TEXAS -- I was charged by both Prison Call Services and Global Tel Link and realized they are one and the same, though Global Tel Link tells you that PCS is a fraud. At one point one of their reps told me to go back to PCS because it would save me money. Both took my money but charged services fees and there are hidden fees even if you don't answer the call. You put money in the account and it can be gone in one short phone call and they immediately demand more.
I added money one day but that same day, my niece was released so I called and canceled it, but they threatened me on the phone, demanding to know why I was canceling as if I didn't have a right as a consumer to cancel an unneeded service. But I had filed a fraud claim against PCS, signed up with Global Tel Link and "somehow" they were able to get my money from PCS, for a fee of course. Wells Fargo further lost me money because they claimed that PCS was legitimate although their phone numbers do not work. Global Tel then pretends to be saving you.
So I canceled since she was released and for a few days, the money was back in my account but then somehow when Wells Fargo investigated PCS, they decided it was a legitimate business so they OK'd the cancelled withdrawal, which then somehow voided my cancellation of the Global Tel Link service, and the 50.00 was taken out but because of bank procedures. The transactions "dropped off my account" so when I checked, it looked like that the money was taken out then promptly returned, only to have them sneak it out a few days later.
I kept looking for the amount minus the 14.95 service charge for cancellation and kept searching for 50.00 that I was short. Finally after my daughter was arrested again and she was able to call me, they announce on the call my balance! I go to my account and sure enough, they had kept the 50.00 and if she hadn't been picked up, the money would have stayed in there past the 90-day refund period and I would have lost it all together.
Not only is Global Tel Link an expensive fraud, PCS is owned by them and they manage to work you both ways: PCS advertises a flat rate and/or less per minute but the number is declared no good by Global Tel Link and they step in take the rest of what you gave to PCS and charge you service charges, a long distance rate, a unanswered call charge...on and on.
Plus trying to stop payment on PCS just got me an email threat saying they could charge me 3 times what I owed if I went to the bank! And then the bank sees that Global Tel Link was used at one time and they didn't even check out PCS, so they said the 50.00 Global Tel Link used plus charges was legitimate and let it go through even though I had canceled it and had not used any calls against the 50.00. It is a racket, it is government-sanctioned, it is a monopoly and it seems we have no recourse EXCEPT I am a writer and I am going to spend the rest of my days harassing my senator and congress person for reform.
The prison system doesn't help drug addicts and it doesn't help people while they are in jail so they come out worse than before. It is a money-making business and hardworking families, in an attempt to help their family members, only get ripped off. My niece is young and suffered the loss of her parents both suddenly and tragically within a two-year period. I'm not condoning her drug use and it has been a battle but she doesn't need to be in prison but in treatment like all drug addicts. But punishing the families by ripping us off doesn't help us help our family members.
I have given her an ultimatum because there is a 2-year live-in program and she can't live with me or my father anymore. She needs professional help to rebuild her life and she needs structure and to be working with people who have experience with drug addicts and their fears. I am helpless in doing anything for her because it is up to her. She may not have hit bottom and she may not make it and that frightens me more than anything. BUT I don't need to be played by a big corporation which makes billions off the prison system.
I need my energy to be here for her when she decides she wants to restart her life. I don't need to be ripped off as if I deserve to be treated like a brainless twit who has money lying around for these racketeers to bully and rip off. None of us deserve that, regardless of who or why a family member is in prison. The prison system helps no one, and our judgment of people who have fallen into drug use is unfair since we don't have a clue what brought that about. And God help the innocent who get arrested and their families have no money nor understanding of how to fight for them or have the means to even figure out how to get help.
I am ashamed of America right now. There is no compassion for the poor and as needed services are erased, more people will fall into despair and into jail. And as Global Tel Link takes money hand-over-fist, you can bet they pay no taxes. If you read this, and you find yourself in this same situation, speak out, be a pest to your congress people, call the White House, your Governor, don't stop being loud and clear about the changes we need. In silence, we will fail our children.
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- I made a transaction earlier today in hopes to speak to my loved one of $25 with a loading fee added to that transaction. Upon several attempts of the inmate trying to place a call it would not work/connect the call. So being very flustered and confused because I was given this company's contact info by the facility my loved one is housed, I called customer service to try and resolve this issue. I was told several times by a representative, "Sorry," and pause.
