BOCA RATON, FLORIDA -- To be clear: this company does not provide a service beyond what you could get for free using something like Google voice or another voice VoIP service. GlobalTel will charge a customer $45 a month for what would otherwise be offered for free. They clearly state this on their website. They are not offering phone services for inmate calling only offering a phone number that is local to the prison system from which you would like to receive phone calls. It is misleading however because they have a name similar to other service providers that do offer actual calling services out of a prison.
MOBILE, ALABAMA -- I had to use Global Tel-link in the past and so was somewhat familiar with their service. When I received a call from a relative that had been arrested I used the Global Tel-link service. I put $25 on the account. Every time I talked to the individual I was prompted to put another $25 or $50 on the account. I didn't understand why they kept asking for more money, but thought that the calls were close enough together that the money deposited might not have been credited yet. They charged me $100 for 4 20-minute calls. They claim that they charge.89 minute for long distance (which is highway robbery).
Still that would be 17.80 per call and I paid $25.00. So where did the rest of the money go? Into undisclosed fees - $4.75 to use my VISA to pay them (I wasn't given any other option) and then $3.95 to connect the call. On top of that the calls can't exceed 20 minutes because the jail limits the length of the calls - so why was I charged $24.10 for the first call??? Who knows, the numbers kept changing with every conversation. This organization is unethical and should be investigated.
This service is a complete joke. I set up a prepaid account with them when my husband went to county jail it was an expensive hassle but I was able to talk to my husband regularly so I was satisfied. Then when he was transferred to state prison I had to open a new account that I would be billed for. I got the run around for a week. First they told me to fax a copy of my bill. I did that. 2 days went by with no calls. I finally got through to an operator that told me it takes 3-5 business days to set up the account.
Finally after almost 2 weeks of not being able to talk to my husband he was finally able to call me. We had our 30 min limit call, and the next day my phone was blocked. When I called Global Tel to find out what the problem was they told me I couldn't set up an account and they couldn't give me any information as to why it was blocked because the phone is in my husband's name. They won't even accept a signed and notarized letter stating I have authorization on my husband's accounts. There is nothing I can do. They expect me to go without talking to my husband for the next 14 months and visits are few and far between because he is in a facility over 6 hours away.
UNKNOWN HEADQUARTERS, OHIO -- One complainer referred to this company as "a train wreck". I don't think I can improve on that description (at least not without being vulgar). At the bottom of all of the problems with the blocked phone lines and the call-limits until you "demonstrate that you can pay your bill", etc. is a personal bias against the incarcerated. Look, there are lots of reasons why people end up in prison, ranging from them being "career criminals", to someone just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply making a very bad choice ONCE and paying a high price for that choice. Irrespective of why a person is locked up, they are still humans. But not, apparently at Global Tel.
During one of my MANY phone calls to them to try to get the bill paid or the credit card accepted or to deal with any of a number of impediments they set up, I said in frustration, "I don't understand why you are doing this. I have the credit card, I have a check, what do you want"? The response was, "You don't seem to understand. These are PRISONERS". And...? That means they don't deserve to be able to phone people? That means they are entitled to "extra" punishment because they are "prisoners"? I don't get why there is no "higher authority" to which one can make a complaint. Dreadful people working for a dreadful company.
Global is great when it come down to managing your collect calls and bill but the customer service is bad. They are rude and take forever to call you back. For example, I called one day because my husband could not get through the phone. Said that we had a block provided by our phone company. When I called Global Tel, the rep was so rude he told me "take off the call forwarding, call waiting and three way calling and maybe it will work". I informed him that I don't think that is correct because I never had this problem and he told me "Well, that's what it is and I can't transfer you because they are going to tell you the same thing" and he hung up.
Later I called MCI and they informed me that my phone had a restricted call block and to unblock it through my phone, and I haven't had a problem since. So that is the only two complaints. They need to work on their customer service because if I am paying my money for service I want high quality customer service, and I think there should be faster and more convenient service. I don't want to be put on a waiting list for someone to call me back and I would like to feel as if my business is wanted.
I spoke with a very nice lady that told me that I did not have to have account set up for my home phone and looked up info for me. She was very polite and took the time to answer all my questions and told me how to set up an account for my cell phone. Was very worried after I read the complaints. But so far no complaints. My prayers are with all the inmates and their families. My God bless!!
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK -- First, people need to refrain from making hasty generalizations and unfair judgments against people they know nothing about. There are individuals who have been incarcerated for many reasons... Some of them are loved ones who (believe it or not) have been a victim of the unjust judicial system which is full of flaws and prejudices. Regardless of the reason they are there, they are human beings and are granted rights. One of these rights is the ability to communicate with their loved ones on the outside. This is important for EVERYONE for a variety of reasons.
We on the outside, have made the choice to accept the calls and pay for them. Many of us are highly intelligent, educated, good-hearted people (Some of our loved ones in prison are, also). We do not deserve to have to go through several customer service reps. with bad attitudes who do not resolve our issues with the phone. We are treated like second-class citizens who are bothering them with our questions. The funny thing is, we second-class citizens are most often professionals with a much higher paying job than the one they go to everyday.
The ignorance on their part is sickening! They chose to work here and they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Since the change-over, the system is screwed up and our loved ones haven't had phone contact for weeks. This causes problems in the prisons and stresses those of us on the outside who are yearning to hear their voices to reassure us they're okay. I pay my bills AHEAD of the due date! I've had an account for 2 weeks which is inactive because of "Problems" with the system. This is not MY fault and I only hope that things will be resolved soon.
I was told that my phone no longer had a block on it but this is what they told me weeks ago and I haven't been able to get my calls. I am a customer! This company is receiving MY money! They really need to think about how to make things right with their inconvenienced customers the same way they would in any other place of business. I urge all of the others who are sharing my experience to write a review. Life is funny..... Those who hate and look down their nose at others, usually at some point get what's coming to them eventually.... Then the shoe's on the other foot.