PayTel Complaint - Review
Resolution Update on 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.
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 Maria/Mary. 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 Christina. 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 (Debbie) voicemail, and am currently await a return phonecall 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.