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40 Reviews & Complaints
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No Refund
Posted by Sweething on 02/19/2010
My name is Carol Bennett. Paytel allowed me to open account knowing the Correctional facility did not use Paytel. I requested my refund by e-mail months ago. Doi need to email again. It was very easy to set up account, but hell to get my money back.

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Company Response on 2/22/2010:
We apologize for the frustration you have experienced with our company concerning your refund. Please email us at customerrelations@paytel.com with your name, address, phone number, and PIN and we will reseach your account to determine if we have processed a refund for 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.

Best regards.
Customer Relations
     
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Posted by BEJ on 2010-02-19:
What did you use to secure the account--credit or debit card. If credit, dispute the charge with your credit card company. If you were charged for a service they could not provide-you are due a refund.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-19:
Taken from the site:

"All refund request must be submitted in writing."

Not email.

"A written request for refund shall indicate that a customer desires to close his or her account. Please include your name, address and phone number with area code, Personal Identification Number, and your method of payment."


Where to submit your written request:

PAY-TEL Communications, Inc.
Att: Refund Request
PO Box 19290
Greensboro , NC 27419

or you can send your request via their online form.

http://www.paytel.com/request-refund.php

And here's a link for faq's on requesting a refund.

http://www.paytel.com/faq-pta-13.html


Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-19:
Very nice Bearkakitten!
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Worst Service Ever
Posted by NikkieTS24 on 12/23/2009
I have been making payments to receive phone calls with the same card for the past couple of weeks. Last week I made a payment and it was decline when money was in my account and the money was authorized by paytell. My account was then blocked and I sent customer service an email. The logo for the me to pay with my card came up but each time I tried it stated they were no longer able to accept credit card payments from me. Why is that I don't know may its because their site Sucks! I contacted Customer Service the next day and was hung up on. I called back and stayed on hold for over 30 minutes waiting.. FINALLY a representative came to the phone I explain to her what happen she tells me that there was no block on my account which was false and that as a COURTSEY she would take my payment. I mean really you are doing me a favor UMM please. I have paid Paytel good money to receive phone calls and all of my debit card are in my name so what is the problem. After this I went on using the same credit card for each transaction. Now again tonight on December 23 I can not receive calls and my account is blocked. I have sent numerous emails regarding the issue and only got one response that the block is gone but it is not. So I made a payment using Western Union and I have comfirmation from them that the money was received by paytel. Has any money posted to my account UMMMM NOOOOOOO! Has any one responded to me and said why it hasn't posted UMM NO! It is almost Christmas and I was looking forward to speaking with my husband and letting him talk to our son. Again we are WAITING on Paytel unprofessional, inconsistent, non puntional customer service. I want to know where is my money that I paid to Western Union and why hasnt it posted to my account. Why after using the same card FOR DAYS on the SMAE ACCOUNT that now it is not working? The site takes forever to come up and it is the slowest ever.. I want my money on my account ASAP or it needs to be refunded ASAP and I want my account fixed.. I am tired of every other week this is happening. I have contacted your company to many times and I have given you too much of my money to be dealt with like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Read Company Response
Company Response on 12/29/2009:
Dear T. Smith:

We apologize for the frustration you have experienced with our company concerning your account with your credit card and the Western Union payment. We have determined your account number is 919-XXX-XXXX. However as you will see from the explanation that follows the problems you experienced were due to multiple credit card declines and your failure to enter your correct account number on the Western Union Quick Collect form.

Your account was blocked from making payments with a credit card due to multiple declines that you received when you attempted to make a payment using your credit card. We received an email from you on December 23rd asking us to reset the account and we did. Then we show you made two successful payments using your credit card on December 24th.

Apparently, when you made your Western Union payment using Quick Collect, you applied “1111” in front of your phone number. The “1111” is only added to the account number when you make a payment using Prepaid Services through Western Union. We negotiated a cheaper rate for our customers when using Western Union by sending a Prepaid Service payment with a fee of $5.95 versus the fee for Quick Collect of $9.95.

We received an email from you on December 24th questioning why the payment did not post. We investigated the Money Transfer Control Number you gave us and determined the funds were not applied to your account number. The account number was listed as “[snip]”.