At that point I requested my funds to be returned so that I may find if another company and was told that "I would be charged a $5 REFUND FEE and would see my funds in my account WITHIN 30 BUSINESS DAYS." WTF??? So I paid a transaction fee to receive services that I never received and you are gonna charge me an additional $5 on top of the other fees, and I have to wait 30 days to get it?? What kind of ** is this? Charge me $5 for immediately refunding my fees.
I feel so damn robbed. This is horrible service!! And on top of all of it THEY DON'T HAVE A COMPANY ADDRESS. WTF again? And guess what the rep said upon me running this back to him?? "Sorry." Wowwww. Do not, I repeat, do not use this company whatsoever. This is not a reputable company.
TEXAS -- As a new customer to GTL, I thought this company would be understanding to my situation. I mean come on, it's in their mission statement. Yet, the company takes advantage of people in distress. They charge you $2 every 15 minutes and $7 to add money. Then when it comes to a refund, the company does not contact you on about your complaint.
Then when you call the customer service number, they give you a very difficult time then charge you to CANCEL THEN TELL your money will be issued in 60 day! This company failed to put this vital information on their automated phone operator. Then told me I had to mail a letter to request proof of my refund. Really, believe me, Global Tel Link is a scam! I hope this helps the next customer.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- There is got to be a way to stop this monopoly, having just one provider to be able to communicate with your loved ones who are incarcerated. It is terrible what they are doing right in your face. I deposit $50 dollars and the first calls they deduct $8.00 just for transaction fees. Spoke to my son for 2 minutes. When he called me again the next day, I only had $30 dollars?? $12 dollars for 2 minutes? Also when you start talking, they will interrupt the call saying that a conference call was intercepted and of course when you get the call again, they charge you the transaction fee.
I have been monitoring them and already sent a complaint to some authorities because someone is making big buck off of us, we must do something ASAP. That's why I called this an "armed robbery" - they do it and no one is doing anything about it. My son has been in jail since June 26, 2013 and I have spent over $300 in those 4 weeks. Something has to be done.
NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have been charged NC collect rates at $3.40 + tax for more than 120 calls that should be charged $3.15 + tax per the NC DPS website Inmate Telephone System section. I have paid the $4.75 service fee 18 times, but paid $7.95 3 times. I have paid full (yet incorrect) price for 7 calls less than 5 minutes each, including a 2-second call that was a busy signal, that should be refunded per the Q&A Help section of the GTL website, as my phone is not a cell phone. I have been told by GTL that my billing will not be researched, and that I will not receive any credit on my account, ever.
ALABAMA -- I've been using Global Tel Link for about a month to get calls on my cell phone from my fiance. The costs of each call is $2.50 per phone call and the phone calls are 15 minutes long. I only add money via Western Union which is a $10.95 sending fee. Talk about expensive.
Well, I hadn't had a problem out of the phone calls until about a week ago. Now, when I only have about 2 more calls left, the automated recording tells me I have a low balance and then I just count the last two. This was our 1 call after hearing the low balance recording. We heard something pick up, kind of like when you're on the house phone and someone picks up to listen to your phone call... but I was on a cell phone.
On my fiance's end, he heard a strange little buzzing sound. We've concluded that is when the jail picks up to listen in to your calls. Well, then all of a sudden I hear "3-way call detected" and there goes my $2.50 phone call. Boy was I mad. I called Customer Service immediately and explained that I don't even have 3-way calling on my cell phone. The Customer Service lady explained that (and this is important) GLOBAL TEL LINK DOES NOT GUARANTEE CALLS TO CELL PHONES. So, I asked to speak to her supervisor.
While I was on hold (since every time I'm on hold, it's for about 20 minutes no matter what it is), I pulled up their website and read the ENTIRE thing. And not one time did I read that there was no guarantee for cell phone. Oh, I was mad. But, I did not show I was mad, just disappointed. Instead of getting a supervisor, I got an answering machine. Very unprofessional, but whatever.
I left a message explaining that the woman I spoke with was very helpful but I would like to know why there is no guarantee for cell phones through their company but it was not in any recording, on the website, or even in any fine print. I left my number and requested them to call back (I said please). I didn't receive a call back, which upset me.
