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PayTel

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1.5 out of 5, based on 13 ratings and
47 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
PayTel
P.O. Box 19290
Greensboro, NC 27419
1-800-729-8355 (ph)
www.paytel.com
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Lousy Service. Paying for Dead Air!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

GREENBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- I really don't know how these people sleep at night. I can only hope that they have to suffer with a service like this as the only means to communicate with an incarcerated loved one. ALL DAY today, my girlfriend tried calling me and all I got was dead air and the lame automated system never picked up even though I was screaming at the top of my lungs "HELLO!" I don't want to hear the lame excuse that it's my cell phone because I have no issues placing or receiving calls unless it's dealing with this sorry excuse for a service.

I realized that people that are incarcerated are there for punishment but when you provide a service to speak with them that people PAY FOR, those people expect that service to be delivered. Perhaps since these people have a monopoly they can prey upon the families of inmates just to make money. They should be put out of business. I'm NOT paying to listen to dead air! I hope I win the Powerball so I can create my own company that provides such a service that isn't as horrible as this.

When I do actually get a call to go through, it drops. I don't want to hear that it's my cell phone because I have Verizon and full signal where my home is. What I want is the calls I did not get and the dropped calls refunded. Also please do not try and buffalo me that I stopped talking or switched to conference call like the last lame responses because I can assure you none of those things were happening. It really is disgusting that a so called "business" would provide such a sub par service while charging an arm and a leg for it because they are the only ones available.

Update 01/13/2016:

This is the same lame response given to EVERYBODY no matter what their issue. Want to know what your lousy service did this morning? I have a positive balance of $10 and my inmate was finally able to call me in the morning. The lame automated system picked up and gave me the usual "You have a collect call from: blah, blah, blah" and then dead air then I hear "Goodbye" and the friggin thing hangs up. There is never anyone available to take my call when I call into your pathetic company but somebody is always able to post these scripted and not applicable answers. I hate you people with every fiber of my being and saying I hope you all get colon cancer for what you are doing to people is too kind.

Company Response 01/11/2016:

We apologize for any frustration you experienced with our company concerning dropped calls or calls not connecting. If you will email your name, address, phone number, and PIN to CustomerRelations@paytel.com, we will investigate this issue to determine why the calls were dropped.

The following information is in our brochure and posted on our website concerning dropped calls. Calls may be disconnected if any of the following activities occur during a call:

• Stop talking without hanging up.
• Attempts to make a 3-way call.
• Attempt to answer Call Waiting.
• Attempt to put a call on hold.
• Attempt to transfer a call.
• Use of a cordless phone (static).
• Use of a wireless phone (dropped cell tower or static).

PAY-TEL does not accept responsibility for dropped wireless phone calls.

In the future, if we fail to meet your needs, you can email a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best regards,

Customer Service

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Paytel Charging for Calls When You Can Not Hear Inmates
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

WILSON, NORTH CAROLINA -- When my friend call from jail at times I can't hear him or he can't hear me. We have to hang up and try the call again, each time Paytel will charge for the call. I have spoken with them about this and never get a refund. Each time he calls we talk the full time if there was not a problem with Paytel service. Why would there be calls for less than a minute just to turn around and have another call back to back until we can hear each other. I feel this is a scam. There is no other carriers so you have to pay or not be able to talk to your love one.

Company Response 04/17/2015:

We apologize for any frustration you experienced with our company concerning dropped calls. If you will email your name, address, phone number, and PIN to CustomerRelations@paytel.com, we will investigate this issue to determine why the calls were dropped.

The following information is in our brochure and posted on our website concerning dropped calls. Calls may be disconnected if any of the following activities occur during a call:

• Stop talking without hanging up.
• Attempts to make a 3-way call.
• Attempt to answer Call Waiting.
• Attempt to put a call on hold.
• Attempt to transfer a call.
• Use of a cordless phone (static).
• Use of a wireless phone (dropped cell tower or static).

PAY-TEL does not accept responsibility for dropped wireless phone calls.

In the future, if we fail to meet your needs, you can email a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best regards,

Customer Service

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No Business Should Be Allowed to Operate Like Paytel Does!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CORDELE, GEORGIA -- I just want to say it is very sad that a company that makes as much money as Paytel does won't even provide fair service to their customers. Service that we pay for in full and sometime we don't even get half of what we pay for. Almost every time I have had dropped calls, Paytel always says it's my cell phone that is dropping the calls yet I never have any problems with my calls being dropped unless I'm using Paytel. Also Paytel only considers giving you credit if it was due to their equipment being faulty which is ridiculous. Any company should at least review whatever your problem may be and resolve it if you have paid for that service and didn't get what you paid for.

