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.