But after I received my 2nd call and knew I didn't have minutes anymore, I went to do another Western Union (because like most of you who used Global Tel Link, it's the ONLY option if you want to speak with someone incarcerated) and added $20 to my account. Now, if my math is correct, and I aced math all my life, that's 8 phone calls.
Well, I never called Customer Service back and even though I felt so upset at the time, I refuse to complain about this service because I have now received 27 phone calls without making any more payments and it still hasn't told me that I have a low balance. XD
Now, as to whether they are going to contact me and tell me my balance is $-100 sometime down the road is another story. But, the great thing about that is... my phone is not in my name, it's prepaid; the account is for my prepaid phone... I'll just change my number and they can eat the bill. Haha.
So, maybe you can try to call Customer Service and be very polite but very displeased with the service and let them know on the answering machine what's going on and ASK NICELY for a return phone call. And if they call you back instead of doing whatever it was they did to my account that has given me all these phone calls, then just tell them they'll return your money or you're calling corporate and going well above their head.
Oh, and ask for the supervisor's name... that'll probably help him/her to make the decision of giving you your money back instead of trying to make you go away. Hope this helps someone else like it did my fiance and me. PS - sorry your family/friends are incarcerated. I know how hard it is, now.
How crazy does this sound??? A few weeks ago I added minutes/funds to my phone and only received one call from the correctional facility. For personal reasons I changed my number (same phone company). Clearly I had close to 20 dollars left in my account, which I paid with MY CREDIT CARD. This is after the phone call I had just received and the ridiculous fee they charge you EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU ADD MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
After changing my number, I called to have MY MONEY/FUNDS transferred to my new number. Let's not omit the fact that getting a hold of these people, especially when you are at work, is extremely difficult; shame on you if you miss the call. The first time they returned my call, the representative said that it would be transferred as a one-time courtesy because they normally did not do that. WHY??? You are paying for a service correct??? OK, well I thought it was done and over with and I was going to be able to use the my remaining balance. After all, that is what the operator told me.
A few days ago I got a phone call from the correctional facility and it did not come through. I had no money in my account. I thought it was some sort of mistake so here I go again. I called them last Friday and as usual got their automated call-back center. Got a call back and re-explained my situation. The operator clearly mentioned it should have been done but they had made some sort of mistake and the transaction never went through. Funny how when they take your money, they never make any mistakes. So, she puts me on hold and tells me that her supervisor is the only one with the authority to do that and to wait while this is being processed.
Then out of nowhere, I get an answering machine that tells me that no one is available to take my call and to call back later. What a freaking joke! I get hung up on!!!! Wow! Seriously, if they are not going to do it, why even make you waste your time? So I called today again and I get the biggest A-hole on the phone to tell me that no, they had the authority to promise me anything and that they won't even do it as a one-time courtesy because they took that away too. Then on top of that, he adds insult to injury and tells me that I paid them the money and that now it is theirs and they can do with it whatever they please!!!!
Are you kidding me?! How can you pay for a service/item/product and then once you pay, you don't get anything in return, zero, nothing??? Is that even legal? It's not like I changed cell phone companies. Why don't they advice you of their policy in writing to begin with to know what to expect in case things like this happen?
I was so upset, I just told the jerk to keep my money and hung up. I wish there was someone regulating such unscrupulous & unethical companies and make them revise their stupid and ridiculous policies. How easy is it to just steal someone's money nowadays? They are no better than any pickpocket out in the streets. Whatever happenend to keeping your customer happy???
MOBILE, ALABAMA -- I have been dealing with this company for over a year and a half and have had nothing but problems. I have been blocked a few times and some my fault, some not, but they don't want to hear it. We the customer are wrong and have to pay for our actions and going over the amount they allow us. Well I got preached today and put down by one of the Customer Service there after waiting for 2 hours last night to get through. And then I get a guy representative who can't help me and he gives me a number for the AL office and I call and it's back to the automated waiting system.
Well I am being forced to go back to prepay and have to pay them a fee now 'cause they say I went over when I know I didn't 'cause I keep a log of every call I have accepted and the cost with time and dates and minutes used. But they condemn me that I am wrong but no one wants to go through the calls one-by-one with me to see who is at fault!!