For example, I paid for a 15 minute call and while I was talking I put the phone on speakerphone so I could comfort my newborn baby. Well I went to pick my phone back up and accidentally hit the end button after only 2 minutes of talking and Paytel won't even attempt to give me credit for that call just because it was my fault and because I accidentally hit end.

It's things like this that makes this company so awful. A company so rich yet so evil. If Paytel would change the way they handle their customers problems it would be a great company, but as I've seen all they want is every penny they can squeeze out of a person! Pure disgrace.

Company Response 03/23/2015:

We apologize for any frustration you experienced with our company concerning dropped calls. If you will email your name, address, phone number, and PIN to CustomerRelations@paytel.com, we will investigate this issue to determine why the calls was dropped.

In the future, if we fail to meet your needs, you can email a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best regards,

Customer Relations

Replies
Very frustrating!
StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 3/51

GREENSBORO, NC, NORTH CAROLINA -- My husband tried calling me 5 times today. Every time he called, the call would disconnect during the automated message. Now when I try to call Paytel, it says "all circuits are busy". It's not my phone, because I have been able to make, and receive other calls, and I have $ on my account. I just want this resolved.

Company Response 05/12/2015:

We apologize for any problems you experienced with our company.

To investigate your concerns please e-mail us your phone number and PIN and we will review your account and get back with you. You can send this information to CustomerRelations@paytel.com. We wish to resolve your issue as soon as possible.

Best regards.

Customer Relations

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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CUMMING, GEORGIA -- I recently had a friend add $28 onto my Paytel account. My account is saying no payment was billed and now I lost money. She paid with a credit debit card and it also billed her bank account. It is showing $00.00 and shows no payment. I would like for the $28 dollars to be refunded to the account. I also had PayTel charge me twice for a phone call a couple weeks back on my first PayTel account. I am very unhappy because I cannot receive call from my inmate. Please reply ASAP because nobody has helped me yet about this. Thank you.

Company Response 10/07/2014:

Dear Ms. Turner:

After investigating your complaint we determined that your account number is 678-856-XXXX.

We apologize for any problems that you may have had with Pay Tel concerning your payment not being applied to your account. After researching your issue, this transaction was declined because the address provided did not match the address on file with the credit card company, so the payment was not added to your Pay Tel account.

You mentioned in your complaint that "nobody has helped me". We received an email to csr@paytel.com on October 5th at 5:05 pm and responded back the same day at 6:53 pm explaining the problem. We received another email on October 5th also to customerrelations@paytel.com at 5:52 pm and responded back again the same day at 7:54 pm. Then you sent another email to the President of Pay Tel, same day at 5:56 pm and he responded back to you on Monday at 12:39 pm; all of which explained the same issue with your payment.

You also stated in your complaint "charge me twice for a phone call a couple weeks back". We will need the phone number for the "first Pay Tel account" you mentioned to investigate this issue. You can respond to customerrelations@paytel.com with the other phone number.

I hope this will help to clarify any issues you have with the transaction. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

Best regards,
Customer Relations

Replies
Dropped Call from Automated System
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZONA -- This evening (December 8, 2014) I tried to answer two calls coming from the McKinley Adult Detention Center in Gallup, NM. The first call I received was at 8:00 PM - after hearing the name, the automated system disconnected the call even though I was saying hello multiple times. The seconded time tonight was at 10:00 PM. I answered the call, this time I heard the caller's name and the system asked me to press "1" to accept the call. Which I did... but the system just repeated itself and I again pressed "1", instead of connecting me to the caller, it again disconnected the call.

I am extremely disappointed and distress to be missing calls from a loved one. I request an immediate inquiry into this "glitch" in the system so it can be fixed. The phone number that was used was my home number which is a land line. I have dealt with other inmate phone companies in the past and they were never this difficult.

Company Response 12/12/2014:

Dear Elaine B:

From your information on My 3 Cents.com, we have determined your account numbers to be 505-488-XXXX and 928-729-XXXX.

However after reviewing your accounts, our records show you were successful in receiving the free call early the next morning from the inmate. As you may know now, you must press 3 to accept the calls, not 1. As our records also show, you have set up and prepaid on both accounts and are currently receiving the calls with no problem.

I hope this resolves your issue. In the future, if we fail to meet your needs, you can email a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best regards.

