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.
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.
I have a family member in jail and I am using Global Tel Link for her collect calls to me. When I first started the account, $25 would get her at least 1-2 calls a day for 3 days. Over the past few weeks, I started added $50 because it takes forever to go through all the instructions to add the money with your credit card. Well, once I started putting $50 on the account, the money went even quicker with her not changing her call routine. It turned into every 3 days, it was another $50.
Well I went back to putting $25 on the phone and yesterday I put $25 on the phone when she called. She called back in the evening and GTL said I had to add MORE money to accept the call. That was $50 in one day for 2 calls. I called GTL today and what they told me was it cost $8.34 for a 20-minute call but the jail only allows 15 minute calls. They charge $9.50 to add $50 and $4.75 to add $25 every time you add money.
I was also told that if an inmate or loved one is trying to call you collect and you don't answer, for instance they call 2-3 times back-to-back, then GTL will hold the money on the account for 5 minutes for each time someone calls and you don't pick up. So if you happen to pick up on the 3rd call then the GTL message will say "you have a collect call and need to add money to accept." This to me is very very hard to keep track of and it has now turned into every time I get a call from my family member, I am adding money even though my family member has started calling only 2-3 times a week now.
This entire operation really is a rip-off. I still have no idea why I am being charged $8.34 per 20-minute call when inmates have a 15-minute limit. If anyone knows a company to use for collect inmate calls, please let me know.
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???
On 5/6/13 I called the GTL to re-collect calls from my kids' dad from MCI-H in Hagerstown Md. He has made several attempts to call, each time the call is disconnected. I called CS at 866 230 7761, spoke with 2 NASTY, RUDE, IGNORANT ASS REPS (** & **). I had to go into PRAYER so I wouldn't lose my temper because of their nasty attitudes.
"Dear Heavenly Father, I place Global Tel Link into your hands, they are ripping & scamming your people who work hard for their money. Father I ask you RIGHT NOW that you go into the hearts & minds of anyone associated with Global Tel Link. Father God, convict the hearts & spirits for taking advantage of YOUR PEOPLE who need that contact with their loved ones who are incarcerated Global Tel Link is not providing that service to them Lord Jesus.
Heavenly Father I know you have all POWER, your word say to bring my burdens to you because you have ALL POWER to change the hearts & minds of people that is beyond my control, in the name of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father, REVEAL Global Tel Link for the FRAUD & SCAMMERS that they are, in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ AMEN!" Anyone who sees this post, please pray this prayer if you agree this company has FAILED you as well.
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- Global Tel is a money-making scheme for the company itself, as well as the correctional facility who must require this service. Most of us with loved ones incarcerated are not wealthy, but the above two mentioned take total advantage of our situation, making this the only way to have phone contact with our jailed loved ones.
Why are they charging outrageous amounts for calls, so-called service fees, as well as taking money from my account that are not applied to calls that go through? I am being charged for calls that I do not answer. And forget about customer service, I was treated like a piece of crap, told calls were made that weren't, and basically called a liar. And so what - you can't do anything about it, you have no other choice.
OKLAHOMA -- My spouse is an inmate at Hillside Correctional in Oklahoma City. Every time I place more money on my account, the recording tells me it is now connecting my call, which it does not. I get disconnected every time and charged for the call. I finally managed to talk with a live person about this, and was told it would take seven business days to get a reply. I haven't heard anything since.
This has been an ongoing problem, and the company does not seem to care. I am sick of being charged for a call that I don't get to use. I was also informed that Global cannot credit my phone back the charges because it is a cell phone. I have heard that other inmates have experienced the same problem, but do not know that for a fact. I guess my next step is to call the Better Business Bureau. I wish to add that the rate this company charges is absurd. I wish I could list my true feelings about Global in this letter, but the language is not printable.
RESTON, VIRGINIA -- I set up the account so my son could call home from jail - at the time I thought it was the only way. Well in January we gave them our debit card number and continued using this company for two months, to a total of $350.00. The company then changed their policy and we need to pay $100 on an account over the phone which then my son could call home again, so we did.
