Inmate Monitoring

Telmate; The Company that Thrives on Extortion

Telmate is a technology company that provides solutions to the corrections industry. It is based in Idaho and is used in thousands of facilities across the country. Telmate has received poor reviews from clients because of their customer service. One customer said that she failed to get phone calls from her husband and her son even after she paid for the service. She said that she is still prevented from calling them after adding her contacts and money to their accounts because of an authorization error. The system directs her to upload her ID, and this starts the process all over again.

 

The general response from many customers is that the website is confusing to navigate. Customers are recommended to set up everything over the phone. This enables one to be able to talk with a representative at the company in real time to ensure that there are no issues. Depositing over the phone is considerably better because one is not charged a service fee. Telmate has been called out for their discriminative terms that are very harsh. One of the biggest complaints from customers about their terms of service is the conditions of a three-way call. One customer complained about how they had been charged $25 by the Department of Correction for making a three-way call. The woman was speaking to her daughter. An employee of the DOC flagged it as a three way.

 

The company has made many changes in the past. The changes have raised the costs of using their services. Telmate hiked the cost of making a local phone call by 300%. This has been taken as a flimsy way of making more profits by extorting customers. A lady who identified herself as Andrea K said that she had made a loss of $180 using Telmate’s services. She loaded money into her husband’s account, but he was unable to call her. The support staff gave her several excuses as to why she was unable to reach her husband. There is a time that she was told that her card number was invalid. She was told that she had entered the card number multiple times the next time.

 

Telmate told the customer that her card was the issue even though she had used it in other places. She noted that the company still tried to charge her despite the fact that she was unable to talk to her husband. She was charged for a 3-way phone call yet she had not made such a call. Telmate told her that they monitored all the devices in the house to make sure that no other person was listening to the call. She questioned this because it was infringing on her privacy.

Telmate Communications – Exploiting the Customers with Poor Technology and Customer Service

Telmate Communications is regarded as one of the leading companies in the field of inmate communications. The company started operations in the year 1998 under the name Pinnacle Public Services as an ancillary firm for other major inmate communications service providers. However, in due course, the management realized that there is a significant void in the sector for a comprehensive service provider that offers advanced technological solutions in the inmate communications and criminal justice field.

However, the company even after starting off well in the first few years have become a negative talking point in the inmate communication industry as of now. It is mostly because the company has not been able to keep pace with other enterprises in the field who are providing far better technology and services at much cheaper rates. The customers who are using the Telmate Communications services are thinking of switching to other providers, and considerable size of the customer base of the company has already made the switch. The complaints against the company are increasing with every passing day, and more and more people are raising their voices and concerns regarding how they believe the company has exploited them.

One of the common problems that most of the customers are facing is the long waits when calling the customer service, and not getting the refunds as promised. When the customers provide valid reason and evidence that ensures they should get their refunds, the customer service does mention that it would be paid for a few days or a week’s time, but the refunds never come. The customers are not able to make calls from their fully credited phones, and every time an inmate tries to call, the IVR asks to put in more money. The customer service of Telmate Communications has become highly irresponsive, and many customers have even reported that the customer service representatives of the company were rude with them.

Many customers have filed legal complaints against the company, who continues to make millions of dollars in profits by exploiting its customer base. I sincerely hope the company takes notes of the many grievances that are posted online so that the customers can talk to their loved ones without hassles.

 

Global Tel-Link Charges Sarah Koenig $2,500 For Telephone Calls

The Serial podcast, see consumerist.com was one of the most famous podcasts in the history of the world. The 15 installment show covered a murder that took place in 1999. The man in jail for the murder is named Adnan Syed and the journalists driving the podcast is Sarah Koenig.

The final episode of the show started off like many of the shows before, with a collect call from Syed. Except this is not any collect call, it comes from a company called Global Tel-Link. The beginning of the call is painfully familiar to millions of people in America, it states, “This is a Global Tel-Link prepaid call from Adnan Syed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility.”

Global Tel-Link is the largest provider of telecommunication services to law enforcement across the country. They have thousands of private contracts to provide telephone calls to the inmates on the inside of these facilities as well as their families trying to call them from the outside. According to NY Times, they’ve recently made waves in the news because of an FCC regulation that they’ve been unhappy about and their obviously unethical treatment of prisoners and their families.

Global Tel-Link makes calling a prisoner cost prohibitive for many families across the country. This can completely remove a person from his or her family at a critical time in their life. And the lack of communication between an inmate and their family increases recidivism rates. Global Tel-Link does this by charging an absurd amount of fees, forcing families to open accounts with minimum deposits and charging mind blowing rates per minute for even local telephone calls.

To put this matter into perspective, somebody went ahead and did the math. Syed spent over 40 hours on the telephone through Global Tel-Link with investigative journalist Sarah Koenig. The telephone bill added up to over $2,500. Visit ACLU.org today and see what you can do to help.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-tel-link-gtl-issues-inaccurate-press-release–securus-corrects-inaccuracies-300264749.html

Quarreling Of Competitors In The Inmate Communications Industry

Securus Technologies is a firm based in Dallas Texas which specializes in technology solutions for the civil and criminal justice system. These technologies are based around investigation, public safety as well as corrections and monitoring. They currently provide services to over 3450 correction agencies, law enforcement and public safety offices. A total of 1.2 million inmates are served by Securus Technologies across North America. Their motto is to make the world a safer place to live in by providing the industry with the best possible incident management, emergency response, investigation, public information, communication, biometric analysis, inmate self service, information management and monitoring products and additional services.

Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies Richard A. Smith told reporters at PRNewswire.com that they were in discussions with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department over an incident of criminal activity in the inmate communications industry. A competitor of Securus Technologies was believed to have been involved in bribing government officials, bid rigging, overcharging family and friends of inmates during phone calls, theft of confidential information and misrepresentation when acquiring government contracts.

Securus Technologies holds itself to the highest of standards when it comes to integrity. In 2012 they issued a Customer Integrity Pledge which shared their business practices and the kind of standard that they uphold with their customers. Richard A. Smith said in a statement that he believes that there is no place for this kind of activity within the inmate communications industry. The Securus firm will be releasing further information they have regarding the criminal activity in several press releases. These will be issued over the next 90 days. Mr. Smith believes that the individuals will be brought to justice and things restored very soon.