Funny thing is I was blocked a few months back 'cause it said I went over for high call volume. The phones were down at the prison for 3 days - on the days they said I had high call volume and blocked me. And they argued and argued with me that I was wrong and when they realized it was them, I never got a sorry. I got told, "well we will unblock this last time" and that is it. Lol. I have been unblocked 2 times since then.
This company is the biggest joke and scammers out there. None of them know what is going on. They need to send a rules and regulations handbook out to all the customer service reps and make sure they know what they are talking about - 'cause I had one guy tell me that they can unblock you as long as the inmate's not in a county jail. They can only do that once, but then the next person you talk to says, "no I can't unblock you even though he's in a state prison."
When they really don't know what they are talking about, they tell you to call the AL office, then you get attitude from nasty supervisors. And this woman was preaching to me today about God - only God is perfect - when I told her their computer systems screws up and is not perfect and then basically told me I have rules and regulations to abide by in life and when I don't, I am to be punished.
I said, "are you for real? I am 35 years old and not the one in jail--don't talk to me about punishment--dealing with your company has been more punishment then anyone should have to endure." I told her things happen--life happens--people die and get sick and they need to take into consideration when this things go one that yeah, people may go over this amount allowed. Just' cause they are inmates don't mean they don't have a right to know what goes on in their family and to be able to be there through the phone calls' cause they can't be there in person--she didn't care.
I have a disabled child and he got sick a month ago and I got blocked 'cause we had a lot of calls going back and forth, 'cause hello??? He wanted to make sure his son was OK. Did they care? Nope. All Global Tel cares about is high prices for calls and forcing you to prepaid so they can charge you fees that go directly to them.
Something needs to be done about this company or they need to give us (the customer) other companies to choose from as a service for inmate calls to be accepted through. I have been hung up on and charged for it. Did I get the credit? Nope. They are rip-offs. Please be aware. And what gets me after all these complaints: nothing has been done to stop this company. It's hard enough having a loved on in prison, then to deal with this horrible company and stress and having to keep a log of every call you accept so you don't go over.
How come there is not a number for us to call to find out what the balance is on our account so we know how many more calls we can accept?? Ya know why?? 'Cause then they wouldn't be able to block you and force you to use prepaid and pay their fees plus high call amounts. $8.00 for a 15 minute call is unheard of, but they get away with it 'cause we allow them too. Who are we, the innocent family members of inmates?
All I have to say is thank God I only have about a year left of this and I will never have to deal with Global Tel Link again. Fyi, Globel tell you would get $200, a month of my money in phone calls. Now that you forced me to pre-pay, you will be lucky to get $25 a month.
You will lose not me. I will use the extra money I save for gas to go visit more and write more letters and if everyone follows my lead, you will lose enough money where you will be forced to make a change and put the customers first once and for all!!! God bless America.
FORT COVINGTON, NEW YORK -- I have been a customer through MCI and then Global Tel Link for almost ten years. I have always paid my bill and therefore, I have always been granted the additional calls. Well, although MCI was very costly, I always received my calls. Global Tel Link has only sent me one bill in nearly a year. I have had many blocks on my line and I have never been given a straight answer for when my bill is due. I was told "you will have calls taken for late payments, for early payments" (Yes! I paid early and an over payment therefore, I was not granted additional calls!)
How can people use this company when it takes no less than an hour to speak to a person who never can give you a straight answer and the supervisors do not speak to you? I have requested a copy of their policy, but have never seen one. They keep telling me that they know the policy therefore, I have no reason to know it! I have been taken from over twenty calls a month to four because I paid a day early in Dec. and my husband called the day my bill was due. I owed $3.32 and they took all my calls except four them. I was never notified that this was happening!
I called when the block was put on my line and was told that I was irresponsible! I paid when I was told to do so through calling the company for a date my bill was due because I never got a bill. I paid the bill and was told I would have to pay two months on time to increase my plan by three calls per month. I did so for January and Feb. I called on March 1 and was told that I show a credit on my bill and they are not a bank therefore, I cannot increase my calls - I must pay only the amount due on the date it is due. I must wait and pay two more months on time and not over to increase!
