COLVILLE, WASHINGTON -- $50.00 charged to account. If you do not use the account for a 90 day period, your account is canceled and remaining balance is lost with no recourse. This is a government authorized company with a monopoly, so nothing you can do about it - buyer beware!
TEXAS -- I was charged by both Prison Call Services and Global Tel Link and realized they are one and the same, though Global Tel Link tells you that PCS is a fraud. At one point one of their reps told me to go back to PCS because it would save me money. Both took my money but charged services fees and there are hidden fees even if you don't answer the call. You put money in the account and it can be gone in one short phone call and they immediately demand more.
I added money one day but that same day, my niece was released so I called and canceled it, but they threatened me on the phone, demanding to know why I was canceling as if I didn't have a right as a consumer to cancel an unneeded service. But I had filed a fraud claim against PCS, signed up with Global Tel Link and "somehow" they were able to get my money from PCS, for a fee of course. Wells Fargo further lost me money because they claimed that PCS was legitimate although their phone numbers do not work. Global Tel then pretends to be saving you.
So I canceled since she was released and for a few days, the money was back in my account but then somehow when Wells Fargo investigated PCS, they decided it was a legitimate business so they OK'd the cancelled withdrawal, which then somehow voided my cancellation of the Global Tel Link service, and the 50.00 was taken out but because of bank procedures. The transactions "dropped off my account" so when I checked, it looked like that the money was taken out then promptly returned, only to have them sneak it out a few days later.
I kept looking for the amount minus the 14.95 service charge for cancellation and kept searching for 50.00 that I was short. Finally after my daughter was arrested again and she was able to call me, they announce on the call my balance! I go to my account and sure enough, they had kept the 50.00 and if she hadn't been picked up, the money would have stayed in there past the 90-day refund period and I would have lost it all together.
Not only is Global Tel Link an expensive fraud, PCS is owned by them and they manage to work you both ways: PCS advertises a flat rate and/or less per minute but the number is declared no good by Global Tel Link and they step in take the rest of what you gave to PCS and charge you service charges, a long distance rate, a unanswered call charge...on and on.
Plus trying to stop payment on PCS just got me an email threat saying they could charge me 3 times what I owed if I went to the bank! And then the bank sees that Global Tel Link was used at one time and they didn't even check out PCS, so they said the 50.00 Global Tel Link used plus charges was legitimate and let it go through even though I had canceled it and had not used any calls against the 50.00. It is a racket, it is government-sanctioned, it is a monopoly and it seems we have no recourse EXCEPT I am a writer and I am going to spend the rest of my days harassing my senator and congress person for reform.
The prison system doesn't help drug addicts and it doesn't help people while they are in jail so they come out worse than before. It is a money-making business and hardworking families, in an attempt to help their family members, only get ripped off. My niece is young and suffered the loss of her parents both suddenly and tragically within a two-year period. I'm not condoning her drug use and it has been a battle but she doesn't need to be in prison but in treatment like all drug addicts. But punishing the families by ripping us off doesn't help us help our family members.
I have given her an ultimatum because there is a 2-year live-in program and she can't live with me or my father anymore. She needs professional help to rebuild her life and she needs structure and to be working with people who have experience with drug addicts and their fears. I am helpless in doing anything for her because it is up to her. She may not have hit bottom and she may not make it and that frightens me more than anything. BUT I don't need to be played by a big corporation which makes billions off the prison system.
I need my energy to be here for her when she decides she wants to restart her life. I don't need to be ripped off as if I deserve to be treated like a brainless twit who has money lying around for these racketeers to bully and rip off. None of us deserve that, regardless of who or why a family member is in prison. The prison system helps no one, and our judgment of people who have fallen into drug use is unfair since we don't have a clue what brought that about. And God help the innocent who get arrested and their families have no money nor understanding of how to fight for them or have the means to even figure out how to get help.
I am ashamed of America right now. There is no compassion for the poor and as needed services are erased, more people will fall into despair and into jail. And as Global Tel Link takes money hand-over-fist, you can bet they pay no taxes. If you read this, and you find yourself in this same situation, speak out, be a pest to your congress people, call the White House, your Governor, don't stop being loud and clear about the changes we need. In silence, we will fail our children.
ALABAMA -- I've been using Global Tel Link for about a month to get calls on my cell phone from my fiance. The costs of each call is $2.50 per phone call and the phone calls are 15 minutes long. I only add money via Western Union which is a $10.95 sending fee. Talk about expensive.
