T-Netix

I got a phone call from a caller ID-blocked number yesterday. When I picked up, it was a recorded message from T-Netix, telling me that an inmate (my younger brother) at Correctional Institution X wanted to get in touch with me, and in order to allow that to happen, I’d have to set up an account. The message gave me a toll-free number (1-888-221-5671, if you’re interested) at which I could set up an account. In the past, my brother has always been able to get in touch with me via AT&T or Verizon collect calls, which charged a special extortionate prison rate, something around ninety cents per minute, so I was initially hopeful: I thought that maybe the Maryland Division of Corrections had finally decided to treat prisoners’ families like human beings.

Upon calling the T-Netix number (“The nation’s largers provider of corrections industry related telecommunications services”), I discovered that I was sorely mistaken.

I spent a good forty minutes in voicemail hell, with poorly described menu options and nearly inaudible descriptions: apparently, T-Netix isn’t interested in making things easy. When I finally got a live person, there was no explanation of the company or its services given, no mention of how much calls might cost or how any of it worked. She just wanted my data: name, phone number, billing address, inmate’s name and facility. Then she dropped the bomb: she wanted my social security number, without which I could not set up an account. Mind you, she hadn’t identified herself or her company, and the voicemail system gave no contact information (like a physical address) for T-Netix. Far as I’m concerned, if you give your social security number out over the phone to someone you don’t know and have no contact information for, you’re a fool, and you’re setting yourself up for identity theft. Absolutely not, I told her. I mean, my phone company doesn’t even ask for my social security number. She was steadfast; the only way they can set up an account for an inmate to contact you is with a social security number, so they can run a credit check on you.

In other words, in the state of Maryland, which has contracted its prison communications to T-Netix, voice communication with an inmate requires a credit check.

There’s so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to start. For one thing, Maryland — by giving a contract to T-Netix — has rhetorically criminalized anyone who even wants to talk to an inmate in the DOC system by placing them under surveillance. For another thing, this makes it much more difficult — or, more properly, practically impossible — for an inmate to call an outside law enforcement agency, a congressional representative, or a reporter. And Maryland (as well as many other states) have instigated this public evisceration of inmates’ and families’ rights for the sake of private profit: a private corporation (check out the heavy-duty shareholder orientation of the T-Netix website) makes profits and actually tries to move shares by boasting about how difficult they make things for inmates.

One possible response: why should we care about what happens to prisoners? They’ve been tried and convicted in a court of law; don’t they deserve whatever they get? So what if it’s a little harder for them to communicate? At least they’re not calling me. (Come to think of it, arguing over whether prisoners ought to have the right to make collect calls, and whether law-abiding citizens ought to be subjected to the possibility of having to refuse collect calls from prisoners, might in some rather interesting ways resemble the debate over the legality of spam.) To which I might reply: I think this letter stands as sufficient evidence of how important and inalienable everyone’s rights are in a democratic society.

I hope you might poke around the vultures’ site a bit, and check out the relations between profit, surveillance, and speech. (I think immediately, of course, of a recent C&W presentation.) I’m working on a letter to Maryland DOC, and maybe more, since I think that the practices T-Netix boasts about border on the unconstitutional.

And as always, if you’re interested, my brother — David — loves to get letters, and is a good correspondent. He’s a sweet, good-natured, and immensely sociable guy who’s graduating in July with an Associate’s degree earned entirely in prison. Pretty liberal in his politics, although the feminist in me sometimes groans at the stuff he gets from his intensely masculine environment. He also sits on the inmate advisory council, does a lot of work with AA, and helps tutor other inmates who are working towards their GEDs. Drop me an email if you’d like his address.

175 thoughts on “T-Netix

  1. Steven D. Krause

    Have you ever heard of “slamming,” which is when a phone company switches your services even without your permission? This was a problem in Michigan a few years ago and I was almost the victim of it. If I were you, I’d call your phone company just to make sure these T-nexic or whatever people didn’t go ahead and change your service without telling you about it…

    Reply
  2. Donna Wilkins

    I experienced the same situation. My son is a correctional facility and has been calling home for the past two years. Suddenly, he was blocked on June 15, 2004. I have called my local phone company, AT&T Customer Service, and T-netix.
    No one could tell me anything. T-netix said I set up an account with them on 6-15-04 and presently owe them $85.00. It was news to me.
    T-netix told me that they were a collection agency for AT&T. Yet they asked me to pay them the $85.00 over the telephone with a check. It seemed duplicate billing to me. I just paid my phone bill the same day. It is at a stand still right now. I miss my son’s calls**

    Reply
  3. Susie

    My son was arrested this past Thursday and I also received a call from this T-Netix that I would have to set up an account for my son to be able to call me. I have called the number numerous times and waited, and waited, and waited. All I got was a recording that I could email my “request” or fax. I did both. I received an email back (two days later) telling me that I would have to call the phone number (that no one seems to answer). They said they could not do my request by email. Then why the hell do they say on the phone that you can do it by email??? What a rip-off this company is. There is no way to talk to your relative except for the visit. It’s really bad when the person in jail hasn’t been found guilty of the crime! I really need to talk to my son to inform him about what’s going on but T-Netix screws that up!

    Susie

    Reply
  4. Mike

    Susie and Donna, I totally agree with your concerns. Susie, the voicemail system T-Netix has is absolutely lousy — terrible and unclear instructions, ridiculously long hold times, and sometimes inaudibly quiet messages. Donna, if you look at the plans T-Netix offers, if you don’t want to be subjected to the surveillance of a credit check (which you shouldn’t, seeing as how you haven’t been convicted of a crime, and how you at least have a right to talk to your loved ones), you have to pre-pay, and T-Netix collects whatever’s left of your unpaid balance at the end of six months. It looks like a scam all around, as should be obvious from their investor-oriented Web site. I hope both of you might contact your congressional representatives and raise some concerns about this, since many aspects of what T-Netix is doing for the sake of private profit seem to raise very significant civil liberties concerns. Let me know what you hear; I’ll certainly post any progress I make here on my weblog.

    It’s a shame that this company seems so eager to prey on the families of folks in prison. One might wish for one of their family members to go to prison, and to see how much they enjoy their company’s predatory practices. Disgusting.

    If you’re interested, there’s more on other profiteering scumbags like T-Netix in this article in The Atlantic. Take care, and my best wishes to both of you. And, please, keep in touch.

    Reply
  5. Cindy

    Oh my gosh. When I read this it was like reading my story about t-netix. I too received the same treatment. My husband is there and I have received his calls everynight. Then all of a sudden, I have a block on my phone. It took me over two weeks of telephone hell to find out what was wrong. I kept thinking they were saying connectics. I couldn’t understand what they were saying because you couldn’t understand. Now, I am only 51 and have good hearing. I finally found out they were saying t-netix. They I find out they put a limit on my phone. With AT&T I too had a correction plan, changed, no warning not told a single thing. I just couldn’t talk to my husband. My phone bill with AT&T was 200-250 a month and always paid on time. t-netix put a $75 limit on my phone then blocked all of my calls. I am sorry but this has got to be the worst of the worst of phone companies. This is definately the phone company from hell.

    Reply
  6. Mike

    Cindy, and anyone else who’s struggling with the vultures at T-Netix — you might check out this site, which details a Pennsylvania woman’s struggle with them. When I get more information, I’ll post it here. Good luck.

    Reply
  7. Claire

    Reading these other comments sounds very familiar. Our son is in a jail in Oregon, and at first we were receiving regular calls from him, and then they suddenly stopped. We learned through other family members and his letters that every time he tried to call us he got a message that this number was not receiving collect calls. I called our local phone company and learned that they had no block on our phone, so I called the billing company, and then T-NETIX, and was informed that they had changed their billing system and blocked our phone until we set up an account with them. Because we need to hear from our son, and he needs to hear us, I went ahead and gave them my SS number, but somebody ought to close that crooked outfit down permanently.

    Reply
  8. Mike

    Absolutely. What terrible vultures the folks at T-Netix are, preying on the families of inmates. It’s almost like a protection racket, extorting money from inmates’ loved ones if they ever want to talk to the inmate again. And of course, our country’s rabid get-tough-on-crime political climate lets the vultures get away with it.

    Reply
  9. Christina

    I came to this site by way of searching the internet in an attempt to find the proper name of the telephone company, who I feel is holding me hostage weekly by governing the intake of collect calls at my home number without any warning of going over time limits or dollar amount limits. My fiance has recently been incarcerated in Maryland and it is very important for us to stay in touch beings how I am the only outside contact he has. It is scarey to see so many others having the exact same problem. Please tell me if there is someone I can write and/or contact in anyway in order to fix this problem. What can we do?

    Reply
  10. Mike

    Christina, I would first call your congressional representatives — in Maryland, that’s going to be Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, plus whoever your representative in the House is (if you’re in Charles, Calvert, or St. Mary’s county, you’re in luck, because Steny Hoyer is the second ranking Democrat in the House) — and tell members of their staff what’s going on. (If they need more info, feel free to send ‘em this way.) They have case workers who can help. Then I’d call the prison administration — the warden or director, but you’ll often find the prison chaplain to be easier to talk to — and tell them what’s going on, and also tell them that you’ve also told your congressional representatives about the problem. Maybe the phrase “cruel and unusual punishment” might be helpful. Finally, I’d call T-Netix themselves (800 559 1535 or 972 241 1535), ask to talk to a manager (not one of the operators — you can usually get by the operators by telling them that “cruel and unusual punishment” is illegal in the U.S.), and tell the manager that you’ve told your congressional representatives and the prison administration about their disgusting practices, and ask them what they intend to do. Raise hell.

    Good luck, and let us know if you get any results!

    Reply
  11. Patti

    T-Netix is the phone company from Hell! With AT&T right next door. They along with the “system” enjoy destroying families. It’s not bad enough that our loved ones are wrongfully incarcerated, that they make communicating with them even more difficult. I would love to see them put behind bars and have them go through the pain and frustration of trying to contact someone only to hear that the number they are trying has been collect call restricted. It is the worst feeling of helplessness. Then they charge you outrageous fees for your calls, I pay $4.82 for the 1st minute and .40 cents each additional minute which have 10 different kinds of tax on them, not to mention that I have to pay a $3.99 fee just to add money on my account. You have to have 2 jobs just to pay the phone bill. You don’t get a bill, because you have to pre-pay. Isn’t that convenient for them, they can charge you whatever they feel like that day. Funny when I asked them to send me an itemized bill and I hadn’t received it and asked them why, they said “because they only had part of my street address” but that didn’t stop them from blocking my phone or taking money out of my account though. T-Netix should be the ones incarcerated for “Robbing” us blind. They are the real criminals!

    Reply
  12. kristol

    WELL, I AM SOME WHAT FEELING BETTER, I SPENT THE DAY IN PHONE HELL TODAY, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY MY CALL HAD BEEN BLOCKED, THESE PEOPLE ARE THE CRIMINALS, T-NETIX, IS TAKEING ADVANTAGE OF A SAD SITUATION, THEY KNOW YOU NEED TO SPEAK WITH A LOVED ONE IN PRISON, THEY KNOW YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, YOU HAVE TO USE THEM, SO THEY ROB YOU.OR SHOULD I SAY EXPLOIT YOU.I TO WAS NEVER INFORMED OF THE SWITCH TO T-NETIX, JUST HAD MY PHONE BLOCKED ONE DAY, WHILE I WAS WAITING FOR A LIFE AND DEATH CALL LITERALLY FROM A INMATE ON DEATH ROW.I PAID MY BILL ON TIME, BUT STILL WAS BLOCKED, SEEMS YOU HAVE TO PAY, BEFORE THEY EVEN GIVE YOU A BILL.I THANK EVERYONE FOR SHAREING THEIR COMMENTS, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING CRAZY.WHEN YOU TALK TO T-NETIX THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A CRIMINAL, (WELL LETS, RUN A CREDIT CHECK AND SEE IF YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO USE OUR SERVICES) ATTITUDE.AND THEN ACT LIKE THEY ARE DOING ME A FAVOR BY CHARGEING ME A $1.40 A MINUTE, AND THATS WITH THE SO CALLED CORRECTIONAL VALUE PLAN DISCOUNT, FROM AT&T.WHAT A JOKE, LETS HOPE THE WHIP GETS CRACKED AND THEY HAVE TO REIMBURSE CUSTOMERS FOR THEIR OUT RIGHT ROBBERY.

