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The Fleecing Of The American People
Posted by on
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 fellow man 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 their 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 spoke 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 their 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 any one says, it is your right. It is not me or you the people. It is WE THE PEOPLE.
     
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madconsumer on 12/28/2008:
good grief, yet again? at least this time you deleted your other reviews.

as I recall one other member saying, contact the fcc.
diamondz on 12/28/2008:
to madconsumer, don't read it if u don't want to; I am new to this site, and its not just for me; for your info I had an email this morning from a desperate person, despearate person who sounded like they were considering giving up on life, so there are people who need and want this info, sounds like to me rather than getting a life u need to get a heart and stop being so uptight. I will continue to post this info and these reviews as much as I want, as a member I have a right, I am not hurting u, so if u don't want to read it, move on. evidently u missed the whole point of WE THE PEOPLE.
jktshff1 on 12/28/2008:
diamondz, see the related reviews section of your post and save everyone a lot of typing.
BTW..Just cause someone lost a job, house, spouse, etc DOES NOT give them the right for criminal action. The perp's usually get a lot less than they deserve..free meds, 3 squares, workouts etc at the taxpayer expense. WE THE PEOPLE are generally law abiding citizens.
No, I DO NOT CARE about the criminals, convicted, it's their fault their family can't connect with them.
Anonymous on 12/28/2008:
diamondz, Thank you for re-writing your post. You've made a few good points but I have to take issue with one of your comments.

I do have a job but that does not mean that I do not have compassion for someone who is suffering an injustice. Whether it is regarding a person who is in jail and suffering an injustice or someone who is a victim by circumstance...wrong is wrong. But I have to say in all honesty that I lean toward favoring the person who is a victim of circumstance because they are in a position they have little or not control over. The person in prison is there because a crime has been committed and I do not believe they should be allowed the luxury of phone calls. I know that comment is not a popular one and it is not my intention to offend you. I do feel for you, in your circumstance because you are, in a sense, cut off from someone you love but that's where it stops for me. I hope that made sense.
jktshff1 on 12/28/2008:
John, you got a lot more compassion than I got.
Nohandle on 12/28/2008:
Diamondz, yes you are new to the website and welcome. You did post an earlier review asking for assistance and a number of members responded. Unfair telephone practices and charges? Yes. The days of the pay telephones in the Rec/Community Room are over. No more placing collect calls to chat with family. Your family member's incarcerated predecessors took care of that while they were in and it was put to a halt due to the type of activity going on.

I was the victim of a crime and try very hard now to be understanding. You do have my best wishes.
Anonymous on 12/28/2008:
Thank you for the added info, Nohandle. I am glad there are no longer pay phones available for use at will.
jktshff1 on 12/28/2008:
Good info NH.
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My only means of staying sane, and I can't afford it
Posted by on
My boyfriend is currently in a juvenille detention center in Kennewick, WA. I myself live in Philadelphia, PA. Not only are we torn 2,700 miles apart from 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 Brandon or 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 meer $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 Brandon or 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 ahold of someone in customer service at Evercom, but every time I call I seem to get the same message, which is "there are no representitives 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.
     
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heaven17 on 04/09/2007:
I don't really have anything to offer as far as your phone billing problems, but I had to at least congratulate you on such a well-written and literate complaint.
We don't get that around here very often.
bill on 04/09/2007:
Here's some advice: Dump your loser boyfriend and don't associate with people who break the law.
MRM on 04/09/2007:
My thoughts exactly Bill... find someone else who actually has a goal in life and don't waste your money calling him. Good luck girlfriend. Toodles...
Hugh_Jorgen on 04/09/2007:
Were you this upset at Brandon when he got himself locked up?
heaven17 on 04/09/2007:
Well, I wasn't going to go there like bill, MRM, and Hugh...but they do have good points.
rhondam718732 on 04/09/2007:
If they are unfairly charging you outside of their normal expensive rates then you have reason to complain. However, to complain about their "normal" expensive rates is falling on deaf ears with me. Your BF committed an illegal act and is being punished. Consider this part of it. If someone was a victim in his crime I am sure they are not too concerned that it will cost him $1,557 to chat with his girlfriend daily for 90 days.
jesswozniak on 04/09/2007:
To the three of you that made comments about 'why don't I just break up with my boyfriend', and 'were you this mad when Brandon got locked up':
I really do not appreciate your immature and inconsiderate remarks about this subject. I will not break up with him because I love him very much and the reason that he is "locked up" is because he was defending himself in a fight. Thanks anyway for your "advice". And to you who asked if I got this mad when Brandon got arrested, no I didn't. Because Washington State is ridiculious and I don't think he ever should have gotten what he got for what happened.


