PayTel Complaint - Usury And Greed. The Evil Of Making Our Jails "For Profit"
175 NC 801 HWY WOODLEAF, NC 27054 -- I have been placed in the unfortunate situation of having a young daughter placed in jail for a misdemeanor in which she could have avoided jail time had she had the requisite funds. Then, I find out from the local jailers that the only way for her to call me is a prepaid account through Pay-Tel.
I offered them a toll free number to "unblock" but they would not accept that. I had to pay them $25.00 in which my daughter was allowed ONLY four calls.
In these days of telephony, I can speak to friends on the other side of the world in Melbourne Australia for an hour for only pennies. Something is terribly wrong here. There are people in custody being forced to pay exorbitant prices to communicate with attorneys and loved ones.
From the thread on this company, I have learned that Pay-Tel kicks back 30% of their profit to the jails/prisons that use them. That sounds like a bribe to me.
Companies like this should be brought before a Senate Subcommittee and investigated and then charged under the new usury laws that are hopefully around the corner.
There's a special place in h*ll for people who take advantage of the poor and destitute like this company does, and if you are reading this from Pay-Tel, there's a place for you as well.
Shame on you, Pay-Tel and I can't wait until lawmakers take a look at what you are doing and who you are paying off to allow such a scam as you have perpetrated.
Please use Stumble, Digg-it or any other social networking site to try and make more people aware of this. Feel free to copy and post this on any blogs.
RESPONSE TO PAYTEL RESPONSE:
I just received an itemized statement in which there were 20 minutes of "billed" conversations in two calls in which the total charges were $19.29. This was AFTER the "discount" you are so fond of mentioning.
That's essentially $1.00 a minute for calls from GA to a neighboring state. That's essentially highway robbery.
I would complain to the NC Senator, but I just found out that PayTel CEO Vincent Townsend dropped $2000.00 in (R) NC Senator Burr's coffers last year... So, I really don't know how far that would go (This is public record, you can Google it for confirmation).
If other consumers have information or stories "not fit to print" on a site such as this, please drop me a line here as I will be monitoring this page and intend to set up a site with all the dirt I can find on these people.
Company Response on 3/10/2009:
We regret your frustration concerning the rates for your collect calls. If you will provide your phone number with area code, we will be happy to check your account to make sure you are being charged the correct rate. With your prepaid account you do receive a discount on every call.
We are a certificated carrier in every state where we provide service and the rates we charge are regulated in most states. In all states we charge rates that are equal or below the rates charged for the same call through the local telephone company. The cost of calls from confinement facilities are more expensive because of the increased controls required by law enforcement.
We regret your frustration and will be happy to assist you directly if you will send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org