    Reply
  13. kristol kiss

    One other problem with T-Netix, I firmly believe lost or dropped calls, are no mere accident threw T-Netix, I believe its a ploy, to get the inmate to call back, therefore chargeing the acceptor, another connect fee.Whats really sad, is in my case the inmate calling me is allowed 2 ten minute calls weekly, once the call is accepted, it counts. So if I accept, we speak for a minute, and the call disconnects, thats it. He can wait another 7 days to call again.If thats not bad enough, we have to pray each week that T-Netix didnt put a block on my line, for what ever excuse they have for that week.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    I thought I was the only being put thru hell by t-netix. I was also having my calls blocked for no reason and then when I asked they said, they didnt know why the calls were being blocked. WE need to do something.

    Reply
  15. Mike

    Kristol, anonymous, and Patti, I really agree with you — something needs to be done to make people realize how terrible T-Netix is, and how their cashing in on the suffering of inmates’ families violates the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. Suing T-Netix and/or the prison system might be one way to do it; so might getting in touch with your congressional representatives. Tell you what: let’s all do some research on how we might go about doing that, since it’ll help other inmates’ families, too. One place I’m going to start with: the American Civil Liberties Union, since they have a great history of helping people who can’t afford lawyers. I hope you might contact them, too, and feel free to refer them to this Web site.

    Let’s bankrupt the T-Netix vultures.

    Reply
  16. kristol

    One other thing with T-Netix, keep a eye on your phone calls you accept.Time them your self. I just caught another rip off from T-netix. I receive 2 ten minute calls from someone on death row. (Prison rule)the prison starts a stop watch the minute the call is accepted, when ten minutes are up they disconnect us.Well when I received my bill its charged at 11 minutes a call. I contacted T-netix and explained the impossibility of a 11 minute call, they told me I will be reimbursed the extra minute on EVERY CALL they overcharged.Its, about $4.90 extra a month in overbilling. May not seem like a lot hey? well add that up with every customer that uses t-netix a extra minute on every call is alot of money!! I do not believe its a accident, I think its their wish full thinking that the customer will not catch it. Literaly keep a stop watch going when you accept calls, and log every call you receive and cross check it to your actualy bill, you will find numerous discreptencys in timeing and actualy calls.You have to make your own bill each month, and check it against theirs, to ensure they are not ripping you off.Please everyone pull together, and do not let one thing slide with T-netix, call them on it every time.They are getting wealthy on ripping us off.

    Reply
  17. kristol

    Hi Patti, thank you for responding, I am going threw enough hell, with a death sentence, and a loved one, T-netix just has to add to they greif and misery I already go threw. I spent last week in e-mail purgatory, sending complaints about T-netix to any and every one involved in this racket. Lets hope the system will step in and not allow this to go on.I will follow your advice, and thank you for your support. Kristol

    Reply
  18. Darlene

    I went through the same thing when my son was incarcerated in Pennsylvania. One day my phone was just blocked. I had been paying $300.00/mo. phone bills from my son calling collect and being billed $5.00 for the first min. and $.90/min. thereafter. I was billed directly on my phone bill. He had a 15-min. limit, but could call as often as he liked. I assumed it was the prison that did it for some reason and never really checked into it since we visited him often anyway. To start with, the phone is in my daughter’s name – not mine. I never heard of T-Netix until I started getting bills in my name from them starting in June of 2004. His calls have been blocked for the past year. These bills do not indicate where the calls are from. They say intrastate/interLATA, whatever that means. I live in Virginia. When I called them to inquire about it, I told the rep that it had to be a mistake because I didn’t have a phone (it’s in my daughter’s name, not mine) She was very rude and repeatedly demanded to know what my phone no. was. I ended up having to hang up on her because she couldn’t seem to understand what I was saying (even though it was pretty cut and dry that I had no phone in my name) and she wasn’t making any sense. She wa practically screaming at me. There are companies that bill individuals as well as businesses with bogus bills in hopes that they’ll just pay without questioning. I believe T-Netix follows this practice. If they send an invoice for just $20 or $30 to thousands of people, the ones who are likely to pay add up to a whole lot of revenue. The same with the paying in advance. I’ve never heard of such an outrageous thing. People incarcerated for whatever reason in this country are treated much worse than the poor detained terrorists are treated, who by the way, are treated very well, in my opinion. My son had absolutely no rights while he was incarcerated. He was denied any human rights or dignity, and we as visitors were treated the same. That was bad enough, but then T-Netix comes along and blocks their calls and extorts money from the families in order to communicate with the prisoners. I agree with everyone on this website and if there was a class action suit, I would absolutely join it. We should begin by making a complaint to the Attorney General of the state they’re incorporated in. I’m going to look into it. Thank you for providing me a place to vent.

    Reply
  19. Kim

    I thought I was the only one that they put through hell, not just because of the system but also because of the stupidity of just about all of the employees that do (finally) answer the phone when you call. None of them can tell you the correct answer to a simple question and everytime that you do call I can guarantee that you will get a different answer from each different perosn and 99% of them will be incorrect. This company is putting our lives through even more hell then we are already going through and they do not care, because they know we have to go throught them in order to talk to our loved ones. To make it so bad the supervisors are just as bad as the ones who answer the phones. Something really needs to be done about these people. After what I have went through to set up the account I am scared to see what these calls are going to be like and what they are going to cost.

    Reply
  20. Mike

    T-Netix corporate headquarters is in Dallas. The CEO is Rick Cree. Searching Anywho for results yields a Richard Cree in Dallas at 214 827 4311 and a Rick Cree in nearby Fort Worth at 827 847 9017. The CFO is Hank Schopfer, who can be reached at 972 250 2684. Executive VP Tom Meriam lives a few miles outside of Dallas, in McKinney; his phone number is 214 726 1999. And Chief Operating Officer John Poss can be reached at 214 327 2356.

    Isn’t it great how much information is freely and publicly available on the Web?

    Reply
  21. CS

    The VULTURES are at it again. Not only have they charged me a small fortune for the calls from my husband, they have decided to recharge me for a check AND re-run it through my checking account, in essence TAKING, nay, STEALING $350.00 from me.

    Reply
  22. Mike

    The person calling you probably had a pre-paid account, where they paid on their end. If it’s a collect call and the recipient has to pay for it, that’s when they want you to set up the account.

    Reply
  23. Cheryl

    I called t-netix this morning to actually add more money to my account and of course, as always was on hold for a long time,I went through the process of paying more money and the automated voice said to hold for a moment and I would get a confirmation # and to not hang up or try to add money again because I would be double billed, after putting in my cc # and waiting for the confirmation # I was disconnected, I finally called the HQ in Dallas, a woman answered the phone and told me she couldn’t help me, I told her that the company she works for sucks and she needs to take another look at the type of people she works for, I asked her name and she said “receptionist” I asked what her name was not her job title, she said she wasn’t going to give it! My mother in law had called the prison a few months ago and was told that the only people that were “required” to set up an account with t-netix were people that had a pre-paid home phone, we do not have that, t-netix said our phone company requested it but later on said we had to set it up because southwestern bell hasn’t been paying them, that is not my fault, I pay my bill!

    Reply
  24. Maggie

    I too, recieved the automated message on 12-6-04, stating that a Multnomah County corrections inmate had tried to call me, and that I need to call the T-Net number to set up a direct billing account. Upon calling the number, after wading through a very garbled automated system, the customer service was rude, would not answer my questions, interupted me each time I attempted to speak. I asked her to stop interupting me and please answer my questions; she said one moment and the phone went silent. This silence lasted for ten minutes before I finally hung up, and I’m pretty sure she had her headset muted and was listening to me. I called back and got another rep. Between the two of them, all they could tell me is that I could not have had collect calls coming through because their system has been in place for four years. I refuse to set up an account with a company who is so obviously shady that they will not even answer your questions. I never revealed my phone number or personal info, and am waiting to see my next bill. I’m in Portland, Oregon.

    Reply
  25. Cathy

    Well, everyone, I feel as though I am reading my problems with T-NETIX over and overagain. I am in Indiana and daughter is incarcerated in Indiana. The same thing happened with me,no notification of the change to T-NETIX, I owed X amount of dollars, “pay now for only an additional $4.00 charge to process the payment”. I did that, gave my SS# for a credit check, was told I had $100.00 credit each month. The next thing I know, another “BLOCK” is on my line and they tell me I only have $1.00 credit and I have to contact the supervisor “Derek”. That was about a month ago and I still can’t receive calls from her. No one seems to know who “Derek” is and in the mean time I cannot talk to my daughter..T-NETIX better get a clue, I can see a Class Action law suit coming!

    Reply
  26. Kristol

    I have to tell you this, try to make a complaint with the better buisness bureau, against T-Netix, when it comes time to get a response from T-Netix, the send you a e mail that they tried to call you but never got a answer, they leave a number to call them back, when you do, they take a message, and state they will call you back, which they do not. Then they send you a e mail that they tried to call you back, but you couldnt be reached. its a game, they have no intentions of speaking with you regarding the complaint, they play a fake game of phone tag, then report to the better buisness bureau, they tried hard to contact you, but couldnt. That gets them off the hook with the BBB.

    Reply
  27. Dena

    my ex was calling me (i have sbc) with no problem, but his mom has att and he couldn’t call her. she was told to buy the prepaid phone card, which she did, and that her number would be the only number he could call. he cannot get through to her and now he can’t call me either. i think her best bet is to switch phone service to sbc or cancel her account with t-netix. has anyone had any luck canceling their account? help appreciated.

    Reply
  28. Elvera Williams

    My telephone was blocked from my son”s correctional facility here in Maryland. My son informed me of this in his letters to me starting in the month of October 2004. I suspected that it was for a credit that I asked verizon , I was given the credit, I was told that they would send it back to T-NETIX and that they would probaly bill me directly, they never did.(check out the BBB reliability report on T-NETIX at http://www.dallas.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=21003108, which now explains a lot people situation. I wrote a letter of complaint to Verizon in Nov. 2004 it was not getting to their customer relations, on my third attempt to then I sent it certified return receipt, I got a response by telephone from them yesterday,4-5-05. I also sent a complaint to the Maryland Public Service Commision in Nov. 2004 after 16 weeks I called to check on the status of my complaint only to be told that the PSC does not have any jurisdiction over them because of the uniqueness of their contract with the state of maryland. I in turn sent my complaint to Governor Ehrlich. Two days later T-Netix called me to tell me that they had unblocked the telephone. They stated that it is their policy that whenever a bill comes back to billing unpaid that a block is automatically put on the call. This is totally unacceptable to me. I intend to file a lawsuit against them.
    I e-mailed the FCC on Monday and am awaiting a response, I want to know what agency is responsible for Jurisdiction over them. It is very confusing for the average person. I have been researching a lot of sites on the internet about this company. They appear to be in violation of the ECOA as well as the FCRA based on the tactics that they have done to some of the people’s comments on this website. I would appreciate if everyone that have been affected here in Maryland let Governor Ehrlich know about this.
    I would like to share other things that I find out as I discover them. Hope that this helps. It has been a very depressing and painful 5 months not talking to my son.

    P.S. I think that T-NETIX doesn’t want to be bother with billing period is the reason that they want everyone shifted to prepaid, in this manner it will have total control over inmate families lives and they get a larger profit and also the state. This prepaid will generate 60% profit for the state when they go to all prepaid. Presently it is 57.5. I cant’t find it now but if you like I can give the website for MD General Assembly that acted on this bill. It is also phasing out all commisions for the state in a few years.

    Reply
  29. P.James

    Ditto here…….Now the T-Netix website does not seem to exist and the 800 number says it’s ‘disconneted’. I’m notifying SBC. My son and I write letters, but he misses talking with family for support and encouragement.
    Is someone investigating this so called ‘service’? I hope they get what they deserve.
    This is happening to prisoners in county facilities who haven’t even been convicted of anything yet!
    pj

    Reply
  30. Sheila R.

    I am writing to an inmate in Alabama. I gave him my home phone number so he could call me but was told there was a “collect call block” on my phone. I have never requested this block. In fact, last year a friend called me from the county jail collect and was put through to me. The inmate in Alabama wrote me and included a number for T-Netix which is different from any of the previously listed ones. But when I called it a real live person answered on the second ring and was very courteous when I asked what I needed to do to get the block off my phone. She told me it was my local phone company and that I needed to contact them to have it removed. Now that I have researched and found this web site I am really leery of having the inmate call me. I live on a fixed income and cannot afford any outrageous phone bills. The woman on the phone didn’t say that I had to set up an account with T-Netix. This inmate has been calling his parents who live near me and have had no problem receiving his calls. I hope to be able to receive his calls as easily. Will keep you informed of the situation. If any one wants to talk to a live person at T-Netix, this is the number to call: 888-610-7079.

