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EVER-COM Complaint - PRICE GOUGING - CORRECTIONAL BILLING SERVICES

Review by justice420 on 2007-12-03
JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE -- DEC. 3,2007

How is it possible for Ever-Com company to charge American people such outlandish amounts on phone services, when you can get any local phone service with unlimited local and long distance for under $50. a month.
I recently had to acquire the services of Ever-Com. I moved back to Tn. in April to take care of my terminally ill father, My daughter is in jail in Conway S.C. not that people in jail don't mostly need to be there but every so often one might be in there for nothing they did wrong but a mere technicality.
I set up the account in Nov. of this year, I deposited $56.95 after taxes and fee. I talked to my Daughter For A total of 3 phones calls at 10 Min's. each 30 Min's all together, and had no cash left on the account, I waited until the next month which is now Dec. I again Deposited $56.95 and the man on the other end tells me that my account now has a balance of $36. so I ask him how I only have $36. when he just took my payment of $56.95 he then tells me I had a negative balance on my account, So I ask him how I can have a negative balance if it's a prepaid account, when I'm talking to my daughter and time runs out it will shut you off and if there is not at-least $15.on the account it won't even let the call go through. So in Nov. 5th until Dec. 3rd I have spent a total of $170.85 to talk to my daughter for 1 hour and 20 Min's. WOW that is ridiculous.It's important for my daughter to know her grandfather is still alive but these prices are killing us IS THIS LEGAL??????????
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-12-29
Posted by Skye on 2007-12-03:
Justice420, your name says a lot about you.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-12-04:
It's expensive. It's gouging. It's legal. And, you agreed to it. The only advice that can be given is to avoid the situations that make you want to use their service.
Posted by killerklown on 2007-12-04:
Of coarse, your daughter is only there on a technicality, right?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-04:
justice420, pay no attention to them that would be the judge's of your situation for there will come a day when they shall be judged as they have judged. The only way one can have communication with someone in these situations is to use this service.

Read this and let those who judge be judged as they support the corporate criminals.

COMMENTARY
If you have a sister or brother, girlfriend, boyfriend, some other relative or friend who is incarcerated somewhere in the U.S., no doubt you’ve dealt with Correctional Billing Services, aka Evercom.

And no doubt your experience has been far from pleasant.
CBS says its the only nationwide provider to offer “customer care” and “account activation centers” solely dedicated to the friends and family members of inmates. Representing over 3,100 correctional facilities nationwide, it’s a virtual monopoly and has caused many headaches and much heartache.

Reports of alleged improper practices and abuse by CBS and Evercom are escalating, particularly their partnership with NCO Financial Services who, like CBS, is based in Pennsylvania

CBS controls whether or not inmates in state prisons and jails throughout the United States can communicate with their families and friends.

If you’ve got the money, up front, you can talk—-but talk’s definitely not cheap. The going rate is $17.30 for 15 minutes, no matter the location.

CBS refuses to provide its rates on its website but claims that their rates are in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations. They tell you that they’re taping you but when you tell them that’s okay because you’re taping them too, they quickly hang up.

CBS refuses to allow the use of long distance calling cards or toll free numbers, cause they won’t get their cut. “Promotional discounts that are often offered by long distance carries do not apply” either.

Apparently with tongue in cheek, the CBS website states “The cost of providing operator assisted calling is substantially higher than the cost of providing long distance. These costs include such things as special equipment, equipment maintenance, billing validation, billing and collections, customer service, and other expenses.

Complaints are being filed across the nation against CBS and Evercom with the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and state Public Service Commissions and people are getting involved.

The North Country Gazette has been spotlighting the abusive practices and excessive costs of CBS and Evercom.
One woman has gone the extra mile and filed a formal complaint against CBS with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Her letter follows:

“I just read the latest nightmare of the lady with two residences that had her phones blocked from receiving calls from correctionals. I thank God for the amount of exposure that you all have given to this subject because no one else seems to care.

http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/09/05/arbitrary_cbs/ http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/022607TalkNotCheap.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/articles/2007/012307PhoneExtortion.html http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2007/07/31/cbs_and_nco/
“Everything that is reported about this company is true. The only way that you can expose this company is by the aggrieved parties filing a complaint with the public utility company in their individual state. A person has to know exactly what it is that they are complaining about. The process can be confusing because you automatically think that the consumer specialists know what they are doing but such is not the case.
“I want you to type this in your search engine (Elvera Williams v T-NETIX formal complaint). This is my complaint with the Maryland Public Service Commission. It was filed in April 2006, I reached review status in June 2006, I got the results in December 2006 and I disagreed and filed a formal complaint in December 2006. It took them until June 2007 before the commission began ruling. Here it is September 2007 and I don’t have the results as of yet. The bottom line is that these inmate phone companies have a monopoly and the FCC and the local PUC have failed us because we fall in the minority.

At the end of the day I intend to do all I can to help put CBS out of business. Keep on reporting about CBS.

Elvera Williams
Camp Springs, Maryland 9-14-07

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-04:
I agree with Lidman. Good post and info there Lid's.
Posted by Ponie on 2007-12-04:
A stamp for a letter costs 41 cents. These blasted technicalities!
Posted by SpiderMonkey1 on 2007-12-29:
Justice420 - it is, of course, irrelevant that your daughter is in jail on a technicality - so please ignore any comments to the contrary. The issue is a simple one - Evercom should know or should have known that consumers would expect a prepaid account to be restricted once the funds in said prepaid account were depleted. To allow a balance is to negate the very definition of "prepaid". One cannot exceed his or her minutes on a prepaid cell phone. One cannot exceed his or her limit on a prepaid credit card. A reasonable consumer would expect that the term "prepaid", as touted on the CBS website, means just that - "prepaid", NOT a rolling account in which a balance is allowed to accrue. You have been the victim of fraud, plain and simple. It is NOT legal to make false and misleading claims and then use what is commonly referred to as the bait and switch. And I'm sorry that your child is in jail and your father is ill - it must be a difficult situation for you, as I'm sure all would agree.

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