Well, I hadn't had a problem out of the phone calls until about a week ago. Now, when I only have about 2 more calls left, the automated recording tells me I have a low balance and then I just count the last two. This was our 1 call after hearing the low balance recording. We heard something pick up, kind of like when you're on the house phone and someone picks up to listen to your phone call... but I was on a cell phone.
On my fiance's end, he heard a strange little buzzing sound. We've concluded that is when the jail picks up to listen in to your calls. Well, then all of a sudden I hear "3-way call detected" and there goes my $2.50 phone call. Boy was I mad. I called Customer Service immediately and explained that I don't even have 3-way calling on my cell phone. The Customer Service lady explained that (and this is important) GLOBAL TEL LINK DOES NOT GUARANTEE CALLS TO CELL PHONES. So, I asked to speak to her supervisor.
While I was on hold (since every time I'm on hold, it's for about 20 minutes no matter what it is), I pulled up their website and read the ENTIRE thing. And not one time did I read that there was no guarantee for cell phone. Oh, I was mad. But, I did not show I was mad, just disappointed. Instead of getting a supervisor, I got an answering machine. Very unprofessional, but whatever.
I left a message explaining that the woman I spoke with was very helpful but I would like to know why there is no guarantee for cell phones through their company but it was not in any recording, on the website, or even in any fine print. I left my number and requested them to call back (I said please). I didn't receive a call back, which upset me.
But after I received my 2nd call and knew I didn't have minutes anymore, I went to do another Western Union (because like most of you who used Global Tel Link, it's the ONLY option if you want to speak with someone incarcerated) and added $20 to my account. Now, if my math is correct, and I aced math all my life, that's 8 phone calls.
Well, I never called Customer Service back and even though I felt so upset at the time, I refuse to complain about this service because I have now received 27 phone calls without making any more payments and it still hasn't told me that I have a low balance. XD
Now, as to whether they are going to contact me and tell me my balance is $-100 sometime down the road is another story. But, the great thing about that is... my phone is not in my name, it's prepaid; the account is for my prepaid phone... I'll just change my number and they can eat the bill. Haha.
So, maybe you can try to call Customer Service and be very polite but very displeased with the service and let them know on the answering machine what's going on and ASK NICELY for a return phone call. And if they call you back instead of doing whatever it was they did to my account that has given me all these phone calls, then just tell them they'll return your money or you're calling corporate and going well above their head.
Oh, and ask for the supervisor's name... that'll probably help him/her to make the decision of giving you your money back instead of trying to make you go away. Hope this helps someone else like it did my fiance and me. PS - sorry your family/friends are incarcerated. I know how hard it is, now.
I recently found out that a friend of mine now resides at Gaston CC in Dallas NC. We have been writing back and forth and in order to talk to him, I ordered a home phone so he could call me collect. His call came through the first 4 times, my caller ID said GTL Inmate but when I picked up, it was a recording saying my number didn't accept collect calls and to call GTL to set up an account.
Not wanting a separate bill, I called GTL and asked if they had a block on my number and if they did to take it off. The first representative said there was no block and the call didn't come through because my phone service was new, told me to call my phone co. and request they update their calling database. I called at and they said it would automaticaly update but could take a week.
Now, no calls come through from my friend, not even like they did before I call GTL. I called GTL again, this representative said the first representative didn't know what he was doing but again stated there was no block on my phone through them, but tried setting me up for an account. I didn't bite...I called at and again this time, the representative there used 3-way calling and called my number collect to show me the call would go through and it did. Still, his calls will not come through at all.
I called an 1800 number that would allow me to enter my number to check and see if GTL had a block on my number. The recording stated they had no records of any inmate trying to call my number. I called a live person, this time this representative put in my number and said," you're having trouble receiving calls from a inmate at Gaston CC?" **I NEVER mentioned the name of the facility to anyone** so they do have it in their records that an inmate has tried calling me.
Still no calls coming though so I'm calling one more time today and if this will not fix it, I'm going to the Executive Director of Billing. I'll update what happens, if anything does happen. Sorry for any missing letters, computer is acting up again.
ALABAMA -- A family member of mine was in jail for a DUI for about 6 months back in 2008. I set up a Global Tel Link account for her so she could talk to her son while there. I paid over $600.00 in that time and have not used their service since 2008 when she was released. I got a bill from them last month (in July 2010) saying I owed $37.28. I called, was on a call back list for 2 hours. Finally got a call back and was transferred around from person to person, and was finally told that hey FORGOT TO SEND OUT BILLS FOR 2 YEARS! What honest business would forget to bill people for 2 years???