    Reply
  31. Julie

    I read this whole list and it seems to be a repeat to what is happening to me. My fiance is incarcerated in Maryland and I got a second job to pay the phone bill ( we used to talk twice a day for thirty minutes at about 12 dollars a call). Then I got a phone call telling me my local telephone company would no longer allow me to accept collect calls, to please call this number. So I called and a person answered the phone and without identifing himself, he asked my phone number, name, and the last four digits of my social security number. I gave this to him figuring the phone wasnt in my name so what could he do. While I was discussing the “prepaid” option with him – something like $8.00 to replenish account, $25.00 to open account and how I should put a lot of money on the account so that I could continue talking without replenishing it- my fiance calls, and the call goes through. So I just assumed that was the end of it. When ever he calls, the connections says, “Thank you for using Verizon”. The last two times he was able to get through it said, “Thank you for using T-Netix”. And on the third time it said that my line had been blocked from collect calls. I live about 2.5 hours from the prison, visits are a hardship, but now its all we have. I can’t seem to get an answer from t-netix and everytime I try to visit the website it isnt there anymore apparently. I have not recieved a bill for the last month of calls, until now I have paid it in full each month. I can still recieve collect calls, but not from the prison. Why? I have no idea, but I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere. My local phone company didnt block it, and when I finally go through the automated system of T-Netix, they say my line is clear. Who knows what is going on, any help would be appreciated. Also, is it worth the hassle to send money for him to buy the prepaid cards at commissary, or does the same thing happen then?

    Reply
  32. Karen

    Seems we all have the same story.
    I was forced to sign up with T-Netix in order to speak to my son months ago while he was in the Brownsville jail and our phone service was with Sprint (they do not support collect calls of any kind). Since then, we have changed to SBC and were able to receive collect calls. By that time, my son was moved to Nueces County and called three times before being blocked. To their credit, SBC was wonderful in their attempts to find out why my son couldn’t get through. Finally, SBC referred us to T-Netix. I was told by their representative that I owed them $31+ and that I couldn’t cancel my account with them and switch to SBC because my contract with them was “permanent”.
    I asked the representative how it is that I could be in an irrevocable contract that I had not signed and had never seen. He referred me to the mythical Complaints Department. My sister – a research librarian – tried to find information on the company but was unable to find any way to contact a human being.
    In frustration, I called Ray Hill, who is famous in Texas as the host of the weekly “Prison Show” on a local Pacifica radio station. According to Ray the contracts for these phone services are negotiated with kick-backs to the various county and city facilities. The Texas Legislature has just passed a law that will allow state inmates to purchase phone cards through their commissary privileges and make calls on SBC phones at regular SBC rates. Kudos to the Texas State Legislature!
    As for those facilities outside of the state system, I am at a loss and completely enraged that the families of county and city inmates are being victimized by T-Netix. At the very least, we should have the option of choosing the phone service we wish to use.
    The only thing I can think of to do is to mobilize all the famillies of inmates – in Texas that’s quite a large group – to flood the county commissioners, the sherrifs, the state representatives, the local judges, etc. Clearly, T-Netix (now merging to become Securus) is comforatble with the deal they have and unlikely to respond unless they are placed under considerable scrutiny. I guess it’s up to us to make lots of other people uncomfortable.

    Reply
  33. Mary

    Hi. I live in Brooklyn, NY and have two sons currently incarcerated in the Baltimore County Detention Center. To communicate with them, I have been forced to deal with T-Netix. I’d like to share my story.

    Just getting it connected was a hassle. I called my phone company, Verizon, and they referred me to T-Netix. T-Netix said they couldn’t do anything for me unless Verizon called them to verify ownership of the phone. I called Verizon back and they said they do not call outside vendors back. I recalled T-Netix and they refused to call Verizon. So, I called Verizon back in tears now (had not had contact with my sons in two weeks) and this time the woman felt bad and promised to call T-Netix for me. I call T-Netix back a half hour later and am told that yes, my phone is on, and I have been allowed a $300 credit. If that credit is up before the month is over, I have to wait til the next month even if I pay it. So, the month goes on and my sons are calling on a regular basis. No bill from T-Netix. They never explained it would be on my Verizon bill. I’m thinking that I hadn’t gone past the $300. Then, my Verizon bill becomes available. I pay online. So, you can imagine my shock when I saw I owed T-Netix $583. Thankfully I had some money in the bank at that time, not much but it took care of that bill which I was not expecting. I spoke to my sons and told them we had to cut down on the calls.

    The first month afterwards my bill was $186. A big differences. My Verizon bill is usually posted around the 3rd or 4th of the month, but I know it is available on the 27th or 28th, so I always go in on it early and pay in full–before the bill is even due. Next thing I know, the phone calls stop. T-Netix has a block on my phone. After a 30 minute wait, I finally get that straightened out. What really annoyed me was that the block was on the night before my sons were to go to their preliminary hearing. I know how badly they needed to talk to their mother and they couldnt.

    This month my bill was $194. Again it was paid in full before it was even due. Again a block was put on my phone. This time, I could not receive a call from my sons on Mother’s Day. That was the last straw. I called T-Netix and let them have it. What did they do? They put the blame on Verizon who, in turn, put the blame on T-Netix. It’s a no win situation.

    I almost feel as if I am being penalized for cutting the phone bill down. Let’s face it, when it was close to $600 they never put a block on. Now that it’s been drastically reduced, I have a block on every month despite paying in full. What do you think?

    Reply
  34. mike Post author

    Mary, and everybody else who’s responded so helpfully above, I think the stories that people have shared clearly indicate that T-Netix is out to rip us off and abuse our families and loved ones in search of profits. As PJ points out, they’re preying on inmates in county facilities who are waiting to stand trial — people who’ve not yet been convicted guilty of any crime — as well as inmates who are serving their sentences, attempting to be rehabilitated and pay their debt to society. And as we all know, and parole officers and sociologists know as well, there’s a much stronger possibility of genuine rehabilitation when inmates are able to stay in touch with support networks of families and friends. In effect, by making it difficult for inmates to maintain such contacts, T-Netix is contributing to a greater likelihood of repeat offenders.

    I think the kind of research Elvera is doing is important, and Elvera, I hope you’ll let us know about the results of your inquiries about the ECOA and FCRA laws. What can the rest of us do? Two things:

    1. Write to your Governor, and to your Congressional representatives in the Senate and in the House. Tell them your story. Ask them to tell you why your state’s Department of Corrections is violating the Eighth Amendment at your and other taxpayers’ expense in order to help a private business get rich. Ask them what they’re going to do about it. Ask them to let you know what results they achieve.
    2. Contact your local ACLU. Tell them your story. Ask them for help and advice.

    One more thing: I don’t know what anyone would do with such information, but — as pointed out above — the T-Netix site does have biographical information about their executive officers.

    Reply
  35. Elvera Williams

    This is to inform everyone that I have been doing a lot of research, I contacted the ACLU oveer 3 weks ago but have not gotten any response. I am awaiting the decision from the PSC commission. I have researched and it appears to be that T-NETIX has to have a tariff on file with the PSC that would encompass them stating how they handle billings and disputes. I have not read theirs as yet, but I can also tell you that I sent Governor Ehrlich a copy of the BBB reliability report along with a cc to the office of procurement that awarded them that contract. T-Netix has to comply with the COMAR regulations. Also, according to what I am reading they are supposed to give telephone consumer 5 days written notice before terminating service(thats the same as blocking) You also need to complaint to the DBM so that they can put pressure on T-Netix to stop their bad consumer practices. You can also contact them and request a copy of the RFP that they used to solict this contract. When you read Maryland’s RFP and compare it to the state of Tennessee you will clearly see that the Maryland one is only interested in the revenue. The state of Tennessee does take into consideration the consumer.

    Reply
  36. Cathy

    Hello everyone. I currently have a loved one in the DOC system in Maryland. So far he can call me (his call list was just approved yesterday so we’ll see how long it lasts) and though the recording does say it’s through T-Netix it says the call will cost $0.85. Perhaps it’s because it’s not a long distance call. He cannot call his mother at his home address which is in another county and is long distance, T-Netix has a block on her phone and is trying to get her to set up an account. He has tried to call his friend who has the same exchange as his mother and though he hasn’t reached him he says it seems the answering machine is picking up. If this is true (I’ll let you know as soon as we find out) that would mean T-Netix is targeting the HOME address of the inmate, not just everybody. I was wondering if anyone has had to pay T-Netix to remove a block even if they are not long distance. I’m wondering if they’ll be blocking me as soon as they realize I’m being called regularly.

    Elvera, I’d like to join the fight. Could you please share some of your contact info for who all I should contact? Also, so that I know what I’m writing/talking about, what do COMAR, RFP and PSC stand for? Can you provide addresses or links to the websites that contain the information you’re speaking of? I’m so angry at this horrible situation. I read the “Wood” article before I found this site and I see Maryland is the only state that was listed that would not tell how many millions of $$$ it makes on it’s prison phone service kickbacks. Not only do I want to write to everyone you advise me to, I’d love to get this story covered by an investigative reporter or journalist in Baltimore, so it would reach most of the state. This is truly an outrage!

    Thanks, Cathy

    Reply
  37. Cathy

    I just clicked on the link Elvera provided for the BBB report on T-Netix and it comes up “Company ID does not exist”.

    These people are impossible to keep tabs on.

    Surely there is something we can accomplish if we band together.

    Reply
  38. Elvera Williams

    hi,
    hope that this will be of some help, to view the maryland general assembly hb 873 that tells when T-NETIX started contract, please key in your search engine md gen assembly hb873 2004 and it will come up with fiscal and policy note and you can know how much the state is to get thru fiscal 2008.

    RFP stands for request for proposal, The DMB (dept of management and budget) located at 45 Calvert St., Annapolis MD 21401-1907 is responsible for contracting and awarding inmate telephone services. The present contract NO is 050R2800336. You can submit written request for it. You don’t really need the whole packet because there is a lot of stuff that you may not understand. You can request for certain pages of it under the PIA (that is known as the public information act). Please ask for pages 17,18,25,30,31,38,39,41,and 42. If you have a problem with getting it please call the procurement officer at 410-260-7191, her name is Susan S. Woomer.

    PSC is Public Service Commision, it regulates the utilities. You can go to Gov. Ehrlich website for the state of Md and find the PSC on their website under agency’s in the drop down box.

    The BBB can be found by typing in this web address:

    http://www.dallas.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=21003108

    I hope that this is helpful. Let me know if it does. You are absolutely right we must all fight this together.

    Reply
  39. Cathy

    Thank you Elvera.

    I confirmed this evening that my loved one WAS able to call his friend, in the same town as his mom, with the SAME EXCHANGE as his mom, both are long distance from where he is incarerated, and though T-Netix has a block on his mom, they are letting him call his friend with NO block.

    I can only assume they are targeting his home address. There seems no other logical reason to me. Any thoughts on this? ARE they TARGETING the inmates home, and possibly target other frequently called numbers? Is this part of the “call list approval” and “call monitering”? They choose who to block?

    Reply
  40. Cathy

    Oh, Elvera, who is the DBM I need to complain to?

    Where can I quote that part about them legally being required to give five days notice in writing before blocking the service?

    Thanks, Cathy

    Reply
  41. Elvera Williams

    Cathy,

    Type in these addresses, http://www.t-netix.com/support/default.asp?a=1 this is one page, then you have to go and type in http://www.t-netix.com/support/default.asp?a=2 after that type in http://www.t-netix.com/support/default.asp?a=3 this will help you understand the tricks that they play. They have what is called a billing system that automatically blocks calls. This is unfair because there could be some wrong information on a person from the so called credit source.

    Reply
  42. Danielle Cathleen

    First, let me say I changed my name from Cathy to Danielle Cathleen when I realized another Cathy posted Jaunuary 5th. I’m the Cathy that posted May 14 and May 16.

    Second, someone told me we can report it to the Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s office. He say’s they ususally do a good job of really fighting for people. I worry though that NO state agency will do anything that would cut down on the millions of $$$ being made for the state by T-Netix no matter how shady or downright illegal their practices (if it turns out that they are illegal) Here’s the info for contact:

    Consumer Protection Division Offices

    http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/offices.htm

    Baltimore
    200 St. Paul Place
    Baltimore, MD 21202
    (410) 576-6550
    (410) 528-8662 Consumer Mediation Unit hotline
    (410) 528-1840 Medical billing complaints hotline
    1-877-261-8807 Health plan decision appeals hotline (toll-free)
    1-888-743-0023 Attorney General’s main switchboard (toll-free)
    E-mail: consumer@oag.state.md.us

    The Attorney General’s Office is located in downtown Baltimore at the corner of St. Paul & Lexington Streets. The Office has a Community Help Center on the ground floor that is staffed during business hours to assist citizens with conflicts and/or questions of a consumer nature. While the Office is prohibited from offering legal advice to citizens, it can mediate problems related to consumer transactions and can refer citizens to the appropriate agency for further assistance. Call toll-free (888) 743-0023 for the Community Help Center or visit the ground floor office during business hours. Directions to the Office

    Eastern Shore Office
    201 Baptist Street
    Salisbury, MD 21801
    410-543-6620
    8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

    Western Maryland Office
    44 North Potomac Street, Suite 104
    Hagerstown, MD 21740
    (301) 791-4780
    8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

    Southern Maryland Office
    15045 Burnt Store Road
    Hughesville, MD 20637
    Mailing address:
    P.O. Box 745
    Hughesville, MD 20637
    301-274-4620 or toll-free 1-866-366-8343
    9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,Tuesdays

    Cumberland Telephone Assistance
    (301) 722-2000
    9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 3rd Tuesday of the month

    Frederick Telephone Assistance
    (301) 694-1071
    9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
    ——————————————————————————–
    Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372

    Reply
  43. Elvera Williams

    Good Morning,

    Mike this is to say thank you for this website. Before I found this website I did not know where to turn. Just knowing that it is others out there suffering the same fate gives me the courage and strenght to fight on. Thanks again.