And to heaven, thank you very much.
Anonymous on 04/09/2007:
Jesswozniak, can you two send mail back and forth? Maybe keep the calls to a minimum and write more? You do write very well as Heaven17 pointed out so that may be one option. Also remember that what ever facility your boyfriend is in is probably making a ton of money off the phone calls, they are on a revenue split. So they will have little interest in doing what may be right, they want the money.
bill on 04/09/2007:
Yeah, everbody who is in jail feels they shouldn't have gotten what they got. I guess the police, the D.A., the judge and a jury of 12 peeers are all wrong.
jesswozniak on 04/09/2007:
Superbowl, thank you for the advice and compliment on my writing. We are writing back and forth right now and things are just beginning to start rolling. He hasn't been in there long and its about 5 days before either of us actually receive the letters that have been sent. We are both very young still. I myself am only 18 and my boyfriend will actually be turning 18 tomorrow. We've been together for quite some time now, years in fact. Being young and in love is a difficult thing all in itself. He has been in there for 13 days now and its just difficult. But I am very thankful that he was charged as a minor despite the fact that when his hearing happened it was only 2 weeks until his 18th birthday. Thank you for the support and advice.
Sparticus on 04/09/2007:
Evercom has a reputation for being an unfair monopoly when it comes to the service they offer at prisons. I don't think it is a high priority on any regulator's list to see them price their services more fairly... It is unfortunate that you are in the situation you are in... but 90 days is really not that long... It will be over before you know it.
Gannon_banned on 04/09/2007:
"Don't associate with people that break the law" ... OH PLEASE. Someone needs to get off his or her high horse. Have you ever gone above the speed limit, even one mile? That is breaking the law. Sometimes stuff happens and people are caught in the way. Good luck honey, you sound like a great girlfriend!
bill on 04/09/2007:
Gannon: That's a rdiculous analogy. You don't go to jail for speeding.
MRM on 04/09/2007:
Jesswozniak said "I really do not appreciate your immature and inconsiderate remarks about this subject." That's my GENUINE opinion and I'm sticking to it.
Gannon_banned on 04/09/2007:
The comment didn't say "people that go to jail", the comment was "people that break the law". Speeding IS breaking the law and you CAN go to jail for speeding. Once you reach a certain speed it's considered reckless driving and a horde of nasty things can happen at that point (depending on the state.) Maybe not for one mile, but it certainly is breaking the law regardless.
Slimjim on 04/09/2007:
Evercom seems to be the carrier when it comes to prisons. I don't know why, but there must be a reason standard phone service doesn't apply. Evercom is expensive, therefor calling prison(s) is expensive. There is no legal matter here. Their charges are what they are, and it's one of those take it or leave it situations. I'll say this, I've never seen an Evercom complaint rally much sympathy by nature, so don't take it too personal jesswozniak. I will agree, you write a better letter than most that vent here.
Slimjim on 04/09/2007:
Gannon, the only way you're going to jail for speeding is if you run over someone while doing it.
Justusryan on 04/09/2007:
OP- Please take a line from Judge Judy and do not hitch your wagon to a falling star!
Justusryan on 04/09/2007:
I can't wait for the eventual pregnacy, which he will then leave the rest of us to pay for.
shawnp80 on 04/10/2007:
MRM, It's funny how an 18 year old girl puts you in your place and you call her immature.
imjustasteph on 04/11/2007:
Okay, it's nobody's business if this girl breaks up with her boyfriend or not, right? But I have to say, there is NOT enough going on in that jail to have to talk to him every day.

Anyway I'd try listening to the whole menu and seeing if there's an option to speak to a human. If not, try staying on the line. Some companies repeat the menu a few times then connect you to customer service. Sometimes you can press 0 or 1 and get a human, if it isn't offered as an option.
ever_rep on 06/12/2007:
jesswozniak you do seem very young.. but still love is love.. I am still quite young myself.. though I am no longer a teen... I have been with my boyfriend now for 3 years, and I feel the same way, I would be lost if I couldn't talk to him if he was in jail.. I do agree the rates that we charge are unreasonable but I'm sorry, we cannot do anything about it, if there was something, it would have been done by now... take care hun, stay strong...
Anonymous on 06/12/2007:
If you don't mind me asking,How much time did he get?

ever_rep on 06/12/2007:
he got 90days...
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EVERCOM I HATE YOU
Posted by on
ASHLAND, KENTUCKY -- Evercom is the only damn company that provides calling cards/billing services to inmates and their families. I thought there were laws in this country against monopolies.... like Ticketmaster and the like... anyway for 25.00 my fiance can call me 4 times at 15 min per call wow thanks Evercom ! I know me and my daughter greatly appreciate it because god knows everything else on commisary 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.
     
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KateM on 02/17/2006:
How dare prisoners be expected to pay for expensive phone cards! How can this company get away with this injustice? My God if we're not ensuring our prisoners can make cheap phone calls-then what the hell is this country all about?!?!!?
CandyPickletoes on 02/17/2006:
Stacie, your report is ridiculous! You know, people go to prison for being less than up-standing individuals. You are lucky your Fiance is even given the opportunity to call at all.

It doesn't seem that prison is a deterrent for crimes any longer. What with TV, Cable, VHS, Computer access, college access...more than what some of our upstanding, poorer people can not afford. If I were a homeless man with no family to speak of, I'd commit a crime simply to go to jail as it would seem to me to be a better place to live than on the street. Three hot meals per day and all the luxuries of home! Fortunately, I am not homeless, nor am I a man so I don't have to worry about it.

