My boyfriend is currently in a juvenile detention center in Kennewick, WA. I myself live in Philadelphia, PA. Not only are we torn 2,700 miles apart for 90 days, but now I can not even talk to him on the phone for the 15 minutes he gets a day.
The detention center that he is currently at uses Evercom and neither ** nor I have a choice in using that company or not. He and I had both been told that for 15 minutes of talk time it would cost about $1.75 total. So, we continued to talk every chance that we could get.
Out of curiosity I decided to follow the initial menu and press 7 to see what Evercom had to say about rates and charges. To my surprise, it was indeed more than I had thought. Almost ten times more than I had thought. The charges were not going to be a mere $1.75 for 15 minutes, but instead $4.80 for the first one minute, and $0.89 for each additional minute.
That comes out to $17.30 for 15 minutes of conversation time. If I continue to talk to my boyfriend everyday for the 90 days he is detained, it will end up costing me an outrageous $1,557.00 total. And that is an amount that neither ** nor I can afford.
To try to resolve this problem I called my phone company, T-Mobile. The woman that I spoke to at customer service was very kind and filled me in on how these types of things generally work. She informed me that I would not have any additional charges on my monthly phone bill, but instead I would be receiving a bill from Evercom.
This, I was never aware of. I am aggravated with this more than the incredibly high prices themselves. I have been trying to get a hold of someone in customer service at Evercom, but every time I call I seem to get the same message, which is "there are no representatives available to speak to you", or something along the lines of that.
And then I get disconnected with no other options at all. I would like to first of all know how Evercom plans on billing me when I'm not sure that they have ANY of my information other than my phone number. And if they do have it, where are they getting it from? If they are getting my information from T-Mobile I am going to be pretty upset.
I'm not exactly sure what is legal information to give out but when I called earlier they couldn't even give me my account balance without the last 4 digits of the account holders social security number. So, I'd imagine that getting information such as a name, address, etc. would be fairly difficult. At least I hope it would be.
I think that it is unfair the way that Evercom bills and their rates are sky high and absolutely obscene. I think that if they are going to be billing to me directly, they should have been calling me first or sent me a notice so that I could set up an account.
Also, from what I have read on here it seems like I have a lot more issues with this telecommunication company coming at me soon. Things such as late bills. I'd like to turn this into a legal matter but I'm not sure how or what exactly is legal for these collect call phone companies to be doing. If anyone has any advice please, please let me know.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I have been attempting to get complete information on exactly how much this company charges for their services. A distant relative is in a Kansas jail awaiting trial. Mind you, he has not been convicted of anything. He and his family do not have money to pay bail bond, so poor guy has to sit in jail awaiting trial. That jail only allows the inmates to make phone calls collect using securustech.net. I have scoured their website and called their 800 number trying to find out exactly how much they charge. It is impossible.
You cannot get clear information without first setting up an account, and it seems as if they start charging you immediately just to set up an account of any type. I sent them an email, and got an auto-respond message back asking for my account PIN. There is something very, very wrong with this situation. It would be very easy to set up a googlevoice account for FREE. To require everyone to use this system before they can communicate with an inmate strikes me as unconstitutional.
Based on the inability to connect up with a live person just to answer some simple questions does not bode well for the type of service one will get from this company. And that they do not clearly list all their set up fees and charges on their website, gives cause for concern that they are gougers and have dishonest billing practices.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I have a home phone which I used to accept correctional billing calls from a local jail. Evercom from time to time would put blocks on my phone and would tell me that I could purchase a pre-paid account although my home phone bill was paid every month. I would ask them to remove the block and that seemed to take an act of congress to get that done and for no apparent reason that the block was put on.
So they suggested because I wished to receive calls immediately that I should get a pre-paid account. I purchased a pre-paid account for $100.00 for my cell phone and the block was taken off of my house phone. The problem was that once the pre-paid balance was spent that they put a block back on my home phone again.
I called them and they said that I needed to pay an additional amount other than the $100.00 and should send a money order to them or Western Union them the money and they would take the block off but only after they received it in Dallas, Texas and the amount was for $8.40 plus you must pay an additional amount for sending it through Western Union.
All I wanted was to talk to my children and they were allowing my pre-paid account to go over that which I clearly put on my card. Should not pre-paid mean prepaid? If you buy a pre-paid card at Wal-Mart for $100.00, they will not allow you to charge extra to that card.