    Reply
  44. Elvera Williams

    This is for Cathy, to finish answering your question. (COMAR) is the code of Maryland regulations. It is the regulations for every agency in the state. It guides them in the manner in which things are handle. This is the page for the PSC(public service commission)in handling utility disputes. http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/20/20.32.01.04.htm Also if you want to see what a RFP (request for proposal ) looks like, in your search engine type in RFP NO 329.01-143 and it will bring up the RFP for the state of Tennessee. Don’t be discouraged, there will be a lot you will not be able to understand but there you will see some things that you do understand.

    Reply
  45. mike Post author

    Elvera, as I say here, the thanks are due to you and your research skills and persistence far more than they are to me. You and Danielle Cathleen are doing so much for so many people, and the best I can do is provide the Web space and try to follow in your footsteps.

    If it’s too personal, please don’t feel like you have to answer, but can I ask: where is your son? My brother is at Jessup, but he spent some time at Hagerstown, too.

    Reply
  46. Danielle Cathleen

    I want to say thanks to Elvera for all the info, and Mike for the website, and to everyone else for sharing. I encourage anyone who visits and reads our posts to leave one. It doesn’t need to be long or specific if you don’t wish it to be, but it really DOES help knowing other people are going through this horrible process. IMO it’s extortion. I also encourage everyone to contact all the contacts on this page and share any others you have. If enough people keep fighting, eventually something will have to be done.

    So far I’m still getting calls. His mom has given up, she cannot and will not deal with T-Netix, she can’t afford to. She is receiving calls at her daughter’s house which so far is not blocked.

    From all I’ve learned so far, I am afraid that even though my calls are not long distance (they’re $0.85 each according to the recording and they’re limited to five minutes) that when the $50.00 mark is reached they’ll block my phone. I have a huge amount of medical bills I’m paying bit by bit out of pocket, so I know my credit report must be awful. I’m afraid they’ll expect me to start an “account” and put in a huge deposit and then charge me the connection fee and per minute fee for every five minute call. He will be there at least another 4 to 6 weeks before being sent where ever they’re going to send him. When they do send him somewhere, anywhere that he goes will be long distance so they will almost surely block it then. If they block my phone, I don’t know how I’ll deal with it. It’s hard enough now as it is.

    Thanks again to all.

    Reply
  47. Danielle Cathleen

    Just checking in and giving an update:

    My friend’s mother can no longer receive call’s at her daughter’s house, It is now blocked as well.

    I’m fast approaching the dreaded $50.00 point that I’m betting will get my line blocked, even though I’m not long distance from the detention center, and my phone bills, both local and long distance, are paid.

    I’ll keep in touch.

    Reply
  48. mike Post author

    Danielle (and others),

    If you’re so inclined, I hope you might send me an e-mail at mike at thisdomain dot org (replace thisdomain with the thing before org that starts with a v and ends with an a).

    Take care,

    Mike

    Reply
  49. Elvera Williams

    Hi everyone, just wanted everyone to know that I received a response from the ACLU yesterday. They will not be able to assist in a lawsuit against T-NETIX. However they gave me some very valuable information and contacts. I contacted one of the people today and they said that they will get back to me. Also I did not know that their is litigation going on in the Appellate Court against the State about this contract.
    If I learn more I will keep you informed.

    Reply
  50. Elvera Williams

    Hello everyone,
    This is a question for Marylander’s, has anyone out there heard of a case manager at the facility your loved one is at? Well I got a correspondence from Secretary Saar’s office and this is what it says.

    With this phone system, inmates must provide their case manager with a list of individuals that they may wish to call. At that time, the assigned case manager will contact the listed individuals and verify that they wish to receive calls from that inmate. Once that information has been confirmed, the case manager will provide the appropriate information to T-NETIX. If you wish to have your telephone number unblocked, it will be necessary for the inmate to make the request.

    Please take note of this, no case manager has ever called my home since my Son has been in the correctional. Second, an inmate may not put your name on their list so therefore you will not be called.
    The sad part of this letter is that the Correctionals do not understand that T-Netix is doing the blocking based on a person’s creditworthiness.

    Reply
  51. mike Post author

    Elvera, I’ve heard of “case managers,” but only as mental health professionals in special rehabilitative programs that some inmates are allowed to place themselves into — I’ve never heard the term used in relation to general population prisoners. Who is Secretary Saar, and which office is she with? I would ask Secretary Saar for a complete list of steps that the inmate has to go through in order to call a loved one via T-Netix (in writing), and then ask whether the inmates themselves are being provided with that same complete list of steps (in writing). The next time I visit my brother at Jessup, I’ll check to see whether any of the DoC’s posted memos about T-Netix mention anything about credit-worthiness.

    With everything they make me go through — and I imagine other people probably feel the same way — I feel like the government’s punishing me for loving my brother.

    Reply
  52. Elvera Williams

    Mike, Secretary Mary Ann Saar is the head of the dept of public safety and correctional services. They are located at 300 E. Joppa Rd. in Towson Md. She can be reached toll free at 877-379-8636.

    I don’t think that that office understands anything about how the phone system works anytime she wrote that statement to me.

    Have you had a chance to check your e-mail? I sent you info to go to T-NETIX website. There you will find their tariffs for Texas. Last week I requested a copy of their tariff for Maryland PSC. It is almost the same as the one on their webpage with the exception that it list the Office of External Affairs as the place to file a complaint about them in Maryland.

    The tariff is available from PSC but you have to pay for copying. I paid $14.50 for 29 pages. It was well worth it.

    In their tariff it says for the prepaid account that the inmate has to contact the family member and then in turn the family member contacts them to set up an account. It seems in your case they called you and that is not what they state in their tariff.

    Reply
  53. Danielle Cathleen

    I’m in Maryland as is my incarcerated loved one, and I have never been contacted by T-Netix. They did not contact anyone on his call list except his mother, and then his sister. He can still speak to his friend who is in the same little town with the same phone exchange, who has not been contacted my T-Netix or had a block put on. I really think T-Netix targets the families first. My friend sent me a blank call list sheet and it requires you to include your “relation” to the person being called on the form. I think they just automatically block and then contact the family members. Just my opinion from what’s happened in our situation, but I think it’s a good bet.

    As for what Ms. Saar said about how the system works, I think that is just another misconception or a lie on T-Netix’s part. It wouldn’t surprise me if T-Netix purposely misleads the State Agencies, (such as the Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services where Ms. Saar is) as to how they actually operate. They seem to be totally disreputable. I know what the inmates are told is totally inaccurate. I also wouldn’t be surprised if no state agency is really interested in helping crack down on T-Netix and it’s extortionist policies, as the state of Maryland is making millions of dollars off of this.

    Reply
  54. mike Post author

    Elvera, I’m afraid I didn’t get your e-mail — did you send it to my name at the vitia.org address?

    Reply
  55. Elvera Williams

    Mike, I sent the first e-mail on May 23 and after that I sent another one last week. I will attempt to send the same one this morning.

    Reply
  56. mike Post author

    Elvera, for some reason, I still didn’t get it. If you post a comment here and include your e-mail address in the comment form, I can try sending you an e-mail, and if you’re concerned about having your e-mail address public, I can edit the comment to remove your e-mail address.

    Reply
  57. Elvera Williams

    Mike,
    Send me an e-mail and I will send the original message. Please edit my e-mail address so as not to publicize it.

    Thanks,
    Elvera

    Reply
  58. se

    I have been through hell with t-netix also. If you go to PTO (prison talk online) website you will see that we are just a few among thousands who are being ripped off by t-netix. I agree we need to get together to fight them and not let them make money off families of inmates.

    Reply
  59. Cathy

    I clearly understand what everyone is going thru with T-Netix. I too received a recorded message for me to call them after have accepted many calls from my husband before and I did set up an account and now I have a block on my phone but have not reached my limit. I called them and they said there was no block on my phone line and so I then called SBC and they said to call the line for inmate calls that they didn’t have a block on my phone either so I then called the number sbc gave me and they too said they didn’t have a block on my phone. So where is it? T-Netix said they would get a technition to find the problem but I haven’t heard from them yet and I still haven’t received a call from my husband for 1 1/2 weeks so far. I am wondering if I ever will after reading every one else’s stories. SBC said they do work with T-Netix and don’t know why they would have told me that they went to a different billing system. There are a few out of state correctional facilities that call me and they also have blocks on them but I don’t know if T-Netix has anything to do with that also. I assume they do. I have called everyone I can think of to find the block on my phone and no one has it.??? Imagine that!!!!!!!!! If anyone know of any thing or any one else I can contact I would appreciate any help in the matter.

    Reply
  60. Cathy W.

    Sorry I wanted to clarify with the other Cathy’s listed. I just posted one with Cathy but it is Cathy W. Sorry about that.

    Reply
  61. Danielle Cathleen

    My loved one has now been moved to where he will serve the rest of his time. His calls are now long distance. The calls are still through T-Netix, who is charging something like $2.85 for the connection and then $.30 per minute after that. I’ve only taken two calls so far. I have not been contacted by T-Netix yet. We shall see what happens when my phone use reaches that seemingly critical $50.00 limit. Will they block me then, even though my Verizon and AT&T bills are paid up? I’ll keep in touch. Best wishes to everyone.

    Reply
  62. David A. Sholes

    Our son is incarcerated at the Indiana Prison at Michigan City, Indiana. At first we were billed through AT&T on our monthly bill. Then we were “switched” to T-Netix. We also had to “open an account” and all the usual things they make everyone go through. We have had our phone blocked several times – not for anything on our part but most often these blocks resulted because we did not get our payment in on time. Here is the rub. We got our newest T-netix bill today (8:30 AM). The billing date was 6/30/2005. Today is 07/15/2005. It took 15 days to get here. The due date on this bill is 7/20/2005. We had 5 days to get the payment to them. The best thing for all of us is to document all these attempts to make us prisoners also and forward them all to our Representatives or Senator in Washington and demand that they do what is necessary.

    Reply
  63. rebecca hudson

    i to have a account with t netix its funny how i be talking to my love one in prison all the sudden it say coustom calling is not allow and hangs up.well that pretty annoying and exspensive.

    Reply
  64. David A. Sholes

    On 07/20/2005 at 1505 my wife and I were receiving a call from our son who is incarcerated at Indiana State Prison, Michigan City, IN. T-Netix broke the connection with a recording saying that custom calling features were not permitted. No custom calling was in use. My wife was on one phone and I was on another phone on the same phone line. Our son called back but that cost us another “connection fee”.

    Reply
  65. Elvera Williams

    Hi,
    Just need to update everyone for the Maryland area. I got a response to a letter I had written to Secretary Saar and Governor Ehrlich.
    Mrs. Saar informs me that T-NETIX is now SECURUS. I went online and found out that T-NETIX and Evercom merged to form SECURUS Technologies. She gave a customer service number of 1-800-844-6591.
    She also states that third parties like Verizon and AT&T will not bill for SECURUS and that calls will not go through in this case.

    Reply
  66. Danielle Cathleen

    Just read Elvera’s update. (Thanks Elvera!)

    Well this is just great. So they went from “tenetics” to “T-Netix” to “Securus”. Will they ever cease changing their name? I doubt it, as every time they do it knocks them off of the Better Business Bureau list and BBB has to “compile information” on the company under it’s new name before posting a report about said company.

    If Securus will not bill through Verizon or AT&T then I will no longer be getting phone calls, as those are my two phone providers. It seems these people now really have total control, a complete monopoly on phone service for tens of thousands of people. I didn’t think that was legal.

    I received my last call on Thursday evening. Sadly I was not here to answer, but I heard the recording on my voicemail. The recording still said “T-Netix”. I guess it won’t last much longer.

    I can’t believe this. What can be done?