I'd say your first step would be to get rid of the problem holding you back (your Fiance) and move on with your life. JMHO, of course.
Anonymous on 02/17/2006:
Aren't prisons monopolies?
DebtorBasher on 02/25/2006:
They charge those rates to prevent drug dealers from using the phones to continue their dealings in prison...period!
tiptoe on 11/30/2006:
Shame on the rest of you! People in jail have families and friemds(THEY pay the phone bills!) who have done NOTHING wrong and want to hear from their errant loved one. We don't stop loving them because they made a mistake! Evercom charges a LOT of money for ME to pay to talk to MY SON who is in jail! Yes he made a mistake...nothing serious, but I have to pay for it to this company who charges so much. I agree with the initial poster! But I don't hate them, I just don't like their predatory practices. THAT shoud be illegal!
ashpico on 01/19/2007:
I am on the site cause I was looking into setting up an account which I will not do now but how can anyone judge ppl for being in jail there are a lot of mistakes that can be made to put you in there you cannot judge anyone by those. So all you ppl who are talking about oh well its their own fault how would you feel if that was your friend or family member? How would you feel if you made a mistake in your life and oh well nobody can talk to you cause they can't afford to.
progressivepatriot on 02/16/2007:
Stacie, you’re right. The inmate calling system and the commissary system are both exploitative.

Clearly, most of the people who replied to your message have never had any experience with the prison system. I envy them their ignorance. I liked it better when I was blissfully ignorant. For 50 years, I knew no one who had had been arrested, much less imprisoned. That all changed last year when my drug-addicted niece was arrested, convicted, and incarcerated. Now, it is up to her family to send her money so that she can buy things like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, underwear, etc. at prices that are exorbitant (a trial size bottle of shampoo costs $5.00).

Inmates who behave well—treat the guards with respect, break no rules, and do their work well, consistently, and without complaint—are given the privilege of making phone calls. Of course, they have to call their loved ones collect. Their families or friends, who are often not responsible for the inmate’s actions, can choose not to accept the call. However, some people do not want to abandon the inmate, so they accept the charges, hoping that with continued support, their family member or friend can turn his or her life around.

Evercom charges $2.49 bill processing, $3.05 for Universal Service Fund, and $1.00 for Administrative fee plus $3.95 for the first minute and $1.00 for each minute after that. An 8 minute call from my niece cost 17.61.

Companies that provide phone services at correctional facilities should make a profit, but they should not be permitted to be robber barons.
nicolasa on 05/30/2007:
I'm going to tell all of you the same thing I've posted in others people's complaints. don't talk down on them for being locked up. they are paying the price so they should be allowed to talk for family/friends without being charged a whole lot of money. *STACIE* just so you know I agree with you. but why do they have to call collect if they are using a phone card? the jail here doesn't do that. but the one where my friend is currently in does that. Evercom is just a stupid company ripping people off & needs to be stopped
Anonymous on 07/01/2007:
Evercom systems inc is no better than the inmates they claim to be protecting us from and if all you self-rightist a-wholes think you are above it all, then you just fell for the propaganda that the government and the prison system want you to fall for. You are paying for all this crap anyway!

When the tables turn remember that which you judged will be used to judge you!
jenbear78 on 08/06/2007:
I just came across this site and I was going to start a new account throu Evercom but I'm not sure if I want to now. My fiancee just went to jail today and I didn't realize that I had to pay money out of my own pocket and start an account throu these ppl just so he can call me collect, how stupid! I'm sure he will get out tomorrow but still just not being able to talk to him upsets me.
Rick_pdx on 12/04/2007:
I have also had experience with these Evercom people. I supposedly had an account with $100.00 available credit, billed to my phone bill. Merely by calling them up to inquire about bills and to get credit for calls that were disconnected, and just by ENTERING MY PHONE NUMBER, they automatically set up a new, "pre-pay" account and cancelled my old one, without my knowledge. Of course, the "pre-pay" account requires a $50.00 charge on a credit card, plus a $6.95 "processing fee." If you don't use up $50 worth of phone service, they will refund it, via snail mail and a check, when they get around to it. The $7.00 fee for the privilege of using your own credit card is not refundable. Needless to say, I was annoyed that my Evercom service got swtiched like this. But that seems to be the way they do business. When you complain, they have no response, they just say "Thank you for calling Correctional Billing Services" over and over, like robots.

There are always people who are greedy and amoral who prey on others. As others have said, it is not prisoners who are paying the price here...it is their friends and families. The company also goes to great lengths to avoid any human contact...their customer service line has a series of options that involve either giving them credit card numbers of bank account numbers. This is part of a publicly held corporation. The following is PUBLIC INFORMATION about the parent company of Evercom, Securus Technologies:
Keith Kelson, Chief Financial Officer
Richard Falcone, Chief Executive Officer
Securus Technologies
14651 Dallas Parkway 6th floor
Dallas, TX 75254
phone 972-277-0300
email corporate@securustech.com

Let them know what you think of their unethical practices.
Rick_pdx on 12/04/2007:
This was buried in my last posting. Here is real contact information for Evercom Systems. They are a public corporation and this is public information available on their website.

