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Correctional Billing/Embarq payphone service
By -

DALLAS, TEXAS -- Whoever owns Correctional Billing Service should be thrown in jail right alongside our loved ones who have committed crimes! They are criminals. I have dealt twice with these people, ALL of whom cannot speak English very well and you have to strain to understand. My husband is incarcerated. Yes, he did wrong and is now paying for it. I am not upset so much for me as for my mother-in-law.

First, for myself, like I said I have dealt twice with them. First about a month ago. My husband could not get through to me, but could call his mother. His calls to me were blocked. I called my phone company - Verizon who said they did not put a block on my husband's calls to me. I then called CBS/Embarq who said that they were having a system error and it would be resolved within 24 hours and was. My mother-in-law then had a block put on by CBS, saying her phone company won't be handling CBS billing anymore and she HAD to pay with a prepaid account - after 5 months of the bill going through her phone company.

Her, being older and not well, cannot go down to the prison very often as she has health problems. She did prepay with a credit card as she was ordered (and not nicely) by CBS and the block was lifted. She then found out that CBS charged her credit card for phone calls and submitted the same phone calls to her phone company - Verizon also! Double billing I am sure is illegal in all 50 states! She contacted her credit card and the credit card fraud department is now involved.

As for me, I have just been informed by CBS that a block has once again been put on my calls from my husband, because they said charges incurred on April 17th and 18th were rejected from my phone company and sent back to CBS so I MUST open a prepaid account - all because of $3.05! I called my phone company and they said they NEVER sent back ANY charges, they haven't gotten CBS's billing yet, so how would CBS know that Verizon rejected those charges anyway - this being only the 22nd of April? Also, my phone bill is current and they absolutely did NOT send back the charges.

I have been told from my phone co. that CBS has been doing this a lot so they can get you to set up a prepaid account and collect their $6.95 charges every time you put money into your account. I have been paying their bill through my phone company for 5 months now and am always current. I have talked to 5 separate people within a 24 hour period over at CBS as to why a block was put on and everyone gives me a different answer. Someone told me just like my mother-in-law that Verizon isn't handling the billing for CBS anymore (Verizon vehemently denied this).

One guy told me I had already opened a prepaid account, which I didn't. He couldn't tell me who authorized it. Another said I opened it and then closed it out on the same day???? Weird! This one takes the cake - the COMPUTER opened up a prepaid account for me automatically on APRIL 3RD because of charges returned from my phone company for APRIL 17TH & APRIL 18TH!!!! HUH????? I didn't know the 17th & 18th came before the 3rd!! The problem is they have a MONOPOLY and think they can do whatever they wish.

And why is it that they charge larger sums a minute for a phone call in some states than others? Here in Michigan, we pay $1.80 for 15 minutes or 12 cents a minute. I have heard of $1.00 a minute in other states. I absolutely refused to pay the $3.05 until I see my phone bill and make sure they are not going to "double-dip" on me like they did on my mother-in-law. I am being blackmailed because they refuse to take the block off until I pay.

Well, they can keep the block on and until it's taken off I will do things the old fashioned way and write letters. And I will also call The Michigan Public Service Commission, The Federal Communications Commission and the Michigan Department of Corrections - just to let them know that this great system they employ to allow prisoners to call out is a scam. I do believe some sort of class action suit may be the only way to break up their monopoly.

And to all of you SINLESS people who boo-hoo those of us who have loved ones in prison - it is nothing to you now. But when you suddenly have someone you love do something wrong that YOU have NO control over, and all you want is just to hear their voice for a few minutes a week. To let your children hear their daddy's voice - it's not their fault. Then it will become a big deal. These men and women of ours are paying for their crime and so are we, in more ways than one. We don't need your insults on top of our suffering. Jesus forgives!

Who is allowing this company do business?
By -

I opened an account with this company about 6 months ago and had nothing but problems with this company. There were problems with the online services, the phone system, the chat option, and I couldn't even use my credit card to make a payment. I had to speak with a supervisor who didn't even resolve my issue. I was told to call BillMatrix. As a customer why should I have to call your company's processing provider? But I did because as you know if we want to talk to our loved ones we don't have a choice but to use this company, and it is very apparent that that is why there is no help or support for the customers.