    Reply
  67. Elvera Williams

    Danielle Cathleen I am in the same boat as you, my calls are billed through Verizon.
    I contacted the Brennan Law Center in New York asking for assistance in filing my lawsuit against T-NETIX. I asked them because they have knowledge of these extortionist. They told me that they are reviewing the materials I have sent them.

    Please everyone send an e-mail to this lady. Kirsten.Levingston@NYU.edu so that they will have a record of our complaints.

    Please visit this website so that you can read their comments to the FCC.

    http://www.brennancenter.org/programs/cj/coalition_fcc_comments.pdf. this will take a while to download. It is important to read this document.

    Reply
  68. Danielle Cathleen

    Will do Elvera. Much thanks.

    Please, everyone, take a moment to click on the link Elvera provided above and voice your complaint. We cannot fight this company alone, but if we band together and make enough (intelligent) noise perhaps we can actually accomplish changes for the better, not just for ourselves, but many thousands of people.

    I know that I feel sick knowing I may have heard my loved one’s voice for the last time for a long time.

    Reply
  69. mike Post author

    “Securus” is Latin for (of course) “secure” or “safe.” But most people who hear the Latin word today hear it in the context of the Catholic hymn Dies Irae, or in the symphonic Requiem masses of Berlioz, Verdi, and Mozart. “Securus” is the final word in the seventh stanza:

    Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
    Quem patronum rogaturus,
    cum vix justus sit securus?

    What am I, a wretch, to say?
    Upon what advocate can I call,
    When even the just will scarcely be safe?

    As this page points out, “Cum vix Justus sit securus reminds us that even the best among us have committed sin” — a point Rick Cree seems to entirely have missed. It seems unfortunately un-Christian of Mr. Cree, particularly given his degree from Southern Methodist University — but perhaps Mr. Cree, if he does in fact go to church, subscribes to a faith that privileges profit above all else, and ignores Christ’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Reply
  70. Elvera Williams

    I got a call from my son last week through T-Netix. A few days later I got a call with a recording to call a 1-888 something. It said that I had recently got a collect from an inmate at a correctional facility. It was saying something to the effect about prepaid and debit. When I finally got someone on the line that never said anything about prepaid and debit. They wanted to know who was my carrier that I paid for the collect calls. I told her Verizon. (I forget to say that the call was from Correctional Billing Services). This also a part of T-Netix. I told her that she should already know this information. She said that Verizon would no longer tell T-Netix when a customer has paid their bill because of privacy concerns.

    She also told me that the line that the call came in on had a $20 limit per month and would be blocked after reaching that amount. She asked whose name was the phone in. I told her my husband’s name. She had my daughters name in the computer. I informed her that the information was wrong. I asked her about the other line that my son’s calls normally come one. She said that this line had a $240 limit on it. She gave me the number to call T-Netix because they had the information for this phone on their computer.

    After this happened I became very angry and I filed a complaint with the FTC online. FTC sent me the acknowledgement and also an attachment to the e-mail.

    As families of inmates we are in a very peculiar situation in terms of our rights. The FCRA(fair credit reporting act) in this information that was sent to me speaks of you having applied for credit from creditors. None of us ever applied to T-Netix. We are the victims of practices that affect us adversely by virtue of this contract the State of Maryland has entered with T-Netix. Also I was on the do not calls list. These people don’t having any business contacting any of us. The used the name of Correctional Billing Services in my case.

    Please everyone take the time an file a complaint to the FTC on line.

    Also go online to http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/09/sprintatt.htm these companies were doing the same things that T-Netix are doing to us. Click on the right at the top of this document to read the document. It will say related documents.

    Reply
  71. Unknown

    t-netix will providw you with any questions you have if you want rating info or have questions about the company you just ask aswell as the reps give there name when they answer the call

    Reply
  72. Elvera Williams

    Hi Everyone,

    Today I obtained a brochure from a Maryland Correctional Facility titled Friends & Family Telephone Service Guide published by Correctional Billing Services(part of the Securus Family). It contain general instructions and credit policy.

    I would advise everyone out there to obtain a copy of this brochure.

    It states that if the established call limit is exceeded, the system automatically restricts the line.(i.e. no collect calls from a correctional facility are processed). The customer receives an automated call advising of the restriction.

    Can anyone out there tell me if they have received such an automated call?

    Secondly on their credit policy, they state that the amount of credit you are eligible for is determined solely by CBS.

    My concern here is what gives them the right to do this ? As consumers we have the right to question this practice.

    Please everyone obtain a copy of this brochure from your loved ones in the correctional facility.

    Please respond.

    Reply
  73. lesa

    Thanks for the information on T-Netix.
    The company is a scam and I plan on filing a complaint with
    Maryland Public Service Commission.
    My loved one and I are getting ripped off with every call. We are currently using the prepaid system with T-Netix and we are constantly being disconnected and each call added up to, too much money. DOC and T-Netix
    are the true criminals here when it comes to the families on the outside.

    Everybody’s posting was insightful

    Thanks

    Reply
  74. soliman-arriaga

    woa woa seems like no one from goverment care about some companies working for them or perhaps with them are stealing money from people that some times or most of the times even the same justice don’t know if they are giltty or not ,i just can’t believe that ,OK,some companies are workin for govermet are selling pre paid phone cards foR $25.00 TO TALK 15 MINUTES domestic calls is this fair here on USA,,,,,, WOA

    Reply
  75. Jennifer

    I hate t-Netix too. Every time you turn around your phone is blocked. I have a friend that is in a correctional facility that has a waiting line to use the phone and it’s irretating to not be able to answer the phone because there is a block. I also hate the fact that you can’t go threw your long distant carrier for inmate phone usage. It takes t-netix a long time to give back a refund for calls that were disconnected for no reason. They always tell you that they have to send in a trouble ticket that might take up to several weeks for it to be investigated and refunded. Every time you need to speak to a manager thier is noone available. I hate t-netix.

    Reply
  76. Tara Andrews

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    My name is Tara Andrews and I am Director of Justice Maryland, http://www.justicemaryland.org, a statewide coalition that advocates for systemic changes to Maryland’s criminal justice system. I was directed to this blog by a concerned family member and would like to offer the assistance of the Coalition in helping families address these issues in a unified and strategic manner.

    To that end, we offer to host a convening, a town hall meeting of sorts, after the first of the year to give families an opportunity to voice their concerns and frustrations in a public forum and towards the public officials who can and should do something about this.

    As is appropriate, the blog does not reveal your e-mail addresses, but if you are interested in receiving an invitation to this town meeting please respond to tara@justicemaryland.org and we will make sure that you get the meeting notice. We will also post the notice to this blog once a date, time and location have been finalized.

    In closing, I invite each of you to respond and let us know what public officials you think should be at this meeting. We cannot guarantee their attendance, but we pledge to work with you to invite them and “encourage” them to attend.

    In solidarity,
    Tara Andrews

    Reply
  77. mike Post author

    Tara, thank you so much! As the 80 comments here indicate, there are concerns not only with the criminal justice system, but with the abusive and predatory practices of the commercial interests that make their profits from prison inmates and their families. I’ll definitely be getting in touch with you, and I’ll also pass along your message to others. Thank you again.

    Reply
  78. Virginia

    My experience with T-Netix has been a nightmare. When our loved ones for some reason, whether tried and convicted or copped a plea and got sold down the river, became prisoners of the system, of the same system and the satellite money hungry vultures that want to pick our bones! It is a joke to hear someone say that the “inmates pay for calls…where would they get the money? My son makes 19 cents and hour. The calls cost $4.53 to connect and 59 cents for every minute thereafter. WE, the families of inmates are the ones who are being stripped of our Constitutional rights because Prisons get a kickback from using T-Netix.

    It is nice to see that the State of Maryland really has some advocates fighting to change this gross Consitituional violation. It is bad enough that our loved ones are prisoners of circumstances, each one of us on the outside are also PRISONERS/VICTIMS of a system that is archaic and does not promote rehabilitation. One of the primary needs of every human being is contact and love from family and friends. My son is incarcerated 4-1/2 hours from our home in New Jersey. I am 70 years old and am severely handicapped so 4-1/2 hrs each way in a car is torture for me; I am sure I am not alone. My son has been in a PA prison for a year and a half and I have only seen him 4 times. That is why it is so important that family and friends are able to have contact with inmates without having phones blocked, calls being cut off, and enormous amounts of money to even speak for a few minutes once in awhile is so debilitating not only to the inmates but also to their family and friends.

    If you know of any active group in Pennsylvania that is assisting families of inmates in that system who have experienced similar frustration and feelings of being victimized by T-Netix or some other scrufty phone company that is preying on the incarceration of many, please let me know by posting the information here.

    Thank you and I do hope you all get to “speak” with your loved one during these special Holiday times.

    Reply
  79. MAN

    Hey all have you ever thought to yourselfs that do no wrong and you won’t have to deal with the B.S. I know all of us have our roads and we travel them. Although some are not all bad there are a few that actually are. It is most concerning that we in america view ourselves as civilized although corporate america doesn’t give a D$%n about wahat we set out to do.

    In the inmate phone industry it is a comlpex system sometimes ran by those that make profits off of family members in correctional facilities.

    Why is it that we think it is a right to communicate with loved ones when the people whom we love are in jail. If they cared at all about circumstances of what they are doing then there will be no problems with this thus stating responsibilty. What does that mean on a web site such as this. The way that I look at it we should be shipping these people over to IRAQ and see if they can call home. I bet you will see that many soldiers cannot make calls when they feel like it. Yes they signed up for it and are doing a heck of a job but as far as people making calls isn’t it a luxury?

    Reply
  80. mike Post author

    “MAN,” your “IRAQ” example is particularly interesting to me, since I’m a veteran. I know how communications home work in the Army. And the predatory overpricing tactics exercised by T-Netix aren’t used by telcom contractors who serve the military: in point of fact, you’re mistaken, and you’ve missed the point.

    Furthermore, when the second Iraq war began, my brother — who’s, yes, in prison, serving a sentence for armed robbery — told me that conspiracy theories ran rampant among prisoners: there were fears that they’d be sent off to Iraq as cannon fodder, or summarily executed under the provisions of what became the USA-PATRIOT act.

    You think prisoners should be shipped to Iraq. Which prisoners? All of them? And what would they do there? Because, more than you know, you’re right in certain ways: economic inequality and the American class system spur some people to join the military (every single enlisted man I served with cited the GI Bill as one of the primary reasons why they signed up: they wanted to go to college but didn’t have the money), and spur other people to commit crimes. That certainly doesn’t make crime right, but if you’re going to gripe about “luxury,” why don’t you get the spine to sign up yourself — “MAN”? I did.

    Of course, the holes in your argument are largely beside the point, which is this: the rapacious swine at T-Netix profit from the misery of inmates’ families. It’s guilt by association. And when one penalizes not only the convict but the convict’s loved ones as well, one turns the purpose of the prison system even further away from rehabilitation and towards punishment. And without rehabilitation, you’re encouraging more crime rather than less crime.

    Rehabilitation works, and it’s been proven to work. Some criminals can and do recognize that they’ve done wrong and hurt people, and feel remorse for their actions, and want to better themselves and repay a debt to society. I see this every time I meet my brother’s prison friends, and I see it in the literacy, math, and GED tutoring work he does in the prison, and I see it in his friend Pumphrey who came into the prison system at age 19 and completely illiterate and learned to read at a 12th grade level within the space of five years, and I see it in the radically reduced recidivism rate of my brother’s program and others like it, and I see it in the huge numbers of inmates who commit themselves to social work when they come out of prison. How many people with that sense of altruism do you know in the outside world, “MAN”?

    And, against altruism, we have T-Netix and its new embodiment, Securus, who are still stuffing their corporate coffers from the misery of inmates’ loved ones. You seem like you’re all for it, “MAN,” so you’d probably do well to invest in their parent corporation, H.I.G. Capital. The Prison-Industrial Complex is alive and well in the service of American big-money interests, and one can only suppose how happy you are that the United States incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other nation in the world.

    Reply
  81. michelle

    God, Mike, I love your anger-inspired posts. They make me all my muscles tense up while I”m reading and waiting to hear what you’ll say. It’s so truthful in a way that other writing isn’t. You don’t hold back and it comes across with edible words.

    Reply
  82. Ruth

    My daughter is an inmate and their facility said I should buy prepaid calling time with T-Netix. After stumbling on your site and reading all about problems others have had with this company, I wonder if there is another company that can be used besides this one. The calls are tremendously expensive but I feel that we need to talk to her once a week to keep her on a positive note so we can have positive results when she gets out. Is there another answer?