Keith Kelson, Chief Financial Officer
Richard Falcone, Chief Executive Officer
Securus Technologies
14651 Dallas Parkway 6th floor
Dallas, TX 75254
phone 972-277-0300
email corporate@securustech.com

Let them know what you think of their unethical practices.
kykrebs on 12/11/2007:
Wow, I can't believe how judgemental and rude people are being about your situation. I'm sorry, and I understand- my boyfriend has been an inmate for 4 months now, and my number was blocked by Evercom because I haven't made an account with them. Unfortunately I was misinformed by the workers at the jail, and I was buying $15 phone cards (30 minutes each) and I was never told to set up an account. I called Evercom this morning to see why my boyfriend is no longer able to contact me after I gave him $60 for phonecards, because he has been calling, but as soon as I pick up it cuts us off. The woman told me that in order to talk to him, I have to pay $65 or something ridiculous, and there is no way of getting around it. Luckily, he is getting out in about a month, and my parents only live an hour away, so I can still talk to him using their phone.
I don't think it's ridiculous that we expect to be able to keep in contact with our inmate significant others, it's not our fault that they have gotten into trouble, and it also does not make them a bad person. Everyone makes mistakes, and unfortunately my boyfriends' mistake was one that he made in high-school and is paying for now, 4 years later, because the police in our area didn't put a warrant out for him until an entire year after he committed the crime and by that time we had moved to a different state. When we came back to visit family they recognized him (very small town) and then he was punished.
Anonymous on 12/11/2007:
kykrebs, if you didn't read my post then know that I here what you are saying and I agree 100%. If we want to support crime then we must put crime in control (Evercom) and let them destroy the people that are paying for their mistakes and their families it is truly a sad situation when we make people worst by letting a corrupt system profit off of the people and justify it by saying “we don’t care”.
Bikergirl71 on 05/15/2008:
For all you people who think its OK for this company to overcharge inmates and the families let me tell you! Don't express your opinion until one of your own get addicted to drugs and ends up in jail. It can happen to you! being able to talk to the family is the only thing getting my son to the point of accepting he is an addict. They might not make the right choices but they still deserve to be love and communicated with. I am getting a 2nd job just so I can afford to talk to him. Evercom over charges and takes advantage that you are stuck and have no choice but to pay their price. I hope all you people who were being smart butts never have to deal with a love one in jail then you would change your tune
Anonymous on 05/15/2008:
Not all of us bash inmates or their families. Continued contact with free family members contributes greatly to the potential rehabilitation of an offender. Sadly, rehabilitation takes a back seat in new America's neo-Puritan society which focuses on vengeance, rather than justice. Even if the incarcerated person 'deserves' jail time, his/her family did nothing wrong. While it's easy to say 'the offender should have thought about that', the simple fact is...they did not...and the family suffers. Good luck Bikergirl71, I hope your son beats the odds and comes out of prison a better person than he went in.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 05/15/2008:
Communication is extremely important. Another thing you may want to consider is sending him letters and post cards in lieu of calling him as much. Maybe call him once or twice a month and send him letters a few times a month. That will give him additional correspondence to look forward to and can read anytime he wants especially when he gets lonely and misses his family. Best of luck to you and your family!
2 cents worth on 09/07/2008:
Originally Posted - January 8, 2007


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



return home

NYS Reduces Excessive Rates For Inmate Phone Calls


ALBANY---On the eve of a scheduled argument before the state's highest court by the Center for Constitutional Rights to stop state government and the telephone service provider from charging exorbitant phone rates to families of prisoners, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has announced the state will voluntarily reduce rates.

This action precedes a previously scheduled argument slated for Tuesday, Jan. 9, before the New York State Court of Appeals, during which the plaintiffs are challenging the legality of the previous administration's policy relating to the telephone costs in Walton v. New York State Department of Correction Services.

Long seen as an unfair tax on inmate families, the newly proposed rates will charge only the cost of the call, allowing families to maintain contact with their loved ones, without the undue financial burden of a State commission on the rate.

The Administration's action was made after consultation with Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, who has long advocated for this change in policy and who shepherded legislation which passed the Assembly to end the excessive charge. The administration also consulted Sen. Michael Nozzolio, who introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

Assemblyman Aubry, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Correction, said, "I am pleased that the Governor has committed to providing justice to the families of inmates, who have had to pay exorbitant telephone rates to talk to their loved ones. Thanks to the Governor for this humane decision and to the many advocates who made this solution possible."

The action will be implemented by Brian Fischer, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services, at the start of the April 1 fiscal year. The elimination of this commission will reduce the cost of these calls by at least 50%.

Currently, for someone incarcerated in a New York State prison to speak with a loved one, they must call collect through MCI. Under the current contract families are charged a $3 initiation fee and 16¢ a minute, 630% more than typical consumer rates for phone calls. Verizon merged with MCI last year and recently attempted to sell off the contract to an Alabama-based company, Global Tel Link.

