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.
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.
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.
CLAYTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- My husband is in Concord Mass and I live in NC and I have been dealing with Global Tel Link for a while and I have had nothing but problems out of them since he have been there. I call and they are always busy and you have to leave a number and sometimes they will call you back and sometimes they will not call. I have asked to speak with a Supervisor and they put you on hold and the next thing you know there is a recording come on to leave a message. I don't think they check the message because no one never calls you back.
My rate is $15.78 per call. I have paid well over $2000 or more on phone calls alone and we only get 20 minutes and sometimes it don't even seem like 20 minutes so one time I timed it to see if it was and of course it wasn't. I have called and asked about my money they have taken out of my account when I pay over the phone and of course I get RUDE CUSTOMER SERVICE and they act like they don't know what you are talking about.
I can't find any other number to call to complain and I am looking for someone to help me because I know that I am not the only one that is going through this situation. I am going to go to a lawyer because this is really getting out of hand and I don't have money to waste so if someone out there know how I can go about finding out what else to do please let me know something by responding. My husband is not lock up for any harsh crime and they are taking it out on the families as well as the inmates and it is not FAIR. I am in need of HELP PLEASE! Thank you and God Bless You!
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- I have had an account with this company for several months in which I've had numerous problems with. Originally I had a billed account but for some reason unknown it was canceled and I was forced to set up a prepaid account. I was told I was only able to add minutes to the account with a credit card. The past few months I have noticed I have been overcharged for these calls because the customer service rep had entered my address wrong. Most likely because I have yet spoke to a customer service rep that speaks nor do I think understand English very well...
I called to make a complaint and was told I would have to wait until I received my bill to dispute this. A bill in which I never receive either because my address was entered wrong or the fact that I have a prepaid account and is not billed for the actual calls. Another problem was I could not receive calls when I had more than enough funds on my account.
Also my calls would be cut short to four, five minutes and the inmate would have to call back and I was charged 1.50 for a connection fee. Most recently I called in to have minutes added to the account and was told my card declined. Not thinking, I called in the next day with a different card and was told this one also declined. I called my banks to see why the cards were declining and found that neither one of the cards were declined both transactions were shown as processed. Calling customer service is a joke.
I have tried this several times and found it unsuccessful. I have on numerous occasions asked to speak to a supervisor and was told it's against company policy. So I have filed a former complaint with the Orlando, Fl Better Business Bureau (this is the state that the main office is located in, so I've been told), and also posted several complaints on web sites like this. This company is seriously corrupted. I am asking everyone who has had similar problems with this company to also contact the B.B.B. Something needs to be done about this!!!
Since Global Tel Link has taken over MCI I have not gotten bills from them in the past two months. They put me on a block because of non payment and told me I could pull up my bill online and pay with a credit card which I do not want to do - I like to send checks and won't until I get a bill in the mail. Once I did send my payment in I had to also then fax them proof that I lived at the address that I had on file and it takes five to seven days for them to "Book into" your file. I also have asked to speak to a supervisor which is a taboo word for them - they assure me that I will not get a different answer.
I then stated my history of payment with MCI was superb since I used to send $100.00 so I could have a credit with them and I wouldn't have to make the monthly payments. They stated my past history was not relevant and that only the past two months are relevant (how convenient when it's them who did not send the bill). Because of all of this I am now on a 4 call limit per month for the next two months until I prove I can pay my bill on time. I offered to make a $100.00 payment so they could have the credit and they also replied that I could do that but it would not help me with lifting the 4 call per month restriction.
This company is a train wreck and should not be in business. They also have no email address as I was poking around on their website but under the FAQ's they state that if you want a bill mailed you have to call and arrange that with customer service. Again, how convenient.