PayTel - Page 3

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1.5 out of 5, based on 12 ratings and
46 reviews & complaints.

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$9.95 for a Call in the Same County?!?!?!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- How can a rate be $9.95 in the same county same area code. This is not a long distance call? I checked counties clear across the state the rates are cheaper! Even out of state! Lawsuit is in order!

Company Response 6/4/2012:

We apologize for any problems you experienced with our company and the rates.

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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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

     
Replies
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

     
Replies
Horrible Web Site and Payment Page
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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 web site. 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

     
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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

     
Replies
The negative reviews are true....
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GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Thus far, despite this companys weak rebuttal attempts to their customers; I find everything I have read on this site to be true. Their webiste, if you are trying to establish a new account is atrocious and frustrating. Not a novice to internet and an IQ well over 100, I find the system extremely lacking and frustrating. Messages run the gambit of cc has expired, (when in fact, I know it is not expired) to the names don't match; to addresses don't match, even after trying to initiate an accnt several times, syncronizing, scrutinizing and double checking the info repeatedly.

The internet attempt to establish an accnt was a result of several failed telephone attempts. Regardless of how you approach this company, its mostly a waste of time. This being said, the population of people attempting to establish contact with those in the system are held hostage by these Oligarchy services. There is no recourse.

Paytel in response to complaints, states that if better customer service were available, the already existing USURY rates would increase? Pray tell...Paytel should not be the ones to encounter a financial loss by providing better customer service to their "customers? After all, they are the ONLY game in town and being at their mercy you can't go someplace else for better service. Like they don't know this....

IMHO, everything and anything having to do with the penal system is a financial "racket" - prisons and all ancillary related services is a stupendous growth industry taking advantage of the already dis-advantaged.

Thoroughly disgusted with a disgusting system and that includes PayTel

Company Response 6/2/2010:

We are truly sorry for any difficulty you encountered while trying to establish an account with Pay Tel.

We regularly survey our customers to learn what we are doing right and what we need to improve. Listed below are some of the results from our most recent survey and a description of how we attempt to work with customers to address their concerns.

On a daily basis our Automated Phone System at 1-800-PAY-TELL (1-800-729-8355) assists thousands of customers to open accounts and answer questions. In our recent Quality of Service Survey, 80% of our customers described their experience using our automated customer service phone system as "very helpful" or "helpful".

If the Automated Phone System does not answer someone's question, they can follow the voice prompts and reach a customer service representative from our main menu and each of the three sub-menus weekdays from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Our customer service representatives assist several hundred customers daily who patiently follow the voice prompts. In our recent Quality of Service Survey, 72% of our customers said they were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" when speaking with our customer service representatives.

Our website serves several thousand customers daily in opening accounts and answering questions. In using our website, 95% of our customers described their experience as "very helpful" or "helpful".

If someone has a question not answered on the website, there is a "Contact Us" page where people can send an email to customer service at csr@paytel.com. Hundreds of customers' emails are answered daily by our staff. Seventy percent of our customers who send an email to csr@paytel.com described their experience as "very satisfied" or "satisfied".

If a customer is dissatisfied with the assistance they receive, they can speak with a customer service representative to document their concern in an email to the Customer Relations Manager or the customers can send an email directly to customerrelations@paytel.com. All concerns are reviewed and addressed the day they are received.

If a customer is dissatisfied with the assistance they receive from our staff, they can email the president of Pay Tel directly at president@paytel.com. This email address is on the Welcome page that everyone visits when they enter Pay Tel's website. Any emails received at president@paytel.com are investigated and resolved the day received during business hours. The president reviews all issues raised and all related responses.

We are very proud of our track record in serving our customers in a timely manner with zero formal complaints to regulatory agencies in every state we operate over our twenty-four year history. However, we are not perfect and we will make mistakes, but we are committed to addressing problems immediately when it comes to serving our customers. We continually strive to improve our service and welcome constructive suggestions.

You state in your complaint that you made numerous attempts to make a credit card payment using our Automated Phone System and our website. You indicated all of these attempted payments were declined for various reasons. I am sure you realize we make no money unless accounts are opened and calls accepted. You also should be aware all of the denials on your credit cards came from your bank based on the information you provided.

Regarding our USURY rates, you should be aware that the local collect call rate of $1.71 in North Carolina is regulated one of the lowest in the nation and significantly below the 50 state average rate of $2.93. You also need to know our long distance rates are on average half or less of our competitors. We are very aware of the captive nature of our customers and are committed to charging fair rates and treating customers fairly.

If you would like for our Customer Relations manager to investigate the problems you encountered with your account, please send an email to customerrelations@paytel.com, including your ten digit phone number and your six digit PIN.

We look forward to assisting you in opening an account.

Best regards,

Customer Relations

     
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Like I don't have enough to worry about!
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Omg! Where do I start? Maybe at the wait time! I waited 1 hr just for a representative Not to mention she was so rude. I just don't understand. Its like the company know that you need them so they will treat you like junk just because they can. And yes, I said the company because the agents represents PayTel! I don't know if you all monitor your reps but its always like this with PayTel. I am not a mean person. I don't expect the reps to be over excited to speak to me but they could at least be nice. I have never dreaded calling a company. This sucks and If I can I will not use PayTel again. I wanted to cry they were so rude. If you truly want to keep your customer happy like most companies you should work on this problem with your employees!!

Company Response 5/11/2010:

We apologize for any poor service you may have received from our Customer Service Representatives during your call to our office.

However we do wish to attempt to resolve your complaint if possible. To investigate your concerns please e-mail us your phone number and PIN with a brief statement of how we can assist you. You can send this information to CustomerRelations@paytel.com and we will get back with you.

Best regards.

Customer Relations

     
Replies
Rude Customer Service
By -

After repeated disconnects finally got through after being on hold for 35 minutes representative was not even trying to help with putting money into my account. She was a smart ass who doesn't appreciate her customers and should be in the position of some of her customers, then the attitude may change. As much money as they make off of our friends and families, they should be thankful that they are still in business. We need more options for this kind of service.

We don't deserve to be treated like trash because we have people in jail. This company needs to be put out of business!!!!!!!

Company Response 4/5/2010:

Sorry for any problems you have experienced with our company and our customer service representative. If you would provide us with your name, address, phone number, PIN and an email address, we will research your account for further investigation and get back with you concerning your issues.

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
Need help
By -

NORTH CAROLINA -- My little sister had my phone and made a mistake and pushed the block button. How do I unblock these calls? I tried to ask the jail but for that I got to wait on my next statement. Is there any way I can unblock the number threw my phone account. It just seem like this service is ridiculous you can never get in contact with customer service and actually talk to a human being and I been with them for about a year and get minutes every week.

I am real frustrated and is just about to stop using Paytel writing is more easier than this system.

Company Response 10/15/2009:

Dear Ms. Barr:

Sorry for any problems you have experienced with our company. After reviewing your account we show the reason for the block on your number was due to someone pressing the number 7 on your keypad when the call came in from the inmate. We have released this block for you as a courtesy; however please be aware that the standard policy to release this type of block (which occurs by pressing the number 7) is that the customer must contact the appropriate person at the facility for approval before the block is released.

Hopefully your problem has been resolved and you can receive calls without any issue.

Best regards.
Customer Relations

     
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