More egregious, New York State collects a 57.5% kickback from the phone company's profits. In 2005 New York State received $16 million from this backdoor tax. NYSDOCS has amassed over $200 million from prison families since the contract's inception in 1996 during former Governor Pataki's first term.

CCR was ready to argue that their challenge to the prison telephone system is timely, and that the Court should allow Appellants to prove that their right to due to process, freedom of speech and association, and equal protection under the law are violated by the gross and discriminatory tax levied by NYSDOCS without legislative authorization.

Thirty-eight organizations, over 50 individuals and 15 elected officials filed "Friend of the Court" briefs in support of this appeal including the Public Advocate for the City of New York, the Legal Aid Society, and the Innocence Project.

"Today's argument brings us one step closer to ending this contract," said Rachel Meeropol, lead CCR attorney on the case. "No Court in the State has ever considered the legality of DOCS' unauthorized tax. It is time for that evaluation."

The New York Campaign for Telephone Justice works to end the kickback contract between MCI (doing business as Verizon) and the New York State Department of Correctional Services and deliver choice, affordability, and equitable service to the families and friends of those incarcerated in New York State. The campaign is a project of the Center for Constitutional Rights, in partnership with Prison Families of New York, Inc. and Prison Families Community Forum. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a nonprofit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Other states also impose such high rates for inmate calls. For example, in Ohio, Evercom which bills through Correctional Billing Services of Alabama, charges $17.34 for a 15 minute call plus taxes, requiring the family and friends of a prisoner to pay over $1.10 per minute with frequent cut calls and double billing. Evercom then arbitrarily imposes a limit on the "account" which in most cases is about $130 although they refuse to provide the criteria used to establish their thresholds.

The North Country Gazette will be presenting an article regarding the exorbitant costs and unconstitutional practices of Evercom and Correctional Billing Services. 1-08-07


2 cents worth on 09/07/2008:
ONLY GOD JUDGE!!!
DebtorBasher on 09/07/2008:
Those in Prison should have thought about their family and friends BEFORE they did what they did that got them there....PERIOD.
Franssusan on 03/13/2009:
Not everyone in jails is actually guilty of anything. Some are innocent and awaiting trial to prove that. This Evercom outfit is a scam. It's ridiculous to be forced to use this monopoly. I agree that actual criminals shouldn't be accorded any sympathy. But all are not criminals.
Baja on 03/21/2009:
This does not hurt the prisoner, only those who are on the outside trying to help in the rehabilitation of those who break the law. The one who has never, broke any law can cast the first stone. I'm sure all of you who think even minor crimes should hold long time incarcerated want to pay 75% of their income to build new prisons, courts, etc.
Onaicult on 08/26/2009:
I was horrified by the first few responses to this complaint. Especially Candypickletoes or whatever. Are you SERIOUS? You obviously have never known anyone who has had to do much time. I can tell you there is not cable tv, vhs, or internet access, etc. "3 hot meals a day" is totally laughable. If those guys don't have someone who can afford to send them money for commissarry, they better start hussling, cause they will starve on the gruel they serve these guys. Some fine "upstanding" people are wrongfully incarcarated. Yes, some people do deserve to be in there. But their family has done nothing wrong in most cases, and they are the ones punished by Evercom. Your argument that "they deserve it" is totally ignorant. My man sacrificed his freedom to pay his daughter's child support and medical bills for 2 years, when his ex wife could not be bothered to get off her lazy ass and get a job. I know a lot of free-world people who would never do that.
If Evercom was a mainstream business they would be OUT of business. They get away with ridiculous policies, only because they are a MONOPOLY. They actually shut my account off once, because I had put TOO much money on my pre-paid account. I gave them TOO much money, so they shut my phone off. Evercom/CbS needs to be STOPPED.
yoke on 08/26/2009:
Why not write letters. It is a lot cheaper. There is no law that states you have to talk to them by phone.
just this on 09/19/2013:
All of you insensitive inmate haters can live with the fear of losing your child or loved one (if you had one) to a system that cages the truthful not the true criminals that are on the streets and pulling the strings.
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this will help you
Posted by on
CANADA, ALABAMA -- OK I work for cbs/securus. I know all of the complaints that every one has about our company so here is somethings that will help you:
1)this is the biggest problem at are end. if you are calling in screaming and yelling and not letting us help you, you will get nothing out of the call. you call in and are calm things go much quicker. trust me.
2)when we ask for your info just give it to us. really, we aren't going to take your info and use it for any reason other the SECURITY INFO.
3)we have a very long lists of company polices. we give what we can. so if something is missed just ask for the website (correctionalbillingservices.com or evercom.net)there everything and anything about is explained.
4)as much as everyone wants to be billed through the phone company, not everyone can. even though the idea is nice but out of the two options it's not all that great. but if you want less hassle and not have to call all the time, go on the prepay option. as long as there is money on your account your line is clear, plain and simple. no calling your phone company all the time, the phone company can't block your line and it goes on and on.
5)this is the most important thing to know: we have merged with another company called t-netix. if you were with them or now just receiving calls from them for the first time, the wait periods and systems are completely different. so don't flip out when you have to go to another number or tell you that you needs a special account. just say thanks and call back in three days.
6)BE NICE TO THE REP! I can't tell you people how often someone calls in and just after we open the call people will rip us a new one. if your line is block just tell us it's blocked and we'll HELP you. don't give us crap or a life story. get to the point of the matter and 9 out of 10 times we can fix it. if not we'll send something off to get it fix. I can understand that you maybe pissed or some major life thing happened and you need to talk to them. we can't do everything thing and please, PLEASE don't think that telling us that a)a family member has pasted away, b)you or someone in the family has cancer or some other major health problem or c)you are having the child of the inmate that we will open the line.screaming at us won't make us change or minds. but think about this if we take anywhere from 12-20 calls per hour (yes it is that many) and 7 out of 10 calls are people screaming, we get under a lot of stress. just say thank you, it does make are day.
really in closing I want to say that we are human just like you. no matter what you say to us we understand. as much as we would like to let all of our customers get the calls sometimes we can't, and we say you should do something do it. we aren't the bad guys believe it or not. we just want to help you BUT you have to let us help you.
please just remember that, thanks
     
