Federal Communication Commission

The Fraudulent Global Tel-Link

Global Tel-Link is a phone company that allows prisoners to communicate with the world. However, its customers complain of hidden fees and rates higher than other companies offer. Some tricks the company uses are 1) letting the phone bill the account before the call is picked up, 2) adding illegal surcharges to phone calls, 3) dropping calls in order to charge a second fee for reconnecting them, and 4) billing one call multiple times. Then, the intrastate calling rates are said to be too high. And GTL is expensive in the first place without all this unfairness. Read more on NYTimes to know more about GTL.

GTL reports that it serves over 2,100 facilities in the 50 states, 27 Department of Correction contracts in more than 800 counties, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Yet it has a history of illegal billing practices nationwide. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have even taken out class actions against GTL. How much longer will the government tolerate the company’s abuses? Watch this video about GTL on youtube.com

If you are using a phone to connect with someone in any of the following Californian jails, know that the servicing company is GTL. The jails are California DOC, Atwater USP, Coalinga Claremont Custody Center, Alameda County Jail, Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, Contra Costa County, El Dorado County, Dublin FCI, Glenn County Sheriff Department, Hayward City Jail, Herlong FCI, Humbolt County, Imperial County, Kern County, Lompoc USP, Los Angeles MDC, Los Angeles County, Lake County Jail, Lake County Juvenile Home, Los Angeles Police Department, Mendota FCI, Marin County Jail, Marin County Probation, Placer County, Orange County, Riverside County Jail, San Benito County, San Bernadino County Juvenile, San Diego MCC, San Francisco County Jail, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention, San Luis Obispo County, Shaffer Community Correctional, Shasta County, Siskiyou County Jail, Solano Probation Juvenile Hall, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall, Terminal Island FCI, Tehama County Jail, USMC Camp Pendleton Brig, Tulare County, Victorville USP, Yolo County Jail, Yuba County Jail, Ventura County CA-Juvenile Probation, and Ventura County Jail. My information for this article comes from https://cases.theclassactionnews.com/global-tel-link-prison-collect-calls/.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9leDabb7wBI

FCC Begins Oversight on Inmate Communications

Not too long ago prisons and jails across the country had the freedom to set rates on phone calls and other communication between inmates and the outside world. Some claimed this to be an egregious attack on typically financially poorer families who were unable to visit their incarcerated loved ones.

 

The FCC, or Federal Communication Commission began to investigate the claims raised by those families affected by the increasingly hiked rates governed by federal prisons and jails. The FCC found the inmates typically could only make collect calls, which meant their families or loved ones had to cover the costs. Since the prisons were left unchecked on who they used as a carrier, this left those footing the bill with a very hefty bill.

 

In August of 2016, the FCC made their most recent action in a step to limit the rise of inmate calls. They set a rate cap on inmate calls that should substantially decrease how much those calls cost.

 

Communication companies such as Securus Technologies and Legacy Inmate Communication have stated that they feel the FCC has overstepped its bounds and limited the free market. Those companies will feel the impact levied by the FCC. Their response has been vocally pointed toward history that the FCC has never intervened in communication processes such as this, and in this case, the FCC does not have the authority to intervene.

 

With the new rate cap set in August of 2016, inmates can expect to see more reasonable costs associated when calling friends and families. With the rate cap enacted, phone calls can be made without exceeding the cap. With the oversight of the FCC toward federal communications, local states still have the right to oversee intrastate calls. Though the FCC has made a step in the right direction, not all inmates will be immune to high priced calls.