So, even though I know this was not a charge that I incurred, I agreed to pay it because I have never paid a bill late in my life and have perfect credit that I always check on. I told them to close my account. I wrote a letter also telling them to close my account because I believe someone else is fraudulently using it. The checked cleared on my bank statement 3 days after I mailed it.
Today (August 4, 2010), a month later I get another bill for the exact same amount!!!!! I got on the phone again today and it only took 2 people for someone to actually be able to help. I was finally told this time that oh yeah, they did get the check, but they never put it through as paid. WTF!!! I asked them to send me a zero-balance statement so this time I can be sure it went through. I really think that people in this company are scamming it's customers if not the company itself. BEWARE!!! My advice is to avoid using this company if at all possible.
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- I made a transaction earlier today in hopes to speak to my loved one of $25 with a loading fee added to that transaction. Upon several attempts of the inmate trying to place a call it would not work/connect the call. So being very flustered and confused because I was given this company's contact info by the facility my loved one is housed, I called customer service to try and resolve this issue. I was told several times by a representative, "Sorry," and pause.
At that point I requested my funds to be returned so that I may find if another company and was told that "I would be charged a $5 REFUND FEE and would see my funds in my account WITHIN 30 BUSINESS DAYS." WTF??? So I paid a transaction fee to receive services that I never received and you are gonna charge me an additional $5 on top of the other fees, and I have to wait 30 days to get it?? What kind of ** is this? Charge me $5 for immediately refunding my fees.
I feel so damn robbed. This is horrible service!! And on top of all of it THEY DON'T HAVE A COMPANY ADDRESS. WTF again? And guess what the rep said upon me running this back to him?? "Sorry." Wowwww. Do not, I repeat, do not use this company whatsoever. This is not a reputable company.
TEXAS -- As a new customer to GTL, I thought this company would be understanding to my situation. I mean come on, it's in their mission statement. Yet, the company takes advantage of people in distress. They charge you $2 every 15 minutes and $7 to add money. Then when it comes to a refund, the company does not contact you on about your complaint.
Then when you call the customer service number, they give you a very difficult time then charge you to CANCEL THEN TELL your money will be issued in 60 day! This company failed to put this vital information on their automated phone operator. Then told me I had to mail a letter to request proof of my refund. Really, believe me, Global Tel Link is a scam! I hope this helps the next customer.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- There is got to be a way to stop this monopoly, having just one provider to be able to communicate with your loved ones who are incarcerated. It is terrible what they are doing right in your face. I deposit $50 dollars and the first calls they deduct $8.00 just for transaction fees. Spoke to my son for 2 minutes. When he called me again the next day, I only had $30 dollars?? $12 dollars for 2 minutes? Also when you start talking, they will interrupt the call saying that a conference call was intercepted and of course when you get the call again, they charge you the transaction fee.
I have been monitoring them and already sent a complaint to some authorities because someone is making big buck off of us, we must do something ASAP. That's why I called this an "armed robbery" - they do it and no one is doing anything about it. My son has been in jail since June 26, 2013 and I have spent over $300 in those 4 weeks. Something has to be done.
On 5/6/13 I called the GTL to re-collect calls from my kids' dad from MCI-H in Hagerstown Md. He has made several attempts to call, each time the call is disconnected. I called CS at 866 230 7761, spoke with 2 NASTY, RUDE, IGNORANT ASS REPS (**). I had to go into PRAYER so I wouldn't lose my temper because of their nasty attitudes.
"Dear Heavenly Father, I place Global Tel Link into your hands, they are ripping & scamming your people who work hard for their money. Father I ask you RIGHT NOW that you go into the hearts & minds of anyone associated with Global Tel Link. Father God, convict the hearts & spirits for taking advantage of YOUR PEOPLE who need that contact with their loved ones who are incarcerated Global Tel Link is not providing that service to them Lord Jesus.
Heavenly Father I know you have all POWER, your word say to bring my burdens to you because you have ALL POWER to change the hearts & minds of people that is beyond my control, in the name of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father, REVEAL Global Tel Link for the FRAUD & SCAMMERS that they are, in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ AMEN!" Anyone who sees this post, please pray this prayer if you agree this company has FAILED you as well.
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- Global Tel is a money-making scheme for the company itself, as well as the correctional facility who must require this service. Most of us with loved ones incarcerated are not wealthy, but the above two mentioned take total advantage of our situation, making this the only way to have phone contact with our jailed loved ones.
Why are they charging outrageous amounts for calls, so-called service fees, as well as taking money from my account that are not applied to calls that go through? I am being charged for calls that I do not answer. And forget about customer service, I was treated like a piece of crap, told calls were made that weren't, and basically called a liar. And so what - you can't do anything about it, you have no other choice.