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rhondam718732 on 06/30/2005:
I can appreciate that yelling is not the reasonable way to resolve an issue in this situation. However, in a world where each average American relies on dozens of companies/services to provide the correct service to them on a timely basis, at the rate they agreed, THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN. And it's alarming. Cell phone companies are horrible, banks are getting scarry, utility companies have always been a nightmare to deal with - and NOW retail stores are being rude, uncooperative and annoying. So when your customer gets on the phone and this is maybe te 3rd or 4th "service" that week or month that has screwed up - - that customer is ONLY HUMAN too. Our lives are affected by loss of utilities, phones, etc. A customer screaming at you sucks, but you can go home and not think a thing about it. We are paying for services and deserve the service to work - not having to call and spend time to "fix" it.
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Consumer ripoff
Posted by on
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 any one 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?
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 10/25/2007:
They are right, it's not uncommon for a lot of phone cards and gift cards to expire or get hit with "maintenance" charges that decrease your balance if they go unused for a while. What I would question is their change of terms without notifying you - if you had monies on deposit, they owed you a chance to leave your money with them under the new rules or withdraw the money.
old and tired on 10/25/2007:
just had a thought---this isn't about a person's feelings about the incarcerated,it is about a disreputable company that has poor business practices.Substitute the name of a company you do business with and think about how you would feel if they took your money, gave conflicting information, overcharged you or didn't credit your account properly and then denied you service, and the best customer service you could get was sorry I can't help you. And then there was not another company where you could take your business.
justice420 on 12/03/2007:
I have a similar situation with my daughter and I would love to know legally if there is anything we can due to put a stop to this. There has to be some kind of Price Gouging Law written somewhere, Not quite sure who to talk too/where to turn. Anyone with any knowledge pertaining to this issue my E-mail is alice_cardwell@yahoo.com. feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts and stories and we'll take it from there. We as a I we are little we as a us we can move mountains.
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
Old and tired & justice420, first I agree with you both and this company is run by criminals and is totally corrupt. I have been looking in to these kinds of companies for a while and it seems they can do anything they want because the people that don't care support them and your government support them under the "National Security" crap that they are using to spy on all of us now.

Best to both of you on this matter.
Here are a couple of good places to start checking these creeps out.

· Commentary - Talk's Not Cheap With Evercom
But perhaps the biggest con artist isn't behind bars, it's Correctional Billing Services, a division of Evercom Systems Inc. and T-Netix Inc. that controls ...
www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/022607... - 17k - Similar pages

· CBS, Evercom And Your Public Service Commission
Reports of alleged improper practices and abuse by CBS and Evercom are escalating, particularly their partnership with NCO Financial Services who, like CBS, ...
www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/09/... - 32k - Similar pages
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
Evercom, formed in 1996, installs and maintains its equipment at no cost to facilities, and then pays generous kickbacks for the right to extort the families and friends of the inmates.

Correctional Building Services sets arbitrary thresholds, deciding how many collect calls you can receive in a 90 day period and once you reach that limit, you're cut off, regardless of if your bill is paid. Their "representatives" refuse to allow users to speak with supervisors, refuse to identify the criteria used to set their "limits". Call your phone company and they'll tell you there's nothing they can do.

