GetConnected Informative - GetConnected doesn't get you Connected to Your Loved One!

Review by Shek on 2010-11-20
SANDIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I have a loved one in a Detention Center in OK. Today, in trying to arrange phone calls between the two of us, I contacted a company by the name of GetConnected by phone. This call to them was to inquire about how their services worked.

I told the woman I talked to that I might just go ahead and sign up online if I decided to use the service. She urged me to go ahead and sign up right then and assured me this would facilitate the usage almost immediately. We talked a little further, and then she told me there would be set up fees of $12, (plus some cents), in addition to the basic monthly charge of $19.99, to which I said was unacceptable and wanted to cancel the order right then. The main reason why is that she didn't tell me about the additional fees until after I'd given her my debit acct. number. At the point I was backing out of the order, she suddenly disconnected from me without saying anything, and a man came on instead and began talking to me, and reassuring me that the service would work just as he said, although there would be the extra set up fees like the woman told me previously. He told me that all I had to do was give the facility the number they would call me with, and then I should give that also to my loved one, and then he could dial it, and it would transfer to my home number. I then asked what if the facility phone services don't permit, or work on the GetConnected system, and he said there should be no problem, but there was! By tonight when my relative tried to call the number I gave to a deputy at that facility, it wouldn't go through. I then called a deputy on the phone and was told that only collect calls and phone cards are permissible. I was never told by either GetConnected Rep that another company would be involved, asking for my credit card number and setting up yet another account,(another $14.95 for starters), in addition to the GetConnected acct.

My debit card has been charged $33, which I have a feeling I may never get back, unless I did get a speedy refund, which I doubt will happen.

Ok, the bottomline here is that GetConnected's terms of service do state that it was supposed to be my responsiblity to find out if my relative's facility had special rules, which of course they did. But please keep in mind that I was not told this during the phone converstation with the GetConnected's rep, (either one of them), and was given no time to go back and read the terms of service before initiating this account with them. In fact, I was hustled through this entire process, thinking back with hindsight. I have a feling I've been scammed. When I tried to call the company back, there was no answer, just a voice mail to leave a message.

Since I had been urged on the phone to go ahead and sign up, I SHOULD HAVE been informed to check with the facility FIRST to see what rules were involved about outgoing calls from inmates, as well as the basic terms of service about their non-refundable policies in such cases, but I was not! I feel this was deliberate and premeditated on GetConnected's part without a doubt!

Now, after checking online, I find that other consumers are having the same problem with not only GetConnected, but Evercom, and a few other similar services. I personally feel these particular companies have been ripping people off, just because they can and no one has complained loud enough or had legal help or wherewithal to combat these crooks, and I don't know how these companies get away with what they're doing basically robbing people intentionally and never refunding monies. So, my question is, what are the chances of a long over due class action lawsuit against one or more of these small, rip off phone companies? I will be the first to sign up.

Finally, if they or anyone else tries to tell you the advertising on GetConnected's website is clear, complete, and easily understood, they are flat out lying. It would take an attorney an hour to wade through this and even then, there would still be pieces missing that aren't included in the website's explanation of their services. You'll only find that out when you try to receive a call from your relative at the correctional facility.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-11-23
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-11-21:
be prepared to have $19.95 a month deducted also, unless you cancel, and then will probably have to pay a disconnect fee.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-21:
lesson learned- NEVER give anyone your card over the phone until you know everything.
Posted by Shek on 2010-11-21:
I plan on canceling my debit card immediately so they can't tack on anymore charges. Plus, I will make a formal complaint to my bank as well as the FCC, and other forums. Also, I would caution others to not do business with this company, taking my own experience into consideration.

If GetConnected were to refund what I paid in full, I would retract my complaint, but after reading other complaints about this company, I am skeptical about that happening.
Posted by Shek on 2010-11-21:
11/21/10 Update: I just received a call from Isaac Villalobos, the man who hustled me through the GetConnected setup yesterday, in response to my complaint to the company.

Apparently he is used to making calls like this, as he had his message down pat, insisting that he had explained everything that was necessary for me to get connected to my relative. This was not true! When my relative attempted to call me, a recorded message came on that said before I could accept the call, I would have to give out my account number to set up yet ANOTHER ACCT with another company! This would have made a grand total of $48 to connect! I was NOT told that during my first inquiry!

However, I went through the scenario again with him, but to no avail. He was talking very fast and rudely interrupting me, and then told me he would cancel the service but that I would loose the $12.97 setup fee, claiming that he had explained all that to me that it was not refundable, but he flat out lied.

I told him he used misleading info in his "pitch"... which he did. So, have you ever been short of money and then just had the little you did have stolen, ripped off by a dubious person or company? That's exactly how I feel, not to mention being very upset by his rude tone.

I have sent a complaint to the FCC, and I hope that people like me who need and want to talk to loved ones incarcerated will not be so desperate to try and save money by trying to hook up with this company even on a short term contract. It's going to end up costing you more than they tell you at the beginning, kind of like having a troll on the bridge saying you can't cross til you PAY UP! These people let you get in, and get hooked paying the set up fees and for basic service BEFORE you find out that it's going to cost more than they said.
Posted by Shek on 2010-11-23:
As of 11/24/10 GetConnected made a full refund to my checking acct,but this was only after filing a complaint with Better Business Bureau in GetConnected's district which in this case was San Diego. GetConnected has a B rating in this branch and an F rating in the other branch. There are only 2 branches of GetConnected, both operating out of California, and owned and operated by a single owner.
They were not happy with me filing a complaint with BBB, and wrote a nasty response, accusing me of lying, (which I did not). I feel they only refunded my money because of my complaint to BBB. They would probably, (in my opinion) have a worse rating than they do because many people don't file complaints with BBB, they just give up an loose their deposit, and whatever other money they paid upfront when GetConnected fails to operate the way they expected. I stand by my original statement that advertising should be upfront, whether talking to a company over the phone or in their first page AD'S, not hidden within the fine print or terms of service.
So, the bottomline is that if you've come to this page because of issues with this company, don't just give up. File the appropriate complaint with BBB and you WILL get results!

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