Customer Relations

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Worst Customer Service Ever by a Supervisor
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

GRAY, GEORGIA -- Calls being disconnect and rude customer service. Refused to credit two calls but the supervisor could not explain why I was getting a message if the call had dropped. Their poorly trained supervisor informed me that their product didn't play a message. They switched over to a new system last week and I can only assume they didn't bother to educate their staff. ** was rude and kept talking over me to the point that I had to start raising my voice to be heard. Towards the end of the first call I ended up losing my temper and use foul language. ** then hung up on me which is standard in any customer service department.

What is not standard is that when I called back she started yelling at me and threatened to hang up on me again. When I told her I would just call back she told me she would get me for harassment and then hung up. When I called back for a third time she let it go to her voice mail. Also, noticed there is a complaint from 2012 also complaining about a **. What are the odds of that.

Having worked in a phone business customer service department dealing with hostile customers I have to tell you that your company is in a sad state or just doesn't care if that is the norm from your supervisors. Which I'm assuming is after reading the complaints from a year ago involving the same supervisor.

Company Response 11/27/2013:

Dear Ms. Bryant:

We are very sorry for any mistreatment you feel you have experienced with our customer service supervisor. It is surely not our policy to offend or mistreat any customer. We continually stress the importance of treating our customers with respect and assisting them in every way possible. Our customers are extremely important to us.

We had a technician monitor the calls on November 25th in question and also again by a Customer Service Manager yesterday. We are unable to provide credit for these calls; as the inmate was speaking and you were gone…which means the connection on your side was gone. We are willing to allow credit for any calls that are dropped or disconnected due to faulty equipment or service on our part. But these particular calls did not fall within that category.

The following information is in our brochure and posted on our website concerning dropped calls.
Calls may be disconnected if any of the following activities occur during a call:

• Stop talking without hanging up.
• Attempts to make a 3-way call.
• Attempt to answer Call Waiting.
• Attempt to put a call on hold.
• Attempt to transfer a call.
• Use of a cordless phone (static).
• Use of a wireless phone (dropped cell
tower or static).

PAY-TEL does not accept responsibility for dropped wireless phone calls.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, but hope this helps you understand the decision made regarding your issue.

In the future, if we fail to meet your needs, you can email a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best regards,

Customer Relations

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Paytel Non Customer Service
By -

I wrote an email to PayTel hoping they would have a real person contact me. I am starting to believe that there are no real live people at PayTel and that may be it is only a program running on a computer. Here is the email I sent: I will be filing complaints with any place that I can including the Federal Telephone Commission and the Better Business Bureau and numerous online websites. I will be contacting the jail facilities that use your services and let them know of your services that you are not providing. I may also let them know of the other providers that are available for them to use and much easier to contact and that provide better customer service.

If PayTel provided any customer service at all it would at least be better than none! I want to set up an account! I need to have an account set up today. I have previously got online and tried to set up the account online numerous times and your website is not working to set up new accounts. Every time I attempt to set up a new account I get a error message from your website. Yesterday was not the first time I have tried this.

But I reached my breaking point yesterday when I got extremely frustrated with your website giving me error messages and I tried to contact customer service (two words that paytel does not seem to know the definition of). And I could not speak to a real person no matter which prompts I followed, and I tried them all! I found this email address on a website where someone else has posted a complaint and I hope it works to reach someone. I've tried to contact you via telephone prior to yesterday also and numerous times.

However, yesterday I went through all prompts in an effort to speak to a real person and I have exhausted every method of communication you have listed on your website. Your company seems to be a hoax. I need to set up an account today so that I can receive calls from the Coweta County Jail facility. My phone number is **. Contact me asap, or I will be contacting the federal telephone commission to make sure another company takes over the services that PayTel is failing to provide.

Their response via email: Their e-mail states it is only intended for the party that it is addressed to and that I'm not allowed to copy or show it to anyone!!! Wow! So, I will simply tell you what it said, they respond simply to tell me that their website is currently down (apparently it is always down) and to contact them at the phone number (the same number that I've already tried numerous times and cannot reach a person no matter which prompts you select!)

I then received another email telling me to use my pin # to make a payment on my account!!! They apparently didn't understand the problem, I never had set up an account, I needed to set up a new account! I provided them with various numbers that I pressed when their automated phone system asked for my pin # (the system asked for my pin# when I never had an account with them and never was given one so I just entered a pin thinking maybe they want me to choose a pin #, but that's not what the system said). So, in my email to them I provided them with various #s that could have been my pin # including "000000" as I was trying to "0" out for an operator.