From Feb. 26,2010 and March 10, 2010 he called six times which left a balance of $81.72. The prison then got a new company and we had to switch (which I might add, this company is very good). On March 13, 2010 I called Global Tel Link to get my account closed and get my refund and the person said no problem, 7-10 days.
Two weeks went by and still no refund in my account. I called back they said, "We need the account number for the refund." I reply, "You have the account number, you have been taking $50 a week for it for the last two months. How can you say you don't have it?" So my husband gave them the account number on his card which has been done before and my account number also. She said she would personally take this to the account and billing herself to see that it got taken care of. Again I waited 7 to 10 days, no refund.
Called again and the man said I need to fax a letter stating I wanted my account closed and the refund to go back into my account. I hung up and did just that. Two weeks later I called and the lady said I had giving her a wrong number. I said, "No and you also have the number in my account and on the fax." She had nothing to say.
Again I gave my account number and said I want my money within two business days, after all Global Tel debits the account in 24 hours. I should not have to wait any longer for what belongs to me. Today May 4th, I still have no refund. So trust me when I say, DON'T use this company no matter how bad you want to talk to your family member.
I add $25 every week to my cell phone to speak with a friend that is an inmate. With that $25 dollars, 5 goes to a service charge of some sort and the other $20 gets us 3 phone calls of 15 minutes each. As if that's not already ridiculous enough. We were on our last phone call today when he called me and about 6 minutes into the phone call, the spokesman for the company comes on and says that the call is being disconnected for use of three-way calling. And then when my friend calls back there, were only two dollars remaining and that got us just a little over 1 minute of talking.
I have no idea on how to use three-way calling and I already know if I were to ever try that, it would not work and the phone would shut off. So I called the company and it has a policy of 'if you have a cell phone problem and the call is lost, then no money will be refunded'. And yes I understand and agree that if your cell phone loses service or goes dead, then no you shouldn't get any money refunded. But in my situation it was the company's fault for the phone call being dropped. Not my phones at all.
So I wanted a refund and after having this guy tell me 100 times there is no way since I was using a cell phone to get my money refunded, so I told him in the politest way that I would like to speak with someone higher up. And after repeatedly asking, that he did. When he finally transferred me, it was to a lady and again I spoke with respect and explained my situation. And she started to "explain" that no refunds were allowed to be given. I said, "even though it was your company's fault?", and then she proceeded to yell at me and tell me it was rude that she let me speak and then interrupted her.
So I let her speak. Then she put me on hold after being a total witch about things for about 8 minutes and answered the phone again and said, "sorry about the hold, was there anything else I could help you with?" I let her know she helped me with nothing and used another arrangement of names that I can't say on this complain but I'm sure you know what they are. I am looking for another company to use and I would NOT recommend this P.O.S. company to ANYONE!!
OKLAHOMA -- I recently received a call from Global Tel Link, only for GTL to tell me it was blocked. I researched the problem, and I realized that GLT is not truthful. I believe they think that they are dealing with "the lowest of the low" so what they say to us as consumers should be taken as the truth. After my phone was blocked, I called GTL, and they told me that Windstream, my telephone provider rejected the calls and to deal with ILD the people who bill the calls.
ILD told me that GTL is the one who put the block on the phone. I called GTL after the claim that Windstream rejected the charges, and they told me I was one of their best customers, and they did not block any calls. By the way, I talked with the management. When I went back to GTL with **'s (Windstream) report, GTL went to a different story: I had accepted over $200 in phone calls from the correctional facility. When that statement was discredited by ** at GTL (unbeknownst to the management, ** (GTL) told me I would have to set up a prepaid account).
All of those lies were told to me so that I would set up a prepaid account for which they charge a 25% fee. GTL is untruthful, and the honest sector of the country cannot deal with lies. GTL makes up stories as they go, hoping that no one with verify their statements. When they are cornered in their lies, they still lie and say because we put a block on your phone for nonpayment, you must set up a prepaid account. No wonder GTL has an "F" grade with the Better Business Bureau.
I am writing to my state's Department of Corrections to see if they will rein in GTL. We all should do the same. If the prisons offer phone service, then it should be service. Letters have always been an option, but if there is going to be service, then there should be service--no scams.