How is it that they want to put a block on my phone and lose money they were clearly getting to rather make me immediately put money on a card so that I suppose they could get their money instantly? GREED!!! They would not allow me to pay the $8.40 on my card...They said I had to at least purchase $50.00 of more time to my cell phone. I think it is a shame that we are doing business with such clearly ignorant people as they are.
I think they are raping people! I think the Better Business Bureau or someone should stop this nonsense. This Greed in business and stupidity will surely cause a nation its downfall. I obviously am complaining in hopes that someone can direct me to the head of this company in hopes that I can look eye to eye with what must be a monstrous human being!
BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA -- This company is a joke. I have a $100 spending limit and the minimum payment claimed by them is $50 plus a $6.95 processing fee. I had an account balance of 64.49 and only paid the minimum $50 which left the $14.49 on the account. My account was blocked by them. The supervisor told me I had to pay the rest owed of $14.49 and use a different credit card because only one payment per card could be used each day. I went down to the bank and took out the money went to another bank I rare use and put the money in that account.
After driving around town to do this I arrived back home to make the 14.49 payment which they wanted another 6.95 to do so. Then the payment failed! The supervisor (which takes for ever to reach) HOLD HOLD HOLD and more hold time, informed me that only one payment could be made per day, however I could make a Western Union payment for the 14.49 to unblock my $100 dollar spending limit account. I found a W.U. and then had to call them back because the info to WU was given to me incorrectly.
I made the payment and got the MTCN# called them back to verify payment was received to be told that my account had to wait for the payment to process even though they saw the payment was there. This would take up to 24 hours!!! Plus the $13 to make the WU payment. So again I was on HOLD for a supervisor who could do nothing more than say she was sorry for my inconvenience!!!
So the long and the short of it is, my loved one will have to wait another day to talk to me and his family. There really should be federal investigations into this company. If we are forced to use just one company to have communications with inmates, at minimum the government should make sure we are not taken advantage of.
Should you ever have to call them, you would be very lucky to reach them. After going through all the prompts and directions over 90% of the time you end up with a message that says all reps are busy try your call later and the phone hangs up. Very frustrating.
When desperately trying to understand the rep's English through their accent (most of the time) if you ask for a supervisor, they place you on hold for several minutes and then come back and say it will be just a few more minutes. I think they do this so you will get angry and just give up. If you don't give up like I didn't be prepared for the over and over comment that they are sorry for your inconvenience.
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- To those who are interested, who may have encountered problems with Evercom and other phone companies, the persons to contact in authority is: Common Carrier Bureau - FCC - 2025 South M Street, NW Room 6202 Washington, DC 20554 Phone #202-632-7553. It amazes me at how foolish some people can be, the selfish attitude that some have toward their fellowman is pitiful. We are such a strong country with so many good people, but we always wait for tragedy to pull together. We know things are not right but we will find the petty little picture to look at rather than the big picture.
That is why we have no jobs in America now because people who do say "long as I have a job, not my concern." They must have done something wrong. People are losing their homes not because of something they have done wrong, they may have lost their job but again you have people out there saying they must have done something wrong to lose it. None of that matters, what does matter is it should never have gotten to this, because each of us should put ourselves in the place of another, and feel their situation.
We should have spoken out and said no, we are not sending our jobs to other countries, no we are not putting people out of their homes, we the people should have said this a long time ago. It always seems so much easier to just think of oneself. Well for all those who think that way, you are wrong. We are all connected together. There is a cord that binds us all together as one, it is human life. It is not a joking or laughing matter. There are many good law abiding people out there who are hurting because they can't talk to their loved ones, and they do have a right to talk to them, and they have a right to not be overcharged or their pocketbooks fleeced because they choose to.
Some of the comments I received were without compassion, I am not in that situation anymore. I do know how to write but I have a right to choose and be treated fairly when it comes to business. Again those persons out there who have encountered this problem, the address and phone number is available. Without voice you cannot be heard, with a voice you can be heard, contact these people. Regardless of what anyone says, it is your right. It is not me or you the people. It is WE THE PEOPLE.
ST PAUL, MINNESOTA -- I am one of those people who have a loved one that makes bad choices and sometimes these choices land her in jail. Sometime back I had to speak to a rep from Evercom to open an account so my daughter could call me. I was told that I could put my money in an account and it could stay there until a time it was needed. I called in Feb of this year to check on my balance and was told it was 42 dollars. Nothing was said about any policy changes but when my daughter needed to call me this month(Oct.) she got cut off .