Again we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Our employees work very hard to resolve any problems and communicate with our customers during this time.

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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Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-12-24:
Just see the "other reviews" above. Merry Christmas.
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Inability to talk to a representative
Posted by 778548 on 12/03/2009
The company seems to avoid any contact with their customers! I have tried calling since 9:00am 12-3-2009 to 6:00pm 12-3-2009 and their automated non -assisting automated system is useless! I am trying to find out about my bill and the reason I am being charged twice!
Read Company Response
Company Response on 12/4/2009:
We apologize for the problems you have encountered with our company when attempting to reach a Customer Service Representative. The option is there for you to reach a CSR, but our automated system is designed to assist you with most of your concerns.

If you will provide us with your phone number, PIN and a message in regards to this complaint, 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.

Best regards.
Customer Relations

     
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Need help
Posted by Ebrezzy on 10/14/2009
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 then this system.

Read Company Response
Company Response on 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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What Customer Service?
Posted by Luvmi2angelz on 10/06/2009
I have been trying to receive phone calls from my fiance in jail for over a week. I don't have a home phone so I opened up a Paytel account so he could call me on my cell phone. So when I opened the account the recording said that they update their system every two hours. When I still hadn't heard from him the next day I wondered what was going on. I called paytell to speak with a customer service representative and their recording said if I was calling to find out why my number was blocked I should use their automated system to find out. Their automated system just told me that I indeed had an account and that I had a balance of $25.00. I then held for a customer service representative It took 45 minutes for me to accually get through to a representative When I did She told me that she had to manually remove the block. I figured everything would work but I was wrong. So the next day I still was unable to receive calls from my fiance so I called Paytel again. I called several times throughout the day from my cell phone and waited over an hour each time. Unfortunately I work so I cannot stay on the phone for hours at a time without getting in trouble. When I got home from work I called from my dads home phone. I had already burned up my entire prepaid phone card calling them all day. I stayed on hold for over two hours before I reached a customer service representative She then informed me that she could not tell me why my phone was not working with their system that it was a technical support problem and tech support was not in after 5pm. So I spent my entire day on hold for nothing. I asked her if it was possible for tech support to call me in the morning since It takes so long to get through. She said no. I mean I have kids to get to school and a job to go to. I don't have time to stay on hold for two or more hours in the morning. I then asked her if I could just transfer the balance I had to my dads phone and she refused this as well. She told me if tech support could not fix the problem only then they would transfer the money to another phone number. They are getting my money either way. Why make me go through all of this to be able to talk with my fiance. I still haven't been able to talk to him to let him know that I am ok and that his kids are ok. Paytel has put a block on everybodys phone and is making it so I cannot talk to him. It is ridiculous
Read Company Response
Company Response on 10/7/2009:
Sorry for any problems you have experienced with our company.
Our phone lines have been extremely busy during our 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 problem.
Best regards.
Customer Relations
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-06:
To my knowledge, cell phones cannot accept any sort of collect call, even prepaid collect calls. Mind you, I haven't worked for a cellular company for 4-5 years, so things may have changed since then.
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They are a rip off
Posted by really mad as hell on 09/17/2009
This is the first time I have dealt with this company. To get a customer service representative on the phone is a miracle, and when you do they are no help at all. I have sent numerous emails to customer service and customer relations, and they responded saying " that they are showing that my number is free to accept collect calls" which would be a great response if it actually answered my question. My question is where is my money and why hasnt it posted to my account. I paid a $120 cash through money gram at 1214pm, and it is now 630pm and my money has not posted to my account as of yet. I have placed six calls to this company, and nobody can tell me where my money is. This company is a sham!!!!!!! They are truly out to get your money!!!! Glad they are local, because I will be making a trip to Greensboro to talk to someone face to face to find out where my money is. My next step is to contact five on your side (channel five news) so that everyone will know about these people
Read Company Response
Company Response on 9/18/2009:
We apologize for the frustration you have experienced with our company concerning your account and the MoneyGram payment you made on September 17th. The problem in posting your MoneyGram payment to your account was due to a failure of the payments to be transferred to Pay Tel by MoneyGram. We contacted MoneyGram and the problem was resolved by early evening September 17th. We received your payment at 7:30 pm and you received a 10 minute call at 8:27 pm.