In one particular case, the limit was set at $130 so at $17.30 per clip, that means in a 90-day period, you're limited to receiving 7 collect phone calls. Evercom decides for you how many phone calls you're going to accept and decides, regardless of your credit rating and past telephone history, how many collect calls you can receive and when. They call it "payment verification". Evercom, not you, is in control of your phone service. And you thought you had rights as a customer. It's not up to you to decide whether or not to accept a collect call, Evercom decides if you can even have that choice and decides how many calls you can have. If exceed their arbitrary limit, you can't have any calls, regardless of if your bill is paid.
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
The Public Utility Law Project is also addressing the situation and information about inmate phone calls and what to do can be found at their website at http://www.pulp.tc/html/inmate_phones.html
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
To read more comments about the protested policies and costs of Evercom, see http://forums.treemedia.com/fb/showthread.php?t=713 and http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff140152.htm
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
To complain about rates for intrastate (within a state) collect calls from public phones in prisons, contact the state public utility commission in the state where the call originated and terminated. State public utility commission addresses may be found at http://naruc.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=15 or in the blue pages or government section of your local telephone directory. To complain about interstate and international rates, file a complaint with the FCC. http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/Inmate.html
Anonymous on 12/04/2007:
Last one:
One woman has gone the extra mile and filed a formal complaint against CBS with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Her letter follows:

“I just read the latest nightmare of the lady with two residences that had her phones blocked from receiving calls from correctionals. I thank God for the amount of exposure that you all have given to this subject because no one else seems to care. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/09/05/arbitrary_cbs/ http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/022607TalkNotCheap.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/012307PhoneExtortion.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/07/31/cbs_and_nco/

“Everything that is reported about this company is true. The only way that you can expose this company is by the aggrieved parties filing a complaint with the public utility company in their individual state. A person has to know exactly what it is that they are complaining about. The process can be confusing because you automatically think that the consumer specialists know what they are doing but such is not the case.

“I want you to type this in your search engine (Elvera Williams v T-NETIX formal complaint). This is my complaint with the Maryland Public Service Commission. It was filed in April 2006, I reached review status in June 2006, I got the results in December 2006 and I disagreed and filed a formal complaint in December 2006. It took them until June 2007 before the commission began ruling. Here it is September 2007 and I don’t have the results as of yet. The bottom line is that these inmate phone companies have a monopoly and the FCC and the local PUC have failed us because we fall in the minority.

At the end of the day I intend to do all I can to help put CBS out of business. Keep on reporting about CBS.

Elvera Williams

Camp Springs, Maryland 9-14-07


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I Hate You!!!
Posted by on
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 commisary 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.
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 05/16/2006:
Let me see if I get this straight....prison inmates are being made to SUFFER? OMFG! Where is the ACLU? Where is Oprah? Although, it would seem fifteen minutes per phone call should be plenty of time - it's not like your fiance has been doing a lot of new and interesting stuff each day. You should be able to catch up on all the prison gossip and news in fifteen minutes.
rhondam718732 on 05/16/2006:
Yep...not going to get much sympathy here unless your fiance was wrongly accused and has never spent a pervious day in jail and shouldn't be there now...Booohooo. I call my husband anytime I want, free of charge and don't have someone telling me when I can and can't...it's called FREEDOM and my husband doesn't break the law.
Ponie on 05/16/2006:
Aw-w-w-w, poor baby! He did the crime, now he can do the time at a huge price for 15 minutes. Fiance? You mean you're actually going to marry that loser? You two will never learn.
Anonymous on 05/16/2006:
You should have used that 15 minutes to call Geico and save 15% off your car insurance. Also, I hear they have free pie and chips. How's your mum?
Brenda Leah on 05/16/2006:
I agree with all of the other posters.

Wahhh I can't afford to call my prison fiance. Give me a break!! How can they sleep at night? How can your boyfriend sleep at night with the crime he committed?

Prisoners shouldn't even be able to call ANYONE. Prison isn't mean to be a PICNIC in the sun!
Wraith on 06/20/2006:
Poor, poor prisoner. Moral of the story - Don't go to jail.
nicolasa on 05/30/2007:
even if he did do the crime he's paying for it... he should still be allowed to talk to his family & friends. Evercom is ripping people off. & they are pretty stupid too. obviously you people have never had a family member or close friend in jail or prison. nobody's saying you have to feel sorry for them. but stop thinking your better than them. talking down on them is making you JUST as bad. get over yourselves because you aren't perfect either.
ever_rep on 06/12/2007:
we may not be perfect but we know that if you go to jail then you have to do your time... sure you miss your fiancee but what are you going to do when he gets out, and all he has been doing is working out... what if you make him mad and then he hits you.... no guy is worth waiting for... find a real man hunny,
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Inability to receive collect calls
Posted by on
BROWNWOOD, TEXAS -- My son is in the Brownwood, Texas detention center. He has been trying for three days now to call us collect here in South Carolina. I have called the Evercom customer service center at phone number 1 800 947 0899 three times, once each on 21, 22, and 23 April 2004. Each time they have assured me that my line was clear to receive calls.

My son bought a calling card and tried to call me with it, it still wouldn't go through with it either. I am trying to give your company some business, but it seems Evercom doesn't want my business or else just doesn't care.

A couple of years ago, I had Evercom place a block on my line. They are very good about blocking calls. I wish they would learn how to remove the blocks.

If you care and want to help me, remove the block or call me to let me know if I can help you in any way. The phone number that has the block on it is 1-864-845-0427. It is operational all the time. I am requesting a service from Evercom, please help me. Thanks, Ernie Rice
     
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anonymous2 on 04/29/2004:
If you had cbs place a block on your line then you just need it to be removed.

