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PayTel - Page 3

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1.4 out of 5, based on 16 ratings and
50 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
PayTel
P.O. Box 19290
Greensboro, NC 27419
1-800-729-8355 (ph)
www.paytel.com
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Rude Customer Service
By -

MONROE, GEORGIA -- I had to call Pay Tel because a family member was in county jail. First they told me I had to pay them, that they would not unblock my number so that I could get collect calls from the phone that was at the jail. The customer service representative told me they own the phones and my phone company didn't provide enough billing information and then hung up on me.

I called back and tried to get it resolved with another customer service representative who was rude again, I the asked to speak with a floor manager. (I own a telemarketing company. it is FCC regulations to have a floor manager at all times) I got a voicemail. I left a message with no return call. So I called my phone provider and they had never heard of that.

They contacted Pay Tel and I was able to receive calls. A few days later my family member was out and I was receiving calls from the jail. I called to have my phone reblocked. They told me it was blocked. I said it was not and I needed it blocked again. The rude customer service representative told me it was taken care of. I, at that time, told her it better or I would call back and it would not be pretty. She told me that I could not threaten her. It is my dime and I can do whatever I want. Well anyway, it was not blocked, got more calls. I called back and told them they need to block the calls or I would sue them.

I hung up and the customer service representative called back and treated me. These people have no customer service training and are rude and don't wish to help anyone. The problem with companies like this is they prey on people that know no better. They cannot force you to pay them to get calls on your home phone, you pay your phone company not Pay Tel. They only own the phones in the county jails.

What a racket these people are. As a business owner, if one of my employees ever called a customer back and was rude or a manager did not return a call on a complaint, they would be looking for a job in a quick second. Pay Tel is providing a service from a public place. They should remember providing a service and as a service provider, your customers service should be first on the training list and it is not.

Company Response 11/20/2008:

We apologize for the frustration you have experienced with our company concerning your calls and our Customer Service Representatives.

Kelly, we have established procedures at Pay Tel when a customer contacts a CSR in regards to receiving collect calls. We check the LIDB National Validation Data Base for your bill name and address information. The challenge today is that local telephone companies are doing a poor and poorer job in making sure the National Data base is updated properly and timely.

We attempted to validate your number on 11/13, the information provided by your local telephone company to the LIDB Data Base did not include any account owner information – name on account, address, etc. We do not bill calls to numbers that do not have any account information.

Our company is no different than any other in that we provide a service and we have the right to establish our own credit policies. All of our policies are in our tariffs and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission. The CSR explained to you that to receive collect calls you would need to set up an account and prepay Pay Tel for these calls.

Then you contacted us again on 11/14 when you spoke with the CSR, her response was the same; you would need to set up an account and prepay to receive the collect calls. However, our records show that when the inmate attempted to contact you at 3:08 pm on 11/14, the call was successful. You mentioned in your complaint contacting your local telephone company. It appears your telephone company must have sent updated account information to the LIDB Data Base. The validation reply that we received on this call provided account information and we were able to bill this call through your local telephone company. After receiving this good validation, you were able to accept an additional 14 calls through November 17th.

The next call from you on 11/18 was a request to block your number and the CSR you spoke with blocked your number and you have not received any calls since November 17th.

We apologize for any rude or poor service you may have received. We are currently investigating your concerns and will address the issues raised with the CSR's involved. Please send your email address to president@paytel.com and you will receive a response to these concerns from our President.

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.

Thank you.

Customer Relations

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The Paytel Scam Continues
By -

Why is it that EVERY TIME I try to check the balance on my Paytel account, the balance is "temporarily unavailable"? How do I know that they are not ripping me off?? The one and only time I was able to see my balance was when I opened the account and added the initial money. I have not been able to view my balance since, although I have accepted several phone calls. This is a part of their scam - they do not let customers know what the balance is so that they can continue to make you pay money for calls you are not getting.

This company really needs to be put out of business. Hopefully if there are enough complaints to the PUC or whoever governs these people, there will be tighter regulations on them and they will go out of business or bankrupt or something. These people are thieves! I'm am very much looking forward to the b.s. generic, form letter, blah blah blah answer they are going to respond with this time.

Company Response 9/1/2009:

Again, we apologize for the problems you have encountered with our company concerning your account balance. We are still converting all of our internal accounting software to a new system this week. However, the conversion has not been completed and has not gone as well as we expected.

Our website and our Automated Phone System is providing information for your accounts now.

Our phone lines have been extremely busy during this conversion, the CSR's are available and assisting as many customers as possible. We are very sorry for the problems this has created for you.

If you will provide us with your phone number and PIN, we will research your account and get back with you. You can email your information to a manager at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Please accept our apologies for this error.