We have record of five emails from you yesterday to csr@paytel.com and we responded to you explaining the problem MoneyGram was having. We replied back again at 7:37 pm and 7:42 pm last night explaining the problem had been corrected and the funds had been applied to your account. Then we received an email to customerrelations@paytel.com and we again replied to you explaining the problem MoneyGram had and it had been corrected.

Again we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Our employees worked very hard to resolve the problem and communicate with all our customers during this time period.

Best regards.
     
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Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-09-17:
Save you and everyone else a lot of time and worthless banter.
Just click on the "more reviews" above.
Posted by catwellhollow on 2011-12-17:
Contact anyone & everyone about this company!
If enough people complain, they will be forced to finally provide the service they charge high rates for. Or GO OUT OF BUSINESS!
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-12-17:
Possibly. It is a monopoly. The complaint above is over 2 years old, and things have not improved from the description.

Contacting "anyone and everyone" is extreme. The trick is determining whom to contact that might make a difference.
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Scam
Posted by Tia.A on 09/01/2009
I feel that Paytel is just a big scam. I have been placed on hold and disconnected so many times its crazy. Also when you get thru the representative places you on hold again. When you do get thru to a representative they don't empathize at all.

I believe that I was charged for phone calls thar I didn't make. But I don't have much of a choice but to pay if I wanna keep in touch.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 9/3/2009:
Sorry for the problems you have encountered with our company concerning your account. We have been converting all of our internal accounting software to a new system last week and also this week. Regrettably the conversion has not gone as well as we had liked.

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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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-01:
You do have another choice, write letters.
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PayTel preys on people who need this service
Posted by A_webb4 on 08/26/2009
I have not been able to speak to a human being at Paytel to discuss my customer service issue. Paytel does not want to talk to customers abouth their very poor service, so they throw a recorded message on in place of a human being. Unfortunately, however, the automated system never gives an option to speak to a person, it just says that they are sorry but balance info is not available right now and to call back later. This has been going on for a week even though I have paid for the service on TWO numbers and neither number has been unblocked. I even sent an email to customer service AND the (so-called) customer relations manager -- to no avial. No one will respond to me. They have stollen my money without providing the service.


This is the very first time I have had to use this service and I am thoroughly disgusted. Maybe if there are enough people out there who are as disgusted as I am, we can get a class action lawsuit started. We the consumers should not allow companies to take advantage of us and steal from us like this. I resent being treated like a common criminal because I have a loved one incarcerated who I want to keep in touch with. I am a law abiding citizen, I pay my taxes and I have never ever been in trouble with the law.

In fact, if anyone is the criminal in this situation it is Paytel because they have advertised a service, I paid for the service, yet they refuse to provide the service. Sounds like fraud, false advertising, theft and probably numerous other torts. Paytel has 24 hours to respond to me before I take this situation to a regulating authority. Unfortunately it seems that Paytel has a monopoly on inmate calls and it would be very beneficial to consumers if they had some competition.

Read Company Response
Company Response on 8/26/2009:
We sincerely apologize for the problems you are experiencing with our company in receiving collect calls and accessing your account through our Automated Phone system and also our website. We are converting all of our internal accounting software to a new system this week and the conversion has not yet been completed.

Regrettably this has prevented the timely posting of payments, allowing access to your account and also in some cases preventing you from receiving the collect calls. We are now posting payments throughout the day and unblocking numbers when the payments post. Unfortunately, this is much slower than our usual process.

We are very sorry for the problems this has created for you. We have a team of people working on this issue and hope to have this resolved by the end of the week.

If you will send us your phone number(s), we will be glad to research them and get back with you tomorrow. You can send your information to CustomerRelations@paytel.com and your request will be addressed the same day.

