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.
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.
I have been dealing with Global Tel Link for a little over a year. I have paid their high phone rates and have never been blocked not once until a week ago. I always pay on-time because as we all know the phone is a vital contact especially when your loved one is far away. Last week they called me and told me they cannot bill through the phone company anymore and I would have to fax a copy of my phone bill to them and it would take 3-5 business days to process.
Today is my 7th day being blocked and still the fax has not been processed. Theie customer service representative told me that I need to learn patience. I thought that was extremely rude since they told me 3-5 business days, not 5-7 days, not 7-10 days. I was told not to call back until Friday...and all of this time I am trying to sort out the problem. She tells me this process happens within the first 2 days of them going to a prison and I told her that was BS because my husband has been in prison for 2 months now. I asked her if there was a way to even check and see if they received the fax and she told me if I wanted to track it, that would take an additional 5 days.
I am sorry but I feel that it is wrong. How they are handling customers who actually have been good and pay when they are supposed to? I work a 2nd job just to pay these people every single week. I agree with everyone else on here, there is no need to punish the civilians who are trying to do the right thing just because one of their loved ones messed up and is incarcerated.
We are being treated horribly and I am sorry, but I get told they service over 1,000 prison facilities all over the USA and this is why it takes so long. Well if that is the case, then you need to hire more people then what you have working for you. I am in retail management and if myself or one of my workers EVER treated a paying customer like how I have been treated for the past week, we would be written up and then fired if it persisted.
If you are going to give high phone rates, at least make your customer service department a little more pleasant to deal with. We the consumers are not mean, we just want better service, especially when we are shelling out a lot of money to you.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Global Tel Link is the service used by Los Angeles County Jail System, so you can receive collect calls from a person incarcerated in county jail. The phone number I have for them is 800*483*8314 (this is an automated system).
They charged my credit card so I could establish an advance pay account which allows me to accept collect calls made from County Jail. Over the past 4 days I have deposited $125.00 with them, which covered 8 calls all less than 5 minutes in length. I deposited another $25.00 yesterday, and received a $14.00 credit towards phone time. The additional $11.00 is their "Service Charge". When you do the math, that comes out to an approx. 73% service charge. HOW IS THIS EVEN LEGAL??
Calls are continually dropped for no reason, yet they refuse to credit back any money for dropped calls. Talking to Customer Service is impossible, as they just never come to the phone. I have waited well in excess of 2 hours and still not spoken to anyone. Each 2-3 minute call (calls are within the local calling area) costs on average $10.00. How can that be right?
You do not have the choice to use any other type of collect call billing. So the only choice that families of loved ones who are incarcerated in Los Angeles County Jail have is to either accept this company ripping us off or not be able to communicate with any one who is incarcerated.
I would appreciate someone letting me know if: (1) Is this company not governed by any State Agency? (2) Is it legal for them to charge such outrageous fees? (3) Is the State of California investigating this company for illegal business practices? I have filed a complaint with the BBB, the CPUC, and the Federal Trade commission. It seems funny to me that an agency serving a county facility is allowed to continue to rip off consumers.
I think this company is the most terrible company to deal with. I first had my calls going to my home phone bill, and then I got a phone call stating billing has changed from my home phone carrier, so I was told that I would be getting a bill directly from Global Tel. Well the person that calls me collect, the strangest thing is that this person's family uses the same home phone company I use and it is very strange that they never got a phone call stating billing has changed.
Now that I get a bill from them makes my whole experience worse. They have charged me for $200.00 in calls that I have never used. So when you get so mad and ask for a supervisor, they say all they can do is transfer you to a priority customer service rep. That is no better than the main CSR. So I went through every call with a person, and they said "yes" I was being over charged. But they come and then say "well do you want to dispute the bill, or the calls," I said "no all I want is my money refunded." And they say all they can do is submit a research form. They won't give me any main office information, and won't give me any main office phone #.
I want to file a complaint with the BBB, but I can't get anyone to give me any information. So they blocked my phone because of their stupidity. No one speaks English at all, and when you call there you have to have them call you back and it ends up being over 2 hours later. I hope everyone that reads this will watch there billing closely and can help in fighting this horrible company and their practices.
I recently found out that a friend of mine now resides at Gaston CC in Dallas NC. We have been writing back and forth and in order to talk to him, I ordered a home phone so he could call me collect. His call came through the first 4 times, my caller ID said GTL Inmate but when I picked up, it was a recording saying my number didn't accept collect calls and to call GTL to set up an account.
Not wanting a separate bill, I called GTL and asked if they had a block on my number and if they did to take it off. The first representative said there was no block and the call didn't come through because my phone service was new, told me to call my phone co. and request they update their calling database. I called at and they said it would automaticaly update but could take a week.
