Correctional Billing Services Complaint - Being Scammed In California
CALIFORNIA, ALABAMA -- Recently I had charges on my regular phone bill to which I am paying. I get a bill from Global Tel Link on another portion of my phone bill. I call them and they suggest I pre-pay for the calls and put a minimum of 50.00 on my credit card. So I was given the number to Correctional Billing. After a lot of questions I agree and then when I get ready to make the transaction, they say that will be 58.00 Never once did they disclose that until the end of the call I would be paying a 8.00 service fee. I told her to make it for the 38.00 that I owed on the bill and that I would deal with my carrier and she states that I have to call back in 2 hours because she could not bring up that screen. I used my whole lunch hour doing this and said I would call after work, each time at least a 30 to 40 min wait.
I started to use the service and then got my regular bill which was crazy, during this time I had many dropped calls and the calls the shorter they are the higher the cost. So I called the phone number to Correctional Billing. I asked them to adjust all the calls that were five minuets or less, because in addition to the calls dropping to my land line , they also have a woman speaking on an automated message that interrupts every 15 min. and the message lasts for about 12 seconds. During these interruptions is where I get the dropped calls, because the phone for the inmates monitors the calls in order to prevent three way calling, which if you have call waiting or any services it will end your call forcing the inmate to call back, again another ridiculous charge.
I have had so many that I started to keep track of them at the companies suggestion. So just yesterday I get my bill and I am astonished to see that not only did they bill me through 1-12-07 through 1-31-07 but they never took the charges off. In fact they re-listed the calls and I went through each one and compared, the only calls that were equal or legitment were the first few down the row, all the rest had the same dates of the calls received, but different times, different amount of minuets and now higher charges. They did not adjust the calls but rebilled them to my regular carrier, I asked a supervisor named Rosalina and she told me that they took of the connection fee on all the dropped calls, so I asked how much that was and she told me that it was $2.45, so I took one of the calls supposed to be adjusted which was 2.75 and told her that if the calls were adjusted the connection fee that would leave a .30 balance on that call. She got quiet and transferred me to a supervisor named Cherie. I explained that I did not owe this money and that the charges were all wrong, the calls adjusted were not done so but rebilled to my carrier, I was told the calls were going to be taken off , until that day I had never heard of the connection fee and now they have a block on my phone preventing me from sending my loved one money so that he can buy minuets in there to call me without having to deal with this company. I explained that all I wanted to do was pay the 12.55 supposed balance and have the block removed. I was told all they were authorized was to take was a 58.00 payment. I responded by telling them that why in the world would I want to make a 58.00 payment when I was already getting raped. I explained that I should not have an overage because when they put the block on my phone I had 13.65 on the account, they were supposed to do a credit for calls dropped on 02-02-07 and they also showed up on my bill.
I have noticed that there are one minute calls that I am billed during hours that I am clearly at work, and am not here to accept the charges. In addition I am a universal life line user and Pursuant to Resolution T-16901, all telecommunications carriers are required to apply CPUC mandated Public Program surcharge rates (excluding (1) Universal Lifeline Telephone Service , which I can prove that I have.
I understand that the terms of payment shall be according to the rules, regulations, and laws of the State of California. This precisely why I am making my objection to billed charges and reporting them in writing to Global Tel Link within sixty (60) days after receipt of my bill.
I requested all the rules and regulations on their company sent to my address, she said it would take 7-10 business days. I asked for all charges made to my credit card , and any and all information associated with my account. I then asked for the head of the corporation so that I could file a complaint , she said it was Lou. I told here that I needed to know who would accept service on the companies behalf, that is when she gave me the fax and PO Box to the company in Alabama. I told her that I am not stupid, you cannot serve a complaint on a PO Box. She hung up on me at that point. I called back and again I got the first representative and she told me that I had to use their service, If I wanted to pay the 12.55 I could do so through money order and it would take 7-10 days to clear, but that no block would be lifted from my phone even after I paid the 12.55. She said I had no choice but to go through them because they serviced Riverside County. I told her I do not have to do anything, she said well the good luck getting calls from your loved one and again hung up on me. I checked on the address for billing disputes and the rep. Gave me the wrong address to send my dispute to, maybe in hopes of me passing the 60 day limit, she gave me P O Box 1010 Selma, PA 36702, when in all actuality it is the above referenced addresses. I am only to conclude that the representative willfully gave me a address that would lead me in the wrong direction. Since under your Rule 2.0 Number 10 it gives another address for handling disputes.
I planed to send the 12.55, and not use their service, the inconvienace of being able to take a payment for 58.00 , but not to pay off your balance was unreal, and the fact that they used the same billing dates and calls to rebill for the same dates but at higher charges and all at different times. Out of a supposed 60 calls only 32 were actually valid calls. The thing that burns me up is this company is making money off of other peoples misfortune and doing it dishonestly. I am looking to file suit against this corporation, and if my loved one dies because of his heart problem without being able to call home, the issue will change. I am sure that he will be exonerated because he did not do what he is accused of, but I will not allow this company to make money off of this mans or my misfortune. I owe for certain calls which I can verify through my phone bill. I want a response from someone in your office regarding these bogus charges, I dispute anything 10 min and under, these calls are dropped so that the person has to call back resulting in another charge. Service may be cancelled by the Customer by providing verbal or written Notice to the Company, which I elect to do now, for violations associated with the tariff’s and the violations and fraudulent use of this service. Under your Rule 2.0 Number 14, states that
Credit allowance for interruptions of service which are not due to Carrier's testing or adjusting, to the negligence of the Customer, or to the failure of channels, equipment or communications system provided by Customer, are subject to the general liability provisions set forth in Rule No. 18, herein. It shall be the obligation of the Customer to notify the Carrier of any interruptions in service. Before giving such notice, Customer shall ascertain that the trouble is not being caused by any action or omission of Customer, not within his control, or is not in wiring or equipment connected to the terminal of Carrier. I have made several calls, checked the lines, called my carrier and there is no reason for the dropped calls, the calls are to a land line , and I have made all inqiures in a timely fashion to your company advising them of the problem.
However you fail to post Rule Number 18 on your web site. I would also like clarification as to pre-paid use, there is very little associated with it on your website. Which I find disturbing, since most consumers use the pre-paid method and are not told of the connection surcharges associated with it’s use. In all actuality , the user pays 50.00 minimum fee, but other associated fees which are not disclosed to the consumer are then taken out leaving a very small balance for actual phone use. In addition the representative states that there is a minimum of 50.00 for the use of service, but according to your website the minimum payment to begin service is 25.00 this is also not disclosed to the customer. The unsuspecting consumer then thinks that this is a more cost efficient way to receive calls from their loved one’s when it really is not. I can give you an example, I had 20.00 left on my card and planned to replenish once a week, however before I could do that a block was placed on the phone. I checked my balance and I had a call from the facility, it was a dropped call so immediately after getting this call I checked my balance and the dropped call left me with a balance of 7.00 dollars , it took 13.00 off my pre-paid account which never put back. Global Tel Link is supposed to provide you with a rate of the accepted call , and your website states that most billing rates are provided during the introduction of the attempted collect call. If the rate is not offered, contact the Billing and Customer Service Department, however the consumer does not know this until after the outrageous calls come in and customer service does not provide this information voluntarily when the consumer begins using their service.
I am willing to pay the money I owe, but I want my account seriously looked into , I am sure that with all the people out there it will not be hard to file a class action law suit. I am very serious about this matter.