I asked for the supervisor only to get another customer service rep. who then tells me that they don't count January because my error occurred in Dec. As a positive payment therefore, I have to wait until the end of April to be considered. I then asked why I have gotten two answers and she told me not to worry, they know the policy and I am not going to get any more calls for at least two months! I am a mother of four and work full-time, my husband is 6 hours away - our calls are what keep us connected because I can't get there often.
How can they justify keeping a family apart like this? I know I am not the only one this has happened to and I know I am not the only one who has spent three hours on the phone begging for our rights to communicate with loved ones. Why can't we find a company that will treat inmate families like any other customers and not like we are deserving of poor treatment and disrespect?
In Nov. customers received a letter stating that they were going to $100 worth of calls a month. Once you reach the $100 limit, you must pay or your line would be blocked. I asked why my line was blocked in Dec. with this new plan. They simply stated that the plan did not go through, but I never received a letter stating that and neither did anyone else I have spoken to.
I think it is time the legal system step in an help the families to be righted for once. I also want to state that when this company took over, I have a credit of $113.00 and moved. I had a new number so they made me send a fax to request a refund. I have called and called and they claimed to have received the fax from June 07, and yet here we are, Feb 08 and still no refund.
They owe me, yet I am being punished! What a joke! We need help from a respectable phone company! I am sorry to go on and on, but this is the only place I have found in hopes of getting my complaint to this company. They don't even have a complaint number! The number you call for customer service just hangs up on you when you complain! Thank you!
LON ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I can't believe you all have time to write such stupid reviews about a company that does not give a penny for you all. I work for Global, I'm in Argentina, and I agree with you, this company IS A PIECE OF... To tell you the truth, I've worked with MCI, they were strict, but fast, and it was easier to get in touch with us, the reps. I truly agree with many customers regarding holding time and also about rudeness, and policies.
Most of the problems we are having is because during the peak hours (around 12:00 pm till 9:00 pm Eastern) we are not so many reps, as we used to be before. The reason for that is that the morning time (7 am to 12 am) is overcrowded, we do not receive so many calls during this time, and most of my peers work during that time, because for many of us, here in Argentina, is better to work during this time. Of course, this means not so many reps working during difficult hours.
In addition to that, customers are more upset than ever, and it is understandable (most of us, who work for this horrible company agree with what I'm saying). There is one more thing. People working in the afternoon are relatively "new" people. The experienced ones either quit or work in the morning. Just a few of us (who provide with the best customer service we CAN provide, not the one we want) know exactly what is going on. Training of new reps, my friends, lasts only a week!!! How on Earth you expect good serious customer service with one week training???
Now, there is more to this. Most of us are students, so we study and work, and that makes the job even harder, since customer, usually right, give us many problems. WE WANT TO HELP, AND WE UNDERSTAND YOU, but sometimes is way too difficult if you either Shout or yell all the time, or if you don't understand what we are trying to explain to you. I'm not saying that the explanation is morally correct, but it is how it is, and you as well as us have to deal with this.
Another important aspect is work conditions in the building. The light is very poor, the computers WAY TOO SLOW, sound is awful, we are afraid of quality evaluations (calls are recorded to verify if what we are telling is correct according to company policies and procedures) cause they're too strict with us, some supervisors (the 2 idiots from the morning) do not help much, and salary, my dears, is lees than poor.
We work for a company named APEX, a Sykes company, which is hired by different companies who want to hire the customer service provided by APEX, and theses companies (such us Global Tel, BMG, Capital One, etc) pay a certain amount of money per hour. GTL pays APEX (who is the company paying us) U$S 10 per hour we work. We work 6 hours and 1/2 per day, 5 days a week, around U$S 1300 per month. We are also paid for calls received (around 0.25 cents per call). You know how much money we earn each month in dollars??? $350 (a rep who is getting a good salary).
So, to sum up, in this long comment I wanted to explain to you that we agree with you, that we are not so different. We are workers, and that here in Argentina although most of us are students, we need the money to help in our homes, or to carry on our lives. That is why we keep on working in this company. I can guarantee, we do not agree with it at all!!! That is why I hope you will write to me, and also that you will understand us better when you call us. It is not our fault, and we really want to help you.