Best regards.
Customer Relations

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Not Receiving What I Paid For
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- In the past two days, I have deposited $80 into a PayTel account. For that $80, I have received significantly less than the amount of talk time listed on the PayTel website. I am aware of the fees involved for using this service. I accounted for those fees in the deposits I have made. I deposited $40 the first time and received three reasonably short phone calls before I received a call from PayTel explaining that my number had been blocked until I deposited more money.

Last night, I deposited another $40 (they charged an additional $3, which I expected). With that $40, I received one phone call which lasted 14 minutes, and then I received a call from PayTel explaining to me that my balance was low and I had to deposit more money. $40 for a 14-minute phone call is so far beyond reasonable that I can't even fathom. This company offers a service, and then takes advantage of the people using it. They know how important those phone calls are, and they know we will keep depositing money in order to hear that voice at the other end of the line.

There is no reason why it should cost more to place a phone call from inside a detention center than it does from outside the center. This is unreasonable, and designed to inflict even more hardship on families and friends who are already experiencing difficult times. This is absolutely shameful business practice.

Company Response 2/7/2013:

We regret your frustration concerning the rates for your collect calls. If you will provide your phone number with area code, we will be happy to check your account to make sure you are being charged the correct rate.

We are a certificated carrier in every state where we provide service and the rates we charge are regulated in most states. In all states we charge rates that are equal or below the rates charged for the same call through the local telephone company. The cost of calls from confinement facilities are more expensive because of the increased controls required by law enforcement.

We regret your frustration and will be happy to assist you directly if you will send an e-mail with your information to customerrelations@paytel.com.

Best regards,

Customer Relations

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Drop Calls
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

WINTER HAVEN -- I just want to let everyone know about the experience I had with Paytel. My boyfriend and I were on the phone talking on Friday. He called me at 12:33pm. We were talking and catching up on somethings then all of a sudden I didn't hear him anymore. I thought he had hung up on me or worse something had happened. So, I got another phone call from him and I asked him what had happened. He said he thought I hung up on him. Anyway, we went on with our conversation and the phone did it again.

I called customer service, boy they were no help at all, not even the supervisor **. ** said that there was no way I could get any credit. She was very rude and nasty. I asked her if it happen again she stated that I was at a loss, that there is nothing they can do about it. They were not sorry or helpful at all. I would not refer anyone to this company and it sucks because they know that this is the only service that you can used to talk with your loved one.

Company Response 11/27/2012:

Dear Sheree K:

From your information on My 3 Cents.com, we have determined your account number to be 912-321-XXXX.

We are very sorry for any mistreatment you feel you experienced with our customer service representatives or the 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; that is how we stay in business. Our customers are extremely important to us.

We also apologize for the problems you experienced with our company concerning the dropped calls. But after reviewing your account, you were not charged for a call on 11/23 at 12:33 pm as you mention in your review.

If you feel you have provided us with incorrect information, you can submit any other response to CustomerRelations@paytel.com and we will investigate your issue further and get back with you.

Best regards.

Customer Relations

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Didn't Know
StarStarStarStarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 4/51

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I did not know that I have to call Paytel to take a block off. I thought that if you had put money on the account that the block would be taken off. I have no way of looking up this information, other than a small section on a piece of a website. I just wish they had more on the site to know. I wish I could check and see if there is a block on my phone by their site. Not have to wait on the phone for someone. I have already been hung up once waiting on their line, then called back and had to tell the person NOT TO HANG UP THIS TIME. I just wish they were a little more user friendly. I hope also that I'm not taken advantage of.

Company Response 3/8/2012:

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

Replies
Biggest Government Approved Scam in History!
By -

I was surprised to learn the only way to communicate with my loved one in jail was pay-tel. I went to the site, filled out ALL the information and then deposited money. I have yet to receive my first call, it hangs up in mid-message. I finally called PayTel today & spoke with a person, turns out they had the wrong number listed. (I put in the correct #, I look it up every time) They charged my credit card 2 weeks ago. Can't wait to see how much they have charged me, for calls I didn't receive (to the wrong #). I was told it would take 3 hrs for this change to post. I will update...

This is such a scam, I have heard so many complaints, people feel powerless to do anything. I think half the problem is with incompetent employees. Since they are making SOOOO much money, they should spend some of it PROVIDING THE SERVICE THEY CHARGE FOR! I saw another post about Paytel supporting politics. Isn't that a NO-NO? If not please re-post current political person/party I would be happy to contribute any amount to put a STOP to this SCAM.

This reminds me of the child support scam where they say they will get your back child support for the small fee of 40% of what is owed! Very disappointed in PayTel. By tomorrow I will file forms on the DOJ site. Have to wait 3 hours for acct. to update.

