GlobalTel is a telephone service provided to have contact via telephone with an inmate. When a loved one in my family was incarcerated in a South Bend, Indiana jail, I received a telephone call from him. It was a collect telephone call to my landline telephone. I got several calls on this telephone which was not inexpensive but I could accept it at my discretion. In about two weeks I got another telephone call saying that I needed to set up an account with GlobalTel to be able to accept calls from this inmate.
You needed to use a credit or debit card number and add $25.00 or $50.00 on this program. This also included a set up fee, which was not disclosed. After two telephone calls from this inmate I was told that I needed to add more funds to this account. I had a balance of $9.00 on my account. I was fuming. I live long distance from this area but am able to get a reasonable long distance price on my regular landline, of course with my cell phone it would be free.
I called the number to contact with questions regarding my account. A chipper recording gave me instructions on how to contact them. I was put on hold by a friendly woman’s voice with a British accent. I am assuming it is British because it sounds much more cultured than us Midwesterners. She continued to thank me for holding. She also informed me that if I didn’t want to hold, that I could leave my number and that they would call me back in the order in which I was in “que.” Yeah, like I was going to fall for that!
I am a Pitbull when it comes to being controlled. I am not dumb, I have learned the tricks that are used to avoid dealing with complaints from consumers. I would be on hold until I was disconnected, which has happened many times before when dealing with insurance companies and credit card companies.
I continued to hold for an hour. I got dishes done, cleaned up the Thanksgiving leftover mess and then watched the Medium. I would be damned if I were going to hang up. By this time it was after 10:00 P.M.
Just as I was nearly ready to have a stroke a man came on the line. He asked me how he could help me.
One thing that I have learned is that these operators are just ordinary people who need a job and are not there to make my life anymore miserable than it already is. I took a deep breath and told him that I was livid about the exorbitant prices that this GlobalTel was costing me to talk to my relative. I then told him that I was not blaming him but that I wanted to know what each call was costing and how much was in my account.
To make a long story short, he told me that there was no more money in my account. That the state of Indiana got $1.39 in taxes on each phone call, that every time that I took money out to pay for these calls that there was a service charge of $4.75 to my debit card. I could send money to GlobalTel through Western Union with a one time set up fee of about $10.00 or I could send money via a money order.
I helplessly added another $25.00 so that my relative could call me, and know that I have to set limits on the calls to our house. It is pathetic that it costs so much to have contact with a family member. You get hit when you are down and there is not much that you can do about it but complain.
I thanked the operator and he told me that I was a lot less irate with him than he would be if the situation were reversed. In spite of not being able to do much but complain, I felt good about at least trying and treating this man with dignity and respect.
I also left a message because of course there was not a life person to talk to, wanting to know who was getting the extra money for these calls. I of course have not heard back from them. If you have questions about this you can go to this web site. I am sure that we are not the only ones who have been ripped off trying to communicate with our loved ones.