Thank you.
Customer Relations


     
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Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-08-26:
Send them a certified letter, return receipt, stating that you have tried numerous times to contact them via various methods and have been unable to reach anyone to resolve your issue. Ask them to contact you immediately to resolve your issue or return your money promptly. If no response, file a small claims suit.
Posted by a_webb4 on 2009-08-26:
Thank you, but there is no mailing address anywhere on the website or the recording. They have covered their tracks nicely. Do you have any idea where I can find the mailing address?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
This is at the bottom of their website. Sometimes a street address is not always necessary if the company is well known in the area. Pay-Tel Communications, Inc., Greensboro, NC 27419
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-08-26:
Mailing Address: P O Box 8179. Greensboro NC, 27419
Posted by a_webb4 on 2009-08-26:
Thank you so much, everyone! I will post the outcome.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
Wow! I've never seen a company response before. That's kind of cool. It looks like blah blah BS, but it's still kind of cool.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2009-08-26:
We're sorry, but your request for service was accidentally lodged into one of the 8 cylinders of our coffee pot/dialysis machine. We have overnighted a Belesian snow beetle to help with the extraction process and it should arrive during Obama's 3 term as President. You may want to use this time to determine just how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a lolipop.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
3 terms DC, dont scare me like that brotha
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
LOL DC! You shouldn't smoke that stuff all by yourself. Pass it around.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
Hey, that reminds me. I was watching, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader (I'm not), and the question was how many years can a president serve? It was 10 consecutive years (I immediately thought 8--like the contestant). If a president dies during office, the vp takes over. If they only serve 2 years during that time, they can then serve two terms. I never knew that little fact (or thought about it).
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2009-08-26:
I don't think it is constitutional to serve more than 2 terms as President, unless you are a maniacal egomaniac like Bloomberg in New York and decides to extend your term for a third term (against existing law). I don't think Barry will last that long anyway.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2009-08-26:
Yes kia, the known and most logical answer is not always the right one. *Spock agrees*
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-26:
So many facts, so little time, lol.
Posted by a_webb4 on 2009-08-28:
LOL DC, that is excatly how I felt about their ridiculous response!
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-08-28:
best answer company response!! you rock!!
Posted by clutzycook on 2009-08-28:
DC, Love it!
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Very frustrated
Posted by Ebrezzy on 08/24/2009
I been using Paytell for along time. I put money on my account every week. Now its saying I owe them $29 and my last conversation was August 21,2009. I know this information is incorrect I just had a conversation the 23rd and had money on my account. I been trying to contact a customer representative but all I am getting is the automated. I even tried it locally. I love there services but can't keep wasting money.

Plus if I owed money my number would be blocked within 2 hours. So its no way I owe that number. I am very upset and need help.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 8/26/2009:
Dear Ms. Barr:

Sorry for the problems you have encountered with our company concerning your account balance. We have been converting all of our internal accounting software to a new system this week. Regrettably the conversion has not gone as well as we had liked, causing some incorrect information to be released. After reviewing your account you had a credit of $2.75 on your account at that time. We are very sorry for the problems this has created for 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.

Please accept our apologies for this error.

Best regards.
Customer Relations


     
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Crappy service
Posted by Nickle1784 on 08/06/2009
I jus recently started using paytel in June. I have tried to get customer service on the phone several times with no luck. First I had to pay off money someone else owed when I opened the account and now I have to pay for dropped calls I didn't receive. When I complained all I got was a crappy remark that I had to receive the calls. This company has very lousy service.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 8/7/2009:
We apologize for the confusion you have experienced with receiving calls from our company.

Peggy F., from your email address on My 3 Cents.com, we have determined your account number to be 540-465-XXXX. If this incorrect, please email us at CustomerRelations@paytel.com.

After reviewing your account our records show that you had 3 calls that was attempted but not completed at the times listed below. You were not charged for these calls:
5:05 pm
6:03 pm
6:05 pm

The calls listed below were accepted and had conversation. These are the only calls that you was charged for on this date:
5:53 pm 6 min.
6:06 pm 10 min.
6:17 pm 10 min.
6:31 pm 10 min.
8:14 pm 10 min.

Our customer service supervisor responded via email to you four times attempting to explain that you had not been charged for any attempted calls that were not completed.

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.

Customer Relations

     
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