Now, no calls come through from my friend, not even like they did before I call GTL. I called GTL again, this representative said the first representative didn't know what he was doing but again stated there was no block on my phone through them, but tried setting me up for an account. I didn't bite...I called at and again this time, the representative there used 3-way calling and called my number collect to show me the call would go through and it did. Still, his calls will not come through at all.
I called an 1800 number that would allow me to enter my number to check and see if GTL had a block on my number. The recording stated they had no records of any inmate trying to call my number. I called a live person, this time this representative put in my number and said," you're having trouble receiving calls from a inmate at Gaston CC?" **I NEVER mentioned the name of the facility to anyone** so they do have it in their records that an inmate has tried calling me.
Still no calls coming though so I'm calling one more time today and if this will not fix it, I'm going to the Executive Director of Billing. I'll update what happens, if anything does happen. Sorry for any missing letters, computer is acting up again.
ALABAMA -- A family member of mine was in jail for a DUI for about 6 months back in 2008. I set up a Global Tel Link account for her so she could talk to her son while there. I paid over $600.00 in that time and have not used their service since 2008 when she was released. I got a bill from them last month (in July 2010) saying I owed $37.28. I called, was on a call back list for 2 hours. Finally got a call back and was transferred around from person to person, and was finally told that hey FORGOT TO SEND OUT BILLS FOR 2 YEARS! What honest business would forget to bill people for 2 years???
So, even though I know this was not a charge that I incurred, I agreed to pay it because I have never paid a bill late in my life and have perfect credit that I always check on. I told them to close my account. I wrote a letter also telling them to close my account because I believe someone else is fraudulently using it. The checked cleared on my bank statement 3 days after I mailed it.
Today (August 4, 2010), a month later I get another bill for the exact same amount!!!!! I got on the phone again today and it only took 2 people for someone to actually be able to help. I was finally told this time that oh yeah, they did get the check, but they never put it through as paid. WTF!!! I asked them to send me a zero-balance statement so this time I can be sure it went through. I really think that people in this company are scamming it's customers if not the company itself. BEWARE!!! My advice is to avoid using this company if at all possible.
I am a parent of an Ohio inmate and I have been doing this for several years. I have always paid for my services and never gotten good service in return. This in my opinion is a criminal company with no interest in the inmate or the family member. Well you might say most companies are in business to make money. Yes this is true but they go to the extreme. If you live close, you can get a pretty cheap phone call but if you don't it could cost you up to 6 dollars a call.
I make a good living and I guess I should limit the amount of calls I get. This is my only child and I care for his child. I think it is unreasonable to ask families who are trying to take care of their families to incur these kind of bills. I am not a criminal and they treat us just like we are one of the inmates. We deserve a little respect. Life is very hard when you have to deal with this kind of situation. I never have been in any trouble with the law and I feel like I am treated that way a lot.
Then the real kick in the shorts was two weeks ago. Out of the blue, Global called me and said I had to receive a bill directly from them because my carrier did not handle collect calls from institutions any longer. I quickly got on the phone and called several other family members he calls who use the same carrier and they had not been switched or heard anything about any kind of issue. That leaves me to wonder was I just randomly targeted or what. When you visit their website, the only easy thing to do is pay, pay, pay!!!
I do not believe the state should allow a company to have a monopoly on these kind of services. I visited yesterday and the new machines they have put in the lobbies of the institutions are such a rip off. I spoke with a man who had put some money on the machine for his son and they charged him a six dollar service fee. Isn't that like the payday lenders who legislation is trying to get out of our state?
The kicker was when the man received his bill - he was charged another fifteen dollars for a service fee from his credit card institution. It literally cost this man who was trying to take care of his son an extra 21.50. If that is not cheating the consumer, I don't know what is. I will be visiting the institutions for a long time to come and try not to make waves. If we don't begin to speak out, they just continue to think they are justified in ripping us off.
I am so tired of the services that are supposed to be for the better of inmates and their families when all they do is take advantage of and disappoint. Global Tel Link is one of those. I used them for 3 months the first 3 months to stay in touch with my husband and it worked just fine - however expensive it was, I could communicate. Then he was transferred even further away and I was advised when he was allowed to call, it would be through the same company, no problem.
But the first call that came, after months of waiting, to hear it was declined because they said there was a block on my phone and I needed to set up account with them. Not understanding why after I had account already, I investigated and was told by my telephone company that the block was from Global Tel Link and I needed to prepay account for it to be lifted, which I promptly did and credited the same account $50.00 as instructed, and notified him through mail that it was done so he could finally call home.
Well being correctional facility, I figured after 2 months he had just not been allowed to call, but it was not. When he called he was told numerous times the phone was still blocked due to account setup. I called to again ask questions and find out why and was told by recording that the balance was now $20.00, which I can't understand when he has not been able to call once in 6 months. And when I call to ask about the forward to a call back that never calls back. I don't understand why these large companies are allowed to steal from us when we just need to talk to our loved ones.