    Reply
  83. mary

    I am a member of T-netix but recently my son was transferred to a diversion center where they don’t use T-netix but MCI. I cannot get his collect calls. I called T-netx and was told I owed them money which I didn’t since it was a prepaid acct but I eventually paid the $32.00 plus they said I had to have at least $15.00 in the account. I wanted to close the account but they wouldn’t let me..this is absurd! I paid it and now I still can’t get calls. I’m in SC and my local company says there is not problem but there is and I know it T-netix. I don’t know what to do about T-netix but we are getting ripped out and nobody cares.

    Reply
  84. mike Post author

    Michelle — thanks. :-)

    Ruth, ususally states just use one telcom contractor for the whole prison system, so you don’t get a choice — which is why me and so many other people are so mad. Via these contracts, state governments are taking money away from the poor (statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of prison inmates come from working-class families) to give to the rich (like the investors of H.I.G. Capital).

    Mary, it sounds like you’re getting ripped off just like the rest of us. There’s lots of good information in the comments above about what you can do, but much of it is state-specific. Here’s one resource; another idea might be to contact your Senators or your Congressman. Good luck!

    Reply
  85. Kelly

    It amazes me how everyone that posts to this site has had simular experiences. I tried to report them to the Better Business Bureau, but that was very difficult. I recieved a respose from BBB and T-Netix, and they lied on there report. They blocked my sons calls 2 days before Mothers Day, I called them they said I had to pay the bill. I said I haven’t gotten a bill. They said you can pay it over the phone, with a 3.00 charge for paying over the phone. I argued why should I pay 3.00 to pay over the phone when I never recieved a bill in the first place. They told me they would take the block off in 3 to 5 days. My son was unable to reach me on Mothers Day. I was devisated. I contated the FCC too. To no avail they were of no help. It is a Monopoly of sort and because we have a loved one in the prison system, we are treated as if we are the criminals. Besides the lack of customer support, the cost of a phone call is unheard of. 3.85 to correct and .35 for each additional minute. 11.55 for 30 minute phone call. I’d love to know of a class action suit against T-Netix. I’d love to be involved!!!!!!

    Reply
  86. Elvera Williams

    Good Morning,

    Please anyone out there that has obtained a flyer from any Maryland Correctional facility while visting that says Friends & Family Telephone Service Guide please leave a response on this site. If you didn’t please ask your Loved One’s in the Maryland Correctional Facility to mail you one.

    Please let me know if the flyer states that T-NETIX will give you a credit for the $1.95 bill statement fee from Verizon if you will sign up to be a direct
    bill customer for T-NETIX. The deadline was November 30th 2005.

    This information is very important.
    bill customer for T-NETIX.

    Reply
  87. Tara Andrews

    Please distribute far and wide * Please distribute far and wide * Please distribute far and wide

    Maryland’s Telephone Tax:

    A Town Hall Meeting

    Tuesday, January 31, 2006

    6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Sojourner Douglass Administration Building

    500 N. Caroline Street

    Baltimore, Maryland

    This is a call to all prisoners’ families and concerned citizens

    to discuss the continuing problems with Maryland’s telephone tax

    and to lay out a plan of action for reform.

    Organized by Justice Maryland

    For more information call 410-244-6334

    Reply
  88. delores

    I am new to this also and just as frustrated. i just paid a $360.00 bill to T-netix on 1/24/06 that took care of billing from 11/18/05 without ever having received a bill.

    I spent hours calling around to find out why the phone was blocked. now that it has been paid they have blocked it again because of a $50 spending limit in 24hr time period. I found out that 1 call for approx 16 mins cost $9.75.

    I found this site trying to find information on any class action lawsuit that might be going on involving this company or Securus who they are merging with. If anyone knows of a lawsuit please forward the info. I would be glad to join in.

    I have already contacted my local chapter for the American Civil Liberties Union on this and other neglect and abuse situations going on in our local jail here in Sarasota, FL. Check their website, they have a section specifically for prison issues in our country. I am tired of being treated like I am less than human because I have a relative in jail.

    Reply
  89. THE REAL 3 JAY'S

    I REALLY FEEL THAT WHOEVER CAME UP WITH THE IDEA TO
    ALLOW INMATE TO CALL ON A CELLPHONE IS SO STRAIGHT BECAUSE NO MATTER WHERE YOU AT.THEY CAN JUST CALL YOUR CELL PHONE UP AND JUST TALK BUT SOMETIMES THE CALLS MIGHT DROP BUT THAT WILL BE CREDITED BACK INTO YOUR ACCOUNT BUT YOU HAVE TO REPORT IT FIRST THAN THAT.THEN YOU KNOW ANOTHER THING IT HELPS OUT ALOTS SO THAT PEOPLE CAN TALK TO THEIR LOVE ONES OR LAWYER FOR INFORMATION LAST YEAR MY BOYFRIEND WAS IN JAIL FOR 30 DAYS AND YOU KNOW WHEN I HEARD THAT YOU CAN PUT COLLECT CALLS ON A CELL PHONE I WAS SO HAPPY I WENT TO WESTERN UNION AND PAID MY MONEY FOR THE CALLS. YOU KNOW I WAS SO GLAD THAT I PUT THE CALLS ON HIS CELL PHONE,MY CELL PHONE AND MY HOUSE PHONE I HAD ALOT OF TIME TO TALK TO HIM I MADE SURE HE WAS STRAIGHT AND HAD ME TO TALK TO.

    Reply
  90. DRAJ

    There is a phone sevice for families of inmates called the Family connections. However, they do a credit chek and you pay 42.00 up front. It’s in connection with verizon. They have a web site just look it up. I didn’t get it because I thought my husband was coming home. My sister got it and the calls are >85.

    Reply
  91. twibil73

    I am a former employee of T-netix in the state of Maryland. I quit my job 2 years ago because I could not stand to work for a company as decietful as T-netix. The managers within the company will tell bold faced lies to state officials in order to get contracts with the D.O.C. It is all about the almighty dollar. I received many calls each day from people with the same issues that you all have expressed here. My heart goes out to you all. I understand what a traumatic thing it is to have a loved one incarcerated. All I can ofer to you is this advice; Continue your complaints to the BBB and write all of your state representatives, I would even suggest writing to Governer Ehrlich, I don’t think he is aware how the State and his constituents are being robbed by this deceitful company.

    Reply
  92. Elvera Williams

    I fully agree with Twibil73 about T-NETIX. They deliberately lie to the Maryland DOC. A while back I posted information that the Secretary of DPSCS gave me concerning T-NETIX name being changed to SECURUS. When I contacted Susan Woomer in procurement about this information she wrote back to me and said that she was never notified of any changes and that T-Netix was still the legal name. This is one example of how the company lies to the DOC.

    After this I was sent a copy of the modification to the present contract. Please everyone request a copy of the modification under the Public Information Act.
    This modification is on the part of T-NETIX, it is supposed to be offering us a choice of who we want to be billed through.

    The interesting thing about this is that even though T-NETIX was awarded the contract Verizon still continued to be the subcontractor for the contract.
    Now that Verizon is no longer the contractor T-NETIX is providing and billing the local and intraLata long distance services.

    The $64,000 question is why did the DOC award T-NETIX the contract when it could not provide direct billing to the customer? In 2000 and 2001 T-NETIX protested the contract(go to your search engine and type in In the appeal of T-NETIX) under DBM-2001 & DBM-2002.

    Please request the modification to contract 050R2800336 from Ms. Susan Woomer, DBM Procurement Unit, 45 Calvert St. Room 141, Annapolis, MD 21401.

    Please ask for a copy of the flyer that they worked on together for Family & Friends.

    Once you get a copy of the flyer from the DBM and compare it to a copy of the flyer from the correctional you will compare the two and realize that there has been a deception. I believe that one is for the state copy and the other has probally been placed by T-NETIX in the correctional facilities.
    The flyer violates the PSC rules for blocking, and the credit policy part violates the rules of the Fair credit reporting Act.

    Please check it out.

    Reply
  93. mike Post author

    I just deleted a stupid and hostile comment from a mouth-breather with the IP address 208.241.6.12. Guess where that IP is? Irving, Texas; home of T-Netix / Securus operations — and from the sense of entitlement the mouth-breather displayed, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone with a management background. So I’ve banned the IP, and I encourage readers here to check out the management team at http://www.t-netix.com/staff_default.asp (the information there might be useful in conjunction with the information at http://www.anywho.com) and do whatever you think is appropriate. The commenter’s advice, by the way, was repeated twice: “Stop crying already.”

    The area code for the Dallas/Irving area is 972.

    Reply
  94. mike Post author

    I’ll tell you what, Knowledge is Power Anonymous Coward. You’re welcome to post a comment here, as long as you (1) Put a real e-mail address on your post and (2) Say whether or not you’re involved with Securus/T-Netix, as your IP address indicates. Do that, and you’re welcome to share whatever “facts” you like.

    Reply
  95. Rob

    Knowledge,

    Your pseudonym could not be more correct and poignant. Knowledge is indeed power and this thread is proof of that fact. However, those at T-Netix would have us believe that the only appropriate level of knowledge is the company line. Corporate America fears discussion threads such as this, as they empower those who have been slighted and ripped off by the constant corporate fleecing of America. The fact that a simple thread on a little blog (no offense, Mike) can get 99 heartfelt replies is amazing and once again proves your point that knowledge is power. However, I do offer you one suggestion on a possible name change. Admittedly it stings, but I feel it is much more appropriate. Next time maybe you should sign on with: Power Corrupts -

    Reply
  96. Carolyn

    I had no idea this problem was so widespread. In CA T-Netix is the monster from hell. My only question is don’t we as the consumer have a legal right to receive an accounting of how our money is spent? I’ve had a prepaid account since Oct-05 and I have requested a statement of how my money is spent on three separate occasions and all I ever received was a print out from some operator’s computer one time in the beginning; again no information on the company, none of the information that a statement should contain. Has anyone attempted to contact their local PUC? That’s my next step. The newest thing is a recorded message at the start of each call that states calls billed by SBC may also be subject to a “pay phone usage” charge, but it doesn’t say if your call falls into this category or how much the charge is. So again I say, don’t I have a right to know how my money is being spent???

    Reply
  97. Power Corrupts

    Carolyn,
    You are absoblutely correct that you should be able to see where your money is going.
    If “mike” had not “banned” my post, you would have seen exactly where much of the money for these overpriced calls, actually does go.
    However, as is the case in most situations, one person (in this case “mike”) is given the job of filtering the info.

    Hey mike, why don’t you go ahead and pull up a cache of my previous post so that Carolyn and the others can see where the money goes.

    Thanks,
    (Rob, you were right, I needed to change my name!)
    :)

    I’ll keep checking in.

    Reply
  98. Elvera Williams

    Mike I am glad that I found your site again.

    I sent out several letters of complaints to the Governor and other individuals about Secretary Saar’s misinformation to me. It is a month now and I do not have a response.

    Check out this website. http://www.sec.edgar-online.com/2005/11/15/0000950144-05-011841/section8.asp

    Of particular interest is pages 5 and 6. This will help people to understand why they are blocked and have small amounts of credit extended to them.

    These people count us for deadbeats.

    Reply
  99. mike Post author

    I banned your Irving, Texas T-Netix/Securus IP address, Corrupts, because your post was rude, derogatory, and insulting to the people who have formed a network of mutual support in the 101 positive replies to this post. You still don’t have the guts to publicly own up to your association with T-Netix, or say who you are, though I and others (like Elvera, like Tara, like David, like Steven) identify ourselves by our full names here or elsewhere on this site.

    But I’ll give you a second chance. Keep a civil tongue, state explicitly what your interest is and how it derives from your association with T-Netix/Securus, and you’re welcome to try to explain yourself. You might do well to understand that you won’t win anybody over by insulting them — and your stop.your.crying@gmail.com email address is insulting in and of itself, given the tenor of your comments, and I’ve no interest in being baited by such insults.

    You got something to say to me, you can say it in the comments here.

    Reply
  100. Elvera Williams

    Good Morning,

    There is a website http://www.etccampaign.com that allows everyone that comment here to be a part of a letter writing campaign in every state to participate.

    When you go there you will see what the letter writing is all about. Letters are done for you and you can add your own comments. The best part is that they are sent to all of the right people that can make a difference.

    There is a total of 10 letters. This is excellent because it lets the people that can make a difference know that we are united in this. It covers them all.

    Please participate. they create the letter for you.

    Reply
  101. mike Post author

    Thanks, Elvera, and it’s good to hear from you again. I’ve fixed the html so the links work, and I’m (as always) grateful for all the work that you’re doing against the ugly arrogance, condescension, and avarice of corporate mouthpieces like “Power Corrupts” and “MAN” (see comments above).

    Another thing people can do is vote with their wallets and work to discourage unethical investing: contact H.I.G. Capital and let them know you’re disgusted that they fund companies like T-Netix and Securus. If you own stock in or benefit from endowments from organizations like Credit Suisse First Boston, Wachovia, Goldman Sachs, MIT, Verizon, or Yale, talk to them about the moral taint that association with H.I.G. and T-Netix and Securus gives them.