So, apparently when their system tells you to enter your pin #, it actually is meaning for you to choose a pin #. However, after you do enter a # it doesn't help you to get any further in setting up your new account. Until you eventually search for other complaints online and find the email address they have listed on here. Because their contact form on their website doesn't work either. And also, this was not a two day problem as paytell stated. The problems I've been having with trying to set up an account with them have been going on for weeks now.

I hope this post assists anyone else that have encountered the same problems as I have with this hoax company named PayTel.

Company Response 5/27/2010:

Sorry for any problems you have experienced with our company. Our phone lines have been extremely busy due to the problems we were having with our website Wednesday and this morning. The customer service representatives have been answering as many calls as possible to assist everyone.

Regrettably, the PIN situation you experienced is a Federal requirement. We are unable to assist a customer if they cannot give the PIN that had already been established. Our policy when someone forgets their PIN; the responsible party will need to fax or mail a copy of their driver's license and copy of their most recent telephone bill showing they are the responsible party. When doing so, they will need to include the new 6 digit PIN that they wish to have as their PIN.

Once you provided the PIN in your email, the representative was able to guide you through setting up your account on our website which then allowed you to make your payment.
Again, we apologize for the problems you encountered with our company. If we can assist you further please let us know at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Best Regards,
Customer Relations

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Review
By -

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- My brother is an inmate at a local jail, and we are required to use PayTel to keep in contact with him. Earlier today he attempted to call me several times, a couple of times the PayTel service would not accept when I hit "3" to accept the call, and a couple of times it did, but he was unable to hear me. I could hear him fine, but he could not hear me. I ended up having a 3 minute call and two 1 minute calls trying to get it straightened out, and never did get to talk to him. PayTel charged me for all three calls (a normal call-length is 15 minutes).

I called the customer service number, and after a 28 minute wait, I spoke with a lady I believe her name was **. At first she tried to tell me there were no calls for the day (even though the website already showed me being charged three times) and then she acknowledged there were some calls. She told me that she would forward my information to the technician to review the call and see if they could refund me, and to call back in a few hours.

I called back a few hours later, and after another long wait, the phone was answered by **. She checked her records, and it showed that the technician determined that the calls will billable due to being able to hear the inmate (even though he could not hear me!). I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred to another lady whom I did not catch a name for. She said they were unable to refund me for the calls because the technician deemed them to be billable. Three calls for a total of 5-6 minutes, when one call is supposed to give you 15 minutes, and he admitted that I could not be heard in the calls.

I was told that the problem was with my cell phone. Which is ridiculous, because after having the issues with PayTel, I called my mom (who has dealt with PayTel before and knew what to expect from customer service) and she told me to call PayTel and go through certain options to speak with them, which I did. So my cell phone was working for those two calls (to my mom, and to PayTel customer service) but the call from the inmate was not working. That seems strangely like there could be a problem with the PayTel system.

After the supervisor was "unable" to help me, I asked to speak with their manager, whom I was informed had gone for the day (it being a few minutes after 5:00pm due to the extremely long wait times). So I was transferred to the manager's (**) voicemail, and am currently await a return phone call to resolve this issue. What I don't understand is how they can determine a call is billable (let alone three of them!) if only one side can be heard. Any honest, decent company would refund the charges and not risk alienating their clients over something so wrong.

Resolution Update 12/06/2011:

I spoke with Ms. Debbie Jones this morning, and she did a little bit of digging and thought that it was odd enough to have three very short phone calls one right after the other that it should cause a red flag about there being some trouble since she noted that my usual call length was the full 15 minutes. Ms. Jones was very courteous and informed me that they would make it right, by refunding the three calls as well as putting in a service order to check the phones at the jail. Ms. Jones made sure that I did not get off the phone without having my issue resolved to my satisfaction, and I appreciate her help in the matter.

Replies
Push 3 Will No Accept Call
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

GREENSBORO NC -- I have the Paytel call come into my phone but when I have to push 3, I push it and it does not connect my call. Have been dealing with this for 3 days, now tech called me said it was my phone company... well it's not my phone company. Said call comes into my phone Paytel is one not letting the call be accepted... I have 5 kiddos and this is only means of us talking to their daddy..

Company Response 12/12/2014:

We apologize for any problems you experienced with our company and sorry for the delay in responding. If you are still experiencing this issue, please e-mail us your phone number and PIN and we will review your account and get back with you.

You can send this information to CustomerRelations@paytel.com. We wish to resolve your issue as soon as possible.

Best regards.

Customer Relations

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