The processing company said they didn't refuse my payment, "call CBS back". So I call back. They say call them or my financial institution. I do both nothing is resolved. No one can figure out the problem nor did they try. I closed my account a few months ago because of how frustrated I was with this company. Now I re-opened my account and it;s even worse. I still cannot use my credit card, make a payment online, get through to a human being through your "customer service" number.

This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced. There is no empathy or service for that matter from anyone at this company. I would hope they care about their company and customers, even though we have to use their service every business person knows you don't have a service without customers. I have been hung up on when I was supposed to be transferred. On the chat option they gave me the wrong phone number and then disconnected me. UNBELIEVABLE.

This is the only company I can used to talk to my fiance and I haven't talked to him in 5 months because of this company. Worst service ever. I don't understand how this is even legal. Send all your complaints to the Better Business Bureau.

Waited 2 Months For Papers
By -

P.O.BOX 650757 -- I was last on here. Talking to you about drop calls and when they drop, you still are paying for them. You will see them on your bill but will not see the drop or disconnect error on your bill. I'm just now getting a paper from Correctional Billing Service, to let them know when the phone calls where drop, but the key is this. Talk to your love one and max how many call he can do, if the drop call never hit you, you've been lucky, but if they have, please take the time out and call, talk to Mr. ** or Ms. **, supervisor and manager. I had to call several times so when and if I continue them to court, on small claim, it will be in the books or records.

Now to say all this make a list of times of drop calls, time and date. When you call and report it ask for ID # and name, time you talk to them (US military time), they go by that real good and then write the 800 or 877 #. You call to and from home or cell. For example I allowed my husband to call home 7 time in a month, that's twice a week or however he uses it. It's to be 7 times at 6.49 for 15 minutes plus a 1$ some odd change more for taxes. Huh????

Yes, it is, here the kicker. You get your bill and see all these phone call accepted, but you don't see the drop calls. False! You do see the drop call, only you are being charged for them, so if they have to send you a paper as they did me to get my permission to listen to our conversations?????? Just to get accurate, I find that a problem they are not accurate on our bills, you never can get past Mr. ** or Ms. ** but I found a way. Call BBB and you will get the CEO of this. I have information, I will blog it next time sorry it not with me, remember you are still being charged even if the phone is hung up from a drop call. Time is still ticking.

Extortion, Monopoly, and unfair rules to make more money
By -

I am writing this review to see if there has been anyone to actually DO something about CBS taking advantage of families already in despair. I'd love to know if anyone has been successful in getting something done about this company.

Since this IS a review board, I'll go ahead with a short review. I have a long list of complaints, but I'll just give the most recent. I have VOIP phone service (OOMA), and I am able to purchase a local number through OOMA to where my sister is incarcerated. This worked fine for quite some time, as it is $3 each time she calls. This is still expensive two-three times each week, but it is bearable.

I'm not sure how my account looks different on their end, but they somehow knew I used OOMA. They said your phone company uses "call forwarding", so I can't use it. They suggested I get a new phone company or one of their new cell phones.

I will say that the customer service reps have been much more polite over the last 6 months, so I gather there have been some changes there. However polite, they were not very helpful in this case. I asked to speak to a supervisor. He told me how my phone company offers a "security risk", because they can't tell who the call is coming from. I told them that my name appears on the caller ID, and that my address is on the account like any phone. The only difference is that it is local, and I live an hour away.

He THEN told me that they don't make enough money doing it that way, and that that my phone number would be permanently blocked. He said I'll have to get a new number, but that would probably be blocked too. He said I'll have to switch phone companies or use their new cellular service.

When you play by their CRAZY rules and hoops for years, and it comes down to them just wanting more money, I believe this is sickening! I HATE when people are bullied, especially people who are already down and taking a major hit. I could go on with other instances, but I'll spare you for now. If anyone has useful information about what rights we have an what we can do about these unfair practices, please let me know.

... all the negative complaints
By -

I had never had a problem with this company. I've been using them for several years since there is no choice. My son is incarcerated, therefore, I am in the mercy of this company. But either billing through my local phone company for years, or most recently, I've set up a cell phone account, my bills and usage are always correct and accurate!

