wonder, Oh Wise Correctional Officials, what does a convict learn about 'what is right' when the state that self-righteously imprisoned him/her condones robbery simply due to one's position in society? What's next, Mr./Ms. Corrections Official? The prison commisary charging $2 for a 42-cent stamp for those 'kites'? Some of the worst thugs inhabit government offices, not jail cells.
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
Good post...at least "inmate" isn't complaining about the charges in general...but to watch for duplicate charges on the bill.
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
Now you want to tell inmate's now incarcerated loved one to stay out of trouble, AlleyS. A tad too late don't you think?

DB! *LOL* I'm going home!
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
WAIT A MINTUE THERE MR. ZZ! (now I'm yelling at you)..you didn't answer the question!
Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
At this "MINTUE" I am still a GUY!
DebtorBasher on 2009-01-12:
So, sounds like you're planning a change in the future...We'll talk when you get home! (Whatever a mintue is)...LOL!
ejack053824 on 2009-01-12:
Time to listen to that Judas Priest song...."Breaking the Law"!
steve101 on 2009-01-12:
It costs us honest taxpayers 50 grand a year to house you criminals, so don't complain about inmate prices.
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Services Really Sucks... Do Not Recommend
Posted by on
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 their 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 shes doing.

I DO NOT recommend this company to ANYONE!!!!!!!! I herd theres 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!!!!!!!
     
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Starlord on 2009-01-08:
You herd, eh? Don't you know herd is a bunch of cows? I don't believe you heard any such thing.
FRUSTRATED24HRS on 2009-04-28:
WHEN YOU FIND OUT AN ALTERNATE COMPANY PLS POST THIS COMPANY IS KILLING MY POCKET
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Sorry To Our Customers
Posted by on
DALLAS, TEXAS -- To whom it may concern.

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 Antiqua, 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, who's 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.

     
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Anonymous on 2008-11-15:
Alley, when you write a review, there is an option to send it to the company--when you have their e-mail address. So, it just may.
Anonymous on 2008-11-15:
Hey, Alley, go into "Write A Review". Read the first paragraph. It says, "If you have a company email contact, we will forward your review to the company for free." So much for assumptions and snippy replies.
FightingCBS77 on 2008-11-24:
Hello. Let me be the first to say that what you wrote was nothing short of inspiring. It made me cry for the second time today (The first time was during my last call to CBS a little while ago). I understand that you were simply trying to keep a job and the reps don't set policy. It's hard to do the right thing by a customer when your company don't have supportive policies in place.

I am going through my own ordeal with CBS. If you go to the ripoffreport.com you can read my report by entering the keywords "Correctional Billing Services." My post is the 11/23 one and my name is Christie.

What you said really hit home as I have been trying to find out how they set my $60 90 day spending limit. I get a different answer every time I call, none of which seems to be credit-based. Tonight when I called I talked to a supervisor, who refused to give me an exact reason as to why my spending limit is what it is when it was $468 on my previous phone I had prior to my move. I am going to send a certified letter asking for this specific information and go from there. I am also going other routes as well.

I hope more people come forward about CBS. Thank you for being brave and coming forward. It really touched my heart.
I hope you are able to find a good job where your caring attitude will be appreciated and rewarded.

Thanks,

Christie
FightingCBS77 on 2008-11-24:
P.S. to those who posted comments....This individual is addressing the customers, not the company.
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