GTL Overcharging Prison Phone Calls

Ever since Police in Pennsylvania arrested Mr. Anthony Kofalt for failing to pay for 21 boxes of Whitestrips after walking out of a Walmart, his wife, Heather, has by far spent more than $3,000 – an average of $60 an ever week- only on phone calls made to prison.

Every single instance Ms. Kofalt recharges his calling account with $25, the GTL company running the system makes an automatic $6.95 service charge. Ms. Kofalt doesn’t drive and therefore is engaged in house chores. She is a health care aid and lives with her 19-year-old son, his wife and two grandchildren in the same house. This is all they have. The jail people are wronging them according to Ms. Kofalt, but the only ones getting the real pain of punishment is the friends and family members. Read more: https://consumerist.com/2014/12/18/long-after-serial-season-is-over-global-tel-link-will-keep-charging-inmates-outrageous-phone-fees/

It was not until the 1990s; inmates would receive and place unlimited calls to family members, friends, and lawyers at calling rates that were almost equivalent to calling rates outside of prison walls. But now as revealed on prisontalk forums, the prison phone call system is a $1.2-billiob-a-year company that is dominated but few monopolistic businesses that manage the calling rates and fees in exorbitant fees by the regular commercial providers of service. It is now the most considerable business – a 400 million jail and prison phone calls that came to a total of six billion minutes of calling in 2014 – that has caught the equity private firm’s eye.

After years of constant complaint (watch this YouTube campaign video) from numerous prison-right unions, friends and family members of the inmates, the Federal Communications Commission according to PR Newswire‘s report is set to investigate the industry’s financial intricacies, which has been unregulated for an extended period. The state and local prison systems will exchange their exclusive contracts at the core of the inquiry.