And the cbs # is 1.800.844.6591
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Correctional Billing Services
Posted by on
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I am appalled at the process that are charged to talk to an inmate at the jail and they are the only only ones available which is a bunch of bunk. Then on top of that they charge a service charge in addition to the call. It's like a force to use for connection to talk to an inmate.
     
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Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
Get over it and start mailing this person letters. It's not going to change. Trust me.
jktshff1 on 01/23/2009:
just read the related reviews above.
Anonymous on 01/23/2009:
Zz, best answer.
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Inmate Collect Calls
Posted by on
Evercom is not just high-priced, but they overbill and then take months to refund the charges. I believe the world should know that they are both amoral and unethical in their business practices. This is public information available easily (below). Let them know what you think.

Richard Falcone, Chief Executive Officer
Securus Technologies
14651 Dallas Parkway 6th floor
Dallas, TX 75254
phone 972-277-0300
email corporate@securustech.com

Let them know what you think of their unethical practices.
     
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killerklown on 12/04/2007:
Nah, I'll just keep all my friends and relatives out of prison.
MRM on 12/05/2007:
You're talking about a telecom company being both amoral and unethical, just look at your friends or relatives that are in jail right now.
Anonymous on 12/05/2007:
How about if we just eliminate all the telephones in the prisons? That will put them right out of business, and oh, by the way, PUNISH the people who commit crimes and get sent to prison.
Anonymous on 12/05/2007:

Killer, famous last words.

MRM, it is true and to call a spade a spade is the correct answer and Evercom is a corrupt company.

Ken, it is easy to judge the judged but to know the truth is a hard thing. We are already creating the next generation of "law breakers" and we are making the ones in prison progressively worst for when they get out, don't you people get the simplest things?

Anonymous on 12/05/2007:
CBS, Evercom And Your Public Service Commission
Posted on Friday, 14 of September , 2007 at 8:44 pm
COMMENTARY

If you have a sister or brother, girlfriend, boyfriend, some other relative or friend who is incarcerated somewhere in the U.S., no doubt you’ve dealt with Correctional Billing Services, aka Evercom.

And no doubt your experience has been far from pleasant.

CBS says its the only nationwide provider to offer “customer care” and “account activation centers” solely dedicated to the friends and family members of inmates. Representing over 3,100 correctional facilities nationwide, it’s a virtual monopoly and has caused many headaches and much heartache.

Reports of alleged improper practices and abuse by CBS and Evercom are escalating, particularly their partnership with NCO Financial Services who, like CBS, is based in Pennsylvania

CBS controls whether or not inmates in state prisons and jails throughout the United States can communicate with their families and friends.

If you’ve got the money, up front, you can talk—-but talk’s definitely not cheap. The going rate is $17.30 for 15 minutes, no matter the location.

CBS refuses to provide its rates on its website but claims that their rates are in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations. They tell you that they’re taping you but when you tell them that’s okay because you’re taping them too, they quickly hang up.

CBS refuses to allow the use of long distance calling cards or toll free numbers, cause they won’t get their cut. “Promotional discounts that are often offered by long distance carries do not apply” either.

Apparently with tongue in cheek, the CBS website states “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.

Complaints are being filed across the nation against CBS and Evercom with the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and state Public Service Commissions and people are getting involved.

The North Country Gazette has been spotlighting the abusive practices and excessive costs of CBS and Evercom.

One woman has gone the extra mile and filed a formal complaint against CBS with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Her letter follows:

“I just read the latest nightmare of the lady with two residences that had her phones blocked from receiving calls from correctionals. I thank God for the amount of exposure that you all have given to this subject because no one else seems to care. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/09/05/arbitrary_cbs/ http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/022607TalkNotCheap.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/012307PhoneExtortion.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/07/31/cbs_and_nco/

“Everything that is reported about this company is true. The only way that you can expose this company is by the aggrieved parties filing a complaint with the public utility company in their individual state. A person has to know exactly what it is that they are complaining about. The process can be confusing because you automatically think that the consumer specialists know what they are doing but such is not the case.

“I want you to type this in your search engine (Elvera Williams v T-NETIX formal complaint). This is my complaint with the Maryland Public Service Commission. It was filed in April 2006, I reached review status in June 2006, I got the results in December 2006 and I disagreed and filed a formal complaint in December 2006. It took them until June 2007 before the commission began ruling. Here it is September 2007 and I don’t have the results as of yet. The bottom line is that these inmate phone companies have a monopoly and the FCC and the local PUC have failed us because we fall in the minority.

At the end of the day I intend to do all I can to help put CBS out of business. Keep on reporting about CBS.

Elvera Williams

Camp Springs, Maryland 9-14-07


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A Scam
Posted by on
CHILLICOTHE, OHIO -- I like to know why they have 100.00 Of my money floating around there company that I have paid and not able to use. Then I get the runaround from them saying it will take 24 to 48 hours to investigate this money was put on the account on 7/13/07 and has been taken out of my checking account. There sorry advice and inconsideration needs to be addressed because my advice is they don't give a sh*t and I would like to punch all of them in there face and I wouldn't be sorry. This comment is not meant for jesus and the supervisor that helped him on 7/14/07 around 10:30 a.M.
     
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