    H.I.G. profits from T-Netix and Securus. T-Netix and Securus reap private profits from your misery and the misery of your loved ones. But the public taxes you pay support and condone this misery: if you’ve got a loved one in jail, not only is that loved one repaying a debt to society, but also — via extortionate rates from T-Netix and Securus — lining the pockets of the wealthiest people in this country.

    Maybe, nine years ago, your younger brother did something incredibly stupid. (I’d like to meet a single person who hasn’t done something incredibly stupid.) Maybe, in the interim, he’s tutored inmates who couldn’t read, helped inmates get their GEDs, and so contributed to a reduction in the rate of recidivism. But the state where he’s incarcerated collects taxes, puts a portion of those taxes into the prison budget, and the prison system contracts with T-Netix — giving them a nice, fat bit of money to run the phones — and then what does T-Netix do? They charge extortionate rates (compare them to a calling card sometime), because they can. So, in effect, state governments are taking kickbacks in order to give private companies like T-Netix the opportunity to reach into your wallets.

    And so the rich get richer off the backs of the poor.

    Reply
  102. Elvera Williams

    Mike, you need to know that this website of yours is very valuable. I cannot thank you enough. If it were not for this website I would feel defeated by T-NETIX and MD DPSCS. I push on because of this site.

    I’m sorry about the edgar on-line. I came across the site when I typed in 10-Q Quarterly Reports for the individual companies,Telequip Labs Inc, Evercom Inc and Securus Technologies, Inc. When I find a better one that provides a link I will let you know. When you read these things you will understand the things that they do to all of us. It does’nt have the money that Verizon and the other dominant carriers have and would soon be out of business.

    I got a response from the Governor’s office through the Office of the People’s Council.
    I was told that Celia Januszkiewicz of DBM would be interested in any comments regarding the service quality received, including issues with the customer service and billing departments.
    I welcome this because it will give me an opportunity to mention this website and have all of you to send her comments about T-NETIX.

    I have many issues with this company and that flyer. At the present they have blocked my other phone line. It has been blocked since August 2005.

    I am not past due on anything so I don’t understand it. The only thing I can think of is that I called them and told them to put me on their do not call list so that they would not keep calling me everytime I got a call from my Son.

    Many, many thanks Mike.

    Reply
  103. Carolyn

    I wish I could say thanks to PC for his response, but the fact remains I should not get information on my account from a blog. T-Netix has a responsibility to provide this information to me directly. Period. Not to mention that I should have a right to select the company that I will pay for services rendered. I have Comcast and this whole sad affair went from Comcast to SBC to “T-Hellish”. I don’t have a say in it and that is supposed to be against the law. The fact that I pay $3.30 to accept and $0.12 a minute for a local call is nothing but insane. Then I have to pay $3.99 each time I replenish the account. Nevermind the number of times calls are just plain dropped. Try as you might there is no way to defend this type of service. If I received this type of service from any other company I could simply switch, now couldn’t I… So why should I be forced into dealing with this company because they’ve made a deal with the corrections facilities and government? This site and many more like it is the American process at it’s finest. Your issue isn’t with Mike. It’s like they say, “don’t hate the playa, hate the game”.

    Reply
  104. mike Post author

    How strange that PC from Irving, Texas (aka KIP) hasn’t checked in. Do you think he might feel angry or upset that somebody else can regulate the circumstances of his communication?

    Reply
  105. Carolyn

    PC is a big boy… he’ll get over it. What I’m wondering is this. I’ve started step one which is to file a complaint with my local public utilities commission, but I also wonder if we should all contact our local ACLU. I visited their site and the final phase of the form asks what we want the ACLU to do. Legally, what realistically can we expect to be delivered from a court? Can the ACLU with it’s supremely limited funds take on a class action suit? And do we have grounds against SBC since most T-Netix operators will tell you that the only way to side step the prepaid account is to sign up with SBC? Any clues…

    Reply
  106. Teresa Fry

    Just received my bill from T-NETIX. I was not required as others have been to sign-up or give a credit check, thank goodness. My complaint is that the recording when I receive the call says that the billing fee is $1.50. They even went so far as to call me and confirm that the fee was $1.50. When the bill came it was $2.49. When I called I was told that the fee had gone up at the first of the year from $1.95 to $2.49. I once again told the person that the recording said $1.50. She confirmed that $2.49 was correct, I asked for an adjustment and was told someone would contact me. I will keep you all posted. If I don’t receive help I will also file a complaint with my PUC and the FCC and I believe that the FTC should also become involved. I also emailed the sheriff in the county involved, asking if law enforcement really wanted to be involved in this robbery scam and asked if they would investigate the fradulent statement coming from their facility.

    Reply
  107. CHRISTIN

    I HAVE THE SAME SITUATION I WAS RECIEVING CALLS WHEN ALL THE SUDDEN IT WAS BLOKED WHEN I CALLE DMY LOCAL PHONE COMPANY THEY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT SO I CALL T-WHATEVER AND THEY TOLD ME THAT I COULD ONLY RECIEVE ONE CALL PER 24HOUR PEROID AND THEY WOULDN’RT UNBLOCK MY NUMBER UNTIL I PAID THEM 200.00 I THINK IF I’VE GOT A LONG DISTANCE CARRIER THEN I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THESE RIP OFF SCAMMERS

    Reply
  108. mike Post author

    I hear what you’re saying, Christin: state governments are using taxpayer dollars to help T-Netix and Securus rip off private citizens, and it’s enough to make us all mad.

    Most of us here, though, want to talk to one another and share ideas, and sometimes that’s kinda tough when writing in ALL CAPS makes it seem like PEOPLE ARE YELLING AT EACH OTHER. I know you’re not yelling, even though we’re angry and frustrated, so: any chance you might be OK with not using all caps?

    But yeah, I totally agree with you: pre-paying for services you might not ever use is extortion, and it’s wrong. T-Netix should be ashamed, Securus should be ashamed, and both companies are vultures. How unsurprising that the venal and spineless corporate mouthpiece who calls himself “Knowledge Is Power” and “Power Corrupts” hasn’t had anything more to say: shameful avarice, ultimately, speaks for itself, and displays that combination of hubris and cowardice unique to the fat and wealthy.

    To paraphrase Harlan Ellison: the fact that swine-boy Dick Falcone walks erect has everything to do with the mechanics of skeletal arrangement, and nothing to do with morality, intelligence, or ethics.

    Reply
  109. Elvera Williams

    This is respond to Theresa Fry. I am not sure what state that you are in.

    For Maryland, T-NETIX wanted Verizon customer to switch to them for direct billing and that they would credit them for the $1.95 that they were paying to have their calls presented on a Verizon bill.

    They needed to do this by December 1st 2005. What the scoundrels failed to say is that they filed for an increase to go up to $2.49 in December and to be effective in January 2006.

    They retrieve a portion of that amount, they also filed a tariff called a billing recovery fee.

    If you live in Maryland you can go to MD PSC website and click under filings and type in company name and for year type 01/01/05 to 04/01/06.

    The CSR’s that answer the phones don’t understand this stuff.

    Reply
  110. Lindsay

    Well, I’m glad I’ve read all your comments on T-netix. My boyfriend is up in Hagerstown, MD. He had told me that I could set up an account with T-Netix to try and save on the costs of talking with him. Collect calls are outrageous. He had gotten a pre-paid card but when it runs out it sucks having to wait till the money orders that are sent to him get into his account and then he has to fill out a form to put money on his phone account. So, in my search for this company I came across your posts and I’m glad I did and did not get subjected to this madness that you all have gone through. I’m sorry for that inmate’s families that have to deal with this bullshit on top of everything else. If anyone has any information on a cheaper way to communicate with someone on the inside that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
  111. Jai

    Is there anyone in Wisconsin dealing with this because our telephones at the county jail (Racine Co) has just went from MCI to Correctional Billing Services Which is a Evercomm company which is a securus company is that T-Netix also? well however we we’re switched w/out notice and MCI corrections dept didnt even know of the switch either until I fianally got a Supervisor, whom I informed him of the switch ( from the name on the new phone recording- evercom) Because I knew that evercom was a C.B.S. affiliate, who looked into it and was shocked. I would like to join the fight, It seems the criminals Securus are the ones who are providing telephone service to our inmates huh?

    Reply
  112. mike Post author

    Yes, T-Netix and Evercom are both subsidiaries of Securus. MCI probably didn’t know of the switch, but the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and other portions of the state government certainly did. Yet again, Securus and its subsidiaries get you to pay twice for phone calls: once through your taxes, which go through the government and the Department of Corrections to Securus, and once through your phone bill. It’s a monopoly funded by your state government, it’s a state-sponsored way for corporate vultures to profit from the suffering of inmates’ loved ones, and it ought to be illegal.

    Jai, call your congressman. Call your senator. Call your governor. And ask why the hell this is allowed to continue in a democracy.

    Reply
  113. Elvera Williams

    Hi everyone,
    Was surprised to see T-NETIX again. This is a good time to contact your Senator or Congressman. On Tuesday of this week I went with the C.U.R.E. group to the Madison bldg at the Library of Congress where they met with congressional staffers asking them to take back to their leaders information to support the inmate telephone bill H.R 4466. This is a good time to contact them. Call the Capitol switchboard for the office of your Congressman or Senator. They will connect your call. Please everyone.

    I complained to my Congressman about Secretary of the Maryland DOC and he requested an inquiry about the information that I gave. She still insist that Securus is the name of the company that Maryland contracts with. This is not true. The Assistant Commissioner sent my Congressman supporting her lie and sent me a copy. One week later my son was put in solitary. The charges were trumped up. I will be writing the Governor.

    I have decided to send my information to the newspaper, I believe that some sort of corruption is going on in the DOC. The Maryland DBM clearly states that T-NETIX is the contractor.

    T-Netix is going everywhere and doing underhanded things deliberately. The DOC’s don’t pay attention because they don’t care.

    If you live in Maryland and have your calls put on your Verizon bill please check to see that your bill statement fee is $1.95. The crooks charged me $2.49 on my March and April bills. I complained to the Maryland DBM about it and they had to put it back to $1.95. I am in dispute with them at the PSC about my credit. They lied to the DBM and said that Verizon was the cause of it. I contacated Verizon and they said that they are not authorized to make any corrections on T-NETIX bills. I am waiting the outcome.

    Please complain to you public utility whatever state that you live in.

    They are trying to hold us accountable for their policies for credit when they never explained them. You just look up one day and they say this is the way it is.

    Reply
  114. Cathy Runnels

    I am a victim of T-Netix, CBS, evercom, or whatever name they are using today. I have no alternative phone services available in my area (utah), to use to receive phone calls from the utah state prison. I am confused as i had paid my account ahead by $39.67 just last week & i has able to receive 1 3o min. phone call which costs between $5.80 – $6.40, depending on their mood, company name or what ever they decide & I received a call from T-netix today informing me that my line has been blocked due to non payment! CBS, evercom, or whatever they are tell me that I have multiple accounts associated with my phone # & my credit limit is $100.00 T-netix doesn’t bother telling me if I have 1, or 100 accounts, they say my credit limit is $50.00. My current bill according to CBS/evercom(?) is $100.13 whereas my bill with T-netix is -$82.98 this is after paying $66.00 on my account which had a total bal of $27.31? what is the deal? I am so pissed off!

    Reply
  115. WILLIAM FULTZ

    I’M HAVING A PROBLEM GETTING AN ACCOUNT THAT THEY RECIEVED
    MONEY FOR THATS INACTIVE TRANSFERED TO AN ACCOUNT THATS
    ACTIVE. SO BASICLLY , I’M PAYING FOR A SERVICE I NEVER RECIEVED.
    THE REP I SPOKE WITH SAID I COULD WORK THINGS OUT WITH WEST
    ERN UNION I FIGURE THEY NEED MONEY LIKE T-NETIX. IT COSTS ME 3.99
    TO PUT MONEY IN OUR ACCOUNT, AND QITE A BIT MORE THRU WESTERN
    UNION AND IT WOULD TAKE LONGER. IT SEEMS LIKE THEY DON’T GIVE YOU A LOT OF OPTIONS YOU DO IT THEIR WAY OR YOU CAN DO WITHOUT
    THE INMATE I GET TO TALK TO CALLS ONCE A WEEK AND GETS ONLY 1 HR OUT OF HIS CELL A DAY TO MAKE THIS CALL. DEALING WITH THE
    POOR SERVICE PROVIDED BY T-NETIX IS ONLY TOPPED BY THE
    UNCARING PEOPLE THEY EMPLOYEE. IT WOULD BE NICE IF THERE WAS
    COMPETITION THEY HAD TO GO AGAINST……. 08-02-2006

    Reply
  116. Iris Black

    I was denied a collect call from an inmate in Texas and discovered that T-Netix had blocked the call. I was contacted the next day by an automated system that would quide me through to a rep that would take my very personal information. It seems if ones credit rating is not just right they can decline service to you or ask for a greater deposit. During my years in Texas I worked for the PRISON WORKERS UNION, (a bunch of volunteers with the ACLU) and got to know a lot of caring families and the inmates that belonged to them. Most of these families can not put up that kind of money at once. Correctional billing holds these families hostage with the love they have for someone that happens to be incacerated paying for that alleged crime. How much more has to be paid? From my research a lot of the revenue these companies brag of are coming from the pockets of those least able to spare it. The prison systems in this nation are well networked through family support groups and even more through the inmates themselves. What would happen if all the phones went silent for just a month and we picked up our pens and paper instead. Boycotts are not a difficult action to put together. I am planting seed all over the net. Let me know what your thoughts are.