I like the latter system better. My son can now call me anytime, anywhere and cheaper by $2. It's convenient and portable. I prepay any amount I want, plus $6.95 one-time load fee. My son can call my cell phone anytime, anywhere I'm at until the amount I loaded into the account is gone. At that point, I can re-load money into the account again. To keep from paying too many load fees, start out, say, $100. The more money you load into the account, the less you have to pay the load fee since it is charged each time you load money into the account.

I've talked to their customer service a few times, everyone had been nice and helpful to me. I think people that have problems with them may not have treated them as humans. Don't forget that they are humans too and treat them with respect to get their respect. Talk to them kindly and I bet you'll get what you want.

Correctional Billing Services Phone Scam! ( Big Rip Off )
By -

INDIANA -- I have been with Correctional Billing Services for a little over a year. And I feel as though this company is a BIG RIPOFF! I have had SOOOO many dropped calls to where it has stolen my joy of talking with my son through this company! I have called and even begged these people to give me my calls back or at least my money back. But I was told to dispute the calls and I will get my money back. Well I have did all of what I was told to do and I still NEVER got a dime or my calls back! I have even contacted the Better Business service on them.

But I don't know how to go about handling this situation with the BBS. I even told the BBS how Correctional Billing Services tell you if your call is dropped after 1 minute and 36 seconds. They say that it was a 2 minute call. And anything over a 2 minute call you can't get that call back unless you fax in a dispute form.

But once you go through all of that faxing and disputing Correctional Billing Services STILL does not grant you back your money or your call. I am so fed up with this company, and I wish that it was another reliable company that I could go through to talk to my son. So if there is ANYONE OUT THERE who can help me out with the BBS, and find a new correctional phone company that I can use? Please feel free to contact me so that I can handle this matter!!!!

Call goes "blank" when I try to accept call. PLEASE HELP!
By -

Hi... I am having a problem. When my brother calls me collect, it always shows up as the same number. Well it cut us off on a phone call the other day (it didn't give a message, the call just went blank). After that, he has called but it is showing up as all kinds of different numbers/area codes.

Also, the biggest problem, when he calls me, it will go almost all the way through the recording and once it gets to the point to say "to accept this call, press" IT QUITS. It never lets me press anything. It doesn't hang us up, it's like the line goes blank. He called me through someone else and said that on his end it is saying "your call was answered but positive acceptance wasn't received." How do I fix this??? Has this happened to anyone else before?

Rip off
By -

DALLAS, TEXAS -- When any one of you are ready to file a class action suit against them please email me. They are always making it where your calls are dropped anything time they want and its money lost. Talking about no third party, we know that we will lose our money if there is someone else on the line we are not trying to lose our money to them. And than they charge you $6.95 cent to add the money on and you have to put at at least $ 25.00 on there. When we have dropped call that are over a minute we have to give them permission to listen to our calls. NOT RIGHT. They never want to return you your money. I pray they go out of business.

Insufficient Customer Information and Unfair Refund Policy
By -

DALLAS, TEXAS -- This is the 3rd time this has happened to me. I set up an account with my number and some other numbers for friends and family to receive calls from my son. Another inmate made calls to a number on my account and funds were deducted from my account to pay for those calls (over $15.00). I called and wrote and emailed and was told that since the phone number accepted the call I was responsible. I was told I would have to "block" that facility. I did.

When my son was moved again, I then blocked the facility he was moved from, but AGAIN calls were made by another inmate and AGAIN I was charged ($27.00) and was told that now I had to block the prison from EACH on the numbers on my account, not just my account. I have been using Correctional Billing Services for several years and NEVER was any information given to me regarding safeguarding my account. When I specifically did what they told me to in blocking facilities... then when another incident happens, the rules change.

It is particularly disappointing as I asked each time if my account was protected and was told absolutely; which was not the truth at all and has cost me money I cannot afford and deprives my son from talking with his family and friends. Something needs to be done as the billing service REFUSES to make any adjustment AND the representative wouldn't let me speak to her supervisor at first, then kept me waiting over 30 minutes to talk to the supervisor who said there wasn't anyone above her who could help me and wouldn't give me a name of anyone else to talk to about the problem.

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Correctional Billing Services Rating:
65 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Correctional Billing Services
PO Box 650757
Dallas, TX 75265-0757
1-800-844-6591 (ph)
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