Company Response 12/19/2011:

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

Replies
PayTel Is a Monopoly That Overcharges and Refuses to Refund Dropped Calls
By -

SALEM, VIRGINIA -- PayTel is the sole provider for phone service for Western Virginia Regional Jail. This is a monopoly without competition that is being forced on people who are very vulnerable and need to keep in contact with their loved ones. Institutions and correctional facilities like Western Virginia Regional Jail must offer an alternative to PayTel with competitive prices and services. PayTel's prices, services, and customer support are atrocious at best. This company is completely incompetent and their practices are unacceptable and frankly un-American. PayTel should not be allowed to have a monopoly on an essential phone service, period.

PayTel has dropped numerous calls and has refused to refund any of them. I have already given PayTel hundreds of dollars just so I can make a local call to a loved one who is currently incarcerated, and yet they refuse to refund my dropped calls and have accused me of trying to swindle their system. I am at a loss for words. PayTel and their business practices are absolutely disgusting, it is unacceptable and un-American that we are forced to use a monopoly for such an essential service.

I am tempted to contact my lawyer and provide my phone records showing that I have never once had a dropped call in my area except when using PayTel's completely unreliable service, and that PayTel has blamed me and my telephone service provider for their failure to provide adequate service and that PayTel refuses to refund my dropped calls. I will be pursuing a class action lawsuit against PayTel and will be lobbying for the implementation of an alternative, competitive telephone service provider. I have already spoken with your (PayTel) supervisors numerous times and am now pursuing legal action.

Company Response 12/16/2011:

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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Really Getting on My Nerves!
By -

VIRGINIA -- Okay so I've been using Paytel for like a month now and today I had 7.15 or something like that in my account and then hadn't received a phone call and checked again to find I only had 6.00 something left...?? Where did that couple of cents go??? Anyway more importantly at 3:02 pm that day I posted a payment and saw that they received my money surely but my number was never unblocked??? I waited the two hours then tried to call and waited on the line for 30 min and then the phone just hung up!!!

So I got back online and it said give 4 hours so I did... four hours passed and they were acknowledging that they had received my money but still my number was blocked and I called back waited for 28 min on the phone and then to look and see everyone leaves at 6. Really? If you're going to have a company like this then you at least need operators throughout the night. So finally I wrote an email and sent a message... still waiting and my number's still blocked. No Surprise!

Company Response 12/9/2011:

We apologize for any problems you had when attempting to reach a customer service representative with our company. You mentioned the hours for our customer service department; they are available until 9 pm eastern standard time.

In regards to the email you sent, all emails are answered within a timely manner.

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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Horrible Web Site and Payment Page
By -

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Yes I agree with the other reviews, the cost is ridiculous. $20 gets you about 10 minutes, but my larger complaint is their website. It's a sin that they charge a $3 fee to give your money to them, then to make matters worse if you accidentally enter a wrong cc # or something off in any of the many field that must be filled out, tiny little screens, they block you from paying online and add another 3 fee to pay over the phone, or you have to drive to Western Union and pay $6 fee! Not because the money wasn't there but because you entered the exp on your card wrong or didn't notice there was a expired date already in the field.

Or your bank changed your home address but failed to change the address on your debit card, they block you and charge $6 fee. What a total scam. As if having a loved one in jail isn't difficult enough, they have not even been tried and convicted, and the costs are robbery! If anyone knows how to file a formal complaint please let me know.

Company Response 11/9/2011:

Dear Ms. Horton:

Sorry you feel this way. After review your accounts, all your numbers are long distance to the jail in Davie County. You are charged the long distance rate of $2.35 for the first minute and $.50 for each additional minute. So your 10 minute call cost you $6.85, plus taxes.

In regards to your account being blocked from making additional credit card payments -- our records show your account had multiple declines between multiple accounts which will block any future credit card payments from being made yourself. This process is for your security as well as that of Pay Tel's in regard to multiple declines on an account. Our procedure is for a CSR to assist you with your payment and then allow you to make additional payments on your own. As any other company, the fee while speaking with a CSR is higher than using an automated system or our website to make your payment yourself.

Please make sure you or anyone making payments on your account have correct information and available funds on your card when making your payment to avoid future declines, because that will block your account again.

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.

Thank you.
Customer Relations

Replies
They Just Took My Money
By -

I have been trying to reach Paytel, with no luck. I have gone on the website, where I can't click on "contact us". I have called SEVERAL times, unable to reach anyone. I put an account on my debit card, and they double charged me. But, the money on the account was not doubled. It is a few days from Christmas, I am here with my two kids, while their father, my husband, is incarcerated. It is not only rough that he is away during the holidays, but don't mess with the little money I have to support us all.

I want to know how I can contact this company. I just got finished reading the reviews, and they are just horrible. I never realized so many people had this many problems with this company. The bad thing is, we have no options. Please help.

Company Response 12/20/2010:

We sincerely apologize for the frustration you have experienced with our company concerning your account.

If you would please email us at CustomerRelations@paytel.com and provide us with your name, phone number and PIN, we will research the account ang get back with you.

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.

Thank you.
Customer Relations

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