When I called to find out why I was told there had been a policy change and if the account had not had any action in 180 days the money disappeared. Can this be real? The money just disappeared. Where does it go? Into whose account does it go. Can this business practice be legal? How does it happen that a company gets more than 90% of the contracts for correctional institutions and gets away with this if not illegal it is unethical business practice? Can you imagine putting up with this from anyone else? I was told that this was the same as a prepaid phone card. If that is true and I don't have any experience to draw from, at least this information is given to you up front.
If a phone company did this at least we would have another phone company to take our business to. Anybody have any suggestions for me as to how else I can make sure my daughter can call me if she gets in jail again? Also if anybody is thinking of class action I want in. Also, to the customer service employee who said he messes with people who he thinks are rude, what do you call your behavior?
TEXAS/ BOCA RATON, FL, FLORIDA -- I had set up an account to receive calls from an inmate at the Rockdale County jail. This was about the fourth time I put money on the account because the 1-866-847-1251 or the 1-866229-6829 number would constantly call and say the account was below $10.00 and need to add money. This is the same system when called would say that there would be no minimum balance until Dec.31, 2012. A Christmas special the machine said. The last time I was advised again that funds needed to be added and I followed the prompts.
Sadly, after I gave my card information and it was approved, the machine said thank you and that my $15 plus dollars was only good for a one time call. It took me hours to get to a live person and when I did he said that unlike the person and location I had contacted when I first set up my account, he was in Florida and not Texas. I explained what had happened and I needed to resolve the problem. He said there was nothing I could do and that those charges were not going to be reversed.
I called my bank and was told they could not help me. I am retired and 95% of my monthly check goes on bills. I even have letters from the Social Security office said I can work and make $ 2,000 dollars a month and it would not affect my check. My reputation at 64+ is and always has been the same, honest, truthful and helping others. I cannot afford to be scammed by any company. Please!!! In the name of GOD! Help me. I don't know what else to do. Thank you and be blessed.
ANYWHERE,, TEXAS -- "Get Connected" prison phone service gives you a number that you give to your loved one locked up and that number they dial will ring to your phone. LIARS... Did not work... Refused to refund me my money and charged me a second month. I had to cancel my credit card. But, God don't sleep and he doesn't like ugly... The bank is going after them for causing me over $165 in NSF fees when I cancelled my service. Gotcha! You should be locked up in prison where you belong! Bad service. No service.
So I decided I'd use "Evercom" or "Correctional Billing Services" same company different name. Evercom charges 3 phone calls at a cost of $60.21?! Two of the charges I never received the calls. I work for in a marble building. My cell phone which is hooked up to this service DOES NOT WORK IN THIS BUILDING. I go to work everyday at 7am. So it is impossible that these calls were made to my phone. Please credit my account accordingly. Your charges are outrageous. You've got to be kidding me that one 15 minute phone call cost $20.07.
Shame on your company for taking advantage of the people we love but hate their crime(s). At this rate I'd be broke every month. Not to mention that commissary **. I will have the money one day to open my own company like this and I will put Evercom and all of the other fraudulent prison phone companies out of business...
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN -- Here in Michigan we have also had to pay for an inmate's incarceration through exorbitant phone charges. A good friend of mine is incarcerated and I have to pay through the nose if I want to talk to her. She is paying for what happened but why should I and her family have to pay for it too? Many of her family members are unable to talk to her as they cannot afford to pay the high rates that are charged. It just does not seem fair to those that have not committed a crime. I would like to see something done through the legislature to abolish this practice as New York seems to be doing. God be with us all that have someone that is paying a debt to society.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA -- Evercom is the only damn company that provides calling cards/billing services to inmates and their families. And the way they get around this is by naming their companies all differently: Securan, Evercom and whatever else funny. Thing is their phone number is the same and I talk to the same person which they have the most friendliest people working for them. NOT! They tell you things like "Well ma'am if you don't like the prices then you don't have to talk to the inmate" And yes I quote on that! I thought there were laws in this country against monopolies... Anyway for $10.00 my fiance can call me 1 times for 15 minutes!!! Wow thanks Evercom!
I don't know how they can sleep at night knowing how they RAPE everyone that uses their services. God knows everything else on commissary is sooo cheap like 3.00 toothbrushes and 20.00 headphones you can get at Wal-Mart for 5.00. I am just outright appalled.