    Reply
  117. Regina Confussed

    My question is that my husband is in prison in Maryland. He has a prepaid account within the prison, however it does not work. T-netix has taken about 100 out of his account (at my husbands request) back in June and July, however it is not showing up on his account with )-netix. My husband sent me his Inmate Banking Form and its on there that they took the money out. So, I called T-netix they said they can’t help me because they have no idea what I am talking about they never heard of a prepaid account in prison. I then called Correctional Billing services they have no idea either. I need to know if anyone has any clue what I can do about this. Also, the prison keeps referring me to T-netix. Please help I have not been able to talk to my husband on the phone for 2 1/2 months. Thank you !!!!

    Reply
  118. Charlie

    Greetings,

    Having read of your trevails in these posts, I am certain I would not want to be forced to use this service with no competitive alternative. This story seems to be one that is ripe for a news organization with the person-power and resources to expose these totalitarian-like tactics. I would suggest someone with documented facts and witness testimonials send the relevant information to 60 Minutes, or perhaps one of the networks nightly news devisions. Bringing this story to the wider public eye seems to be the necessary ingredient that is missing.

    Also, put all of your communications in writing. The power of a well-crafted letter cannot be emphasized enough. Good luck, I hope you all are fortunate enough to get some level of justice.

    Reply
  119. Danielle Cathleen

    I agree with Iris Black (see 3rd post back) and Charlie both. I think it would be great to organize a protest all over the country where the phones largely went silent. Talk about hitting them where it hurts! Whatever it would take to get that to happen would probably be worth it.

    Also writing letters, as we have been doing, is much more helpful than phone calls. For anyone new to the thread, Elvera Williams’ posts throughout the thread are very useful in giving information on who to write to, or how to find out who to write to in your state. This simply must stop. It would be GREAT if we could get some kind of news coverage on this corruption, but I’m not sure who would champion our cause or have sympathy and be willing to take on the machine that T-Netix/Securus/Evercom and their partnership with so many state governments has become. Sadly it’s hard to get people interested in injustice to inmates families, they seem to stop caring the moment they hear the word “inmate”.

    Reply
  120. Elvera Williams

    Hello Everyone,

    I’m still here and am still fighting. 60 minutes sounds like a great idea. I am well documented. Presently I have my last complaint in the review stage with the Maryland PSC. This is a mess that Mike said in the beginning that its so much wrong here. I don’t know if any of you have experienced this or not. It is something that is called a PVP(payment verification point). They allow you a certain amount on your phone calls and when you reach 75% you have to call them and they in turn contact Verizon to see if you have paid your phone bill. You are authorizing Verizon to share your personal information with them on the line.

    I will be attending the TasteofJustice fair at the Martin Luther Library in D.C. tomorrow, it is from 10am to 5pm. I will have to update the New York Campaign for Telephone Justice as to what is going on. They have been fighting the N.Y. telephone issue for a long time but are not aware of this T-Netix,Evercom, Securus thing. This is indeed a monopoly. These two companies are everywhere.

    There is something that the rest of you can do that hopefully will cause the FCC to act. I have done it. I sent the FCC a petition for rulemaking. You do not have to send in anything that is lengthy. Ask them to abolish exclusive contracts with DOC’s and the phone companies and to abolish all commissions paid to the DOC’s. If you have documentation to support T-NETIX and Evercom abuses please send it along.

    Another thing, all these other inmate phone providers are using CBS for their billing. This company is incompetent, this is based upon written documentation that I have with my PSC. They claimed that they notified me by recording after my line was blocked. The PSC made them give a detailed record of all calls, I had a collect call on a day that they claimed the line was blocked.

    Its a lot to this big mess. Will keep you all posted.

    Reply
  121. Danielle Cathleen

    Well it’s finally happened. I’ve finally been caught in the T-Netix/Evercom/Securus extortion web. I’ve been receiving phone calls just fine for a good while. The little recording at the beginning always said the call was through T-Netix and the cost for the call would be $.85. I stopped receiving calls almost two weeks ago. Last night a family member of the inmate called to tell me that my loved one in the MD DoC has been trying to call as usual but has been getting a recording that my line has a block on it. I called my local provider (Verizon) who said there is no block on my line, but gave me a number for T-Netix anyway. I also called my long distance provider (AT&T) who said there were two blocks on my line, one being a umsb (usage management systems block) and the other was supposedly from my local provider. I argued that I’d already spoken to my local provider and they had no blocks on my line. I was given a number for the umsb block and called it but they were closed for the night. It was an AT&T number. I called them today and they said there should be no block on my line and that they could see no block on my line. They also eventually referred me to T-Netix. I really didn’t even want to have to speak to T-Netix as I’ve been able to avoid them for so long. I had no choice now so I called them. The fun begins.

    A customer service rep asked for my phone number, then my address, as **she said there was no record of me in the system at all**. When I was giving her my address, after giving just the house number I hesitated as there was some disturbance here and I didn’t think she’d be able to hear me. Wonder of wonders she vocally completed my address, down to the detail of “Lane”. I asked if they did not have any record of me in the system, how did she know my street name and that my address ended in “Lane”? Long pause, followed by her answer that while T-Netix had no information on me, Evercom did, and she could see the account Evercom has on me. So “there is no record of you” was lie number 1. She then informed me that I had a block on my phone by Evercom for non-payment of bills and that Evercom has sent two bills to me. More lies. I have not received any bill from anyone other than Verizon and AT&T and told her so. Also, my calls have been paid for through those providers. She then started asking me all sorts of questions about a second phone line I have for my computer. That line is used for nothing else but my computer to hook up to the internet. No calls are ever placed or received on it, ever. How did they get that information and why are they so obsessed with it? I now fear I may get a block on my computer line and then won’t even be able to access the internet. As no call from any correctional institution has ever been received on this line this phone number really is none of their concern, period. She also asked me if I had any cell phones. I said no. I wasn’t about to give her any more information than she already had. The csr wouldn’t give ME any information let alone any help. She said all she could do is send in a “trouble ticket” via e-mail to let Evercom know I have not received their bills. She would not give me a phone number and insisted there is no way to contact anyone in T-Netix, Evercom or Securus by phone except by the number I used to get to her. She gave me a fax number for Securus and said that is my only recourse. She says Securus is the parent corporation of T-Netix and Evercom. I told her I have not only not been billed by anyone, I also have not been contacted by phone by any of the T-Netix/Evercom/Securus people and that it probably is illegal to simply put a block on my phone without contacting me. She repeated that she had no idea why Evercom had my account and that T-Netix should be who handles my account, and that she would send in the trouble ticket and there is nothing else anyone can do and nobody else I can contact other than faxing Securus. Wonder of wonders, just a few hours later I received my first recorded message telling me I must call them. What a coincidence! (not)

    The recording was cut off so I don’t even know who called, whether it was T-Netix or Evercom. I called the number (and still did not get any info about who I had called) but stopped using it’s automated system when it got to the point that it wanted my social security number. I’m not sure what my next move will be. I’m so angry I can’t think. I have very few people in my life at present, and just lost my mother earlier this month due to cancer. Now because of this corrupt phone company/companies I have lost one of the only other people I have in the world to talk to. I’m so angry and in such dispair. I could just spit nails.

    Now I know that there are TWO accounts running on me, one with Evercom and one with T-Netix, and that there are two blocks on my house phone line and that they have my computer phone line in their records. I know Evercom says I’ve been billed twice and not paid my bills. I have no way to deal with this without giving up my SSN which I don’t want to do. I no doubt will end up being billed by both companies, and it will take forever to straighten that out, if it EVER gets straightened out. Meanwhile, I’ve been paying for my calls through my own providers. If I just did what they want me to I’d end up paying for the same calls three times. Meanwhile, there’s no way for me to talk to my loved one, whose support I desperately need in this time of grief. I’m just not sure what to do next.

    Reply
  122. Danielle Cathleen

    DRAJ, I’ve done many searches on all variations of the website you mention in your post “The Family Connections” and I can not find it. If you or anyone else has more information on that website please provide it. Thank you.

    Reply
  123. Elvera Williams

    Hi Danielle Cathleen,

    First of all let me express to you my condolence to you at the passing of your Mother. I’m sorry that you had to go through this with these two companies. May I suggest that you file a complaint online with the MD PSC.
    By no means give them your social security number. In your complaint please mention the fact that they have your information together with Evercom. Demand that the PSC get a detailed list of your call history. This is what happened to me. My T-NETIX call history was on an Evercom customer care list. I complained about this because I didn’t know that I was an Evercom customer until I got the call list. When my son came to court in Upper Marlboro it turns out that Evercom has the contract for the local jail. The problem lies in the Correctional Billing Service part. It does not matter what state or what telephone provider that you have, if CBS does the billing for the provider then you are bound by CBS.

    When you file your complaint with the PSC T-NETIX will have to respond to you in writing. The first thing they will declare to you is that an account was set up for you when you accepted your first telephone call from a correctional that has a billing arrangement with CBS. They will tell you that you are assigned a PVP for a certain dollar amount. You will not know this information until you file that PSC complaint. It will also tell you if you exceed a certain number of calls in one day. They will tell you that it is to prevent fraud. That’s a joke, they are the biggest crooks in the world.

    This is how you truly understand how they operate when you file a complaint with the PSC. If you never file a complaint then people are left in the dark about how they operate.

    I would hope that for everyone that has a complaint about them to file a complaint. I have learned that they only have one person handling complaints from their end. Don’t let them tell you that T-Netix and Evercom are one and the same company. They tried to pull that with me. Each of them have a separate tariff on file with the PSC. I do not like saying things about people that are not good, but I can tell you from personal experience that these csr’s do not know what they are talking about.

    Another thing please send a letter of complaint to this gentleman at DBM about T-NETIX. Ellis Kitchen, State Chief of Information Technology. MD DBM, 45 Calvert Street, Annapolis, MD 21401-1907. They do take these complaints serious.

    Please let me know if you could check your Verizon bill and let me know what your monthly bill statement fee is. It should be $1.95.

    Reply
  124. Danielle Cathleen

    Thanks for your condolences Elvera. Let me get some things straight. If I am wrong correct me. PSC – Public Service Commission? Can I find it by searching Maryland Public Service Commission? What is a PVP again? And what is the DBM where Mr. Ellis Kitchen works? I want to do this right. How do I go about handling the Evercom/T-Netix both running accounts on me problem? Is my only recourse to fax Securus as the customer service rep said? That seems ridiculous (especially for PHONE company – not to have people you can SPEAK to on the PHONE!) and woefully inadequate. PLease just walk me through it again Elvera, I want to do everything I can. Thanks for your patience.

    Reply
  125. Elvera Williams

    Danielle Cathleen the Maryland Public Service Commission can be found by typing in the above name on any search engine that you use, google,yahoo are whichever is your choice. On their site they will have an area for consumer complaints. transportation and utilities. Be sure and have your Verizon bill available because you will have to give your account number. Tell them that you did contact the company and what happened, especially the part about asking for your social security number. (in my case they asked for the last four of mine and I still refused.)

    They PVP(payment verification point) is the dollar amount that they have assigned to you.(again you will not know anything about this until you file a complaint against them and you will know of it for the first time when they respond back to you through the commission). Allow them to mention it to you first in their response. Do not put that in your complaint.

    The Maryland Department of Budget and Management is the agency that does the contract for the Department of Corrections inmate telephone. I forget to mention that Ellis Kitchen telephone # is 410-260-7041 please call him and let him know what is going on.

    Reply
  126. Misty

    Hi, I am new to this collect calls from jail thing. I have been looking for my father for a long time (never met him) now and recently found him in Arizona State Prison. We have been writing to communicate for the last couple of weeks because all I have is a cell phone (it is most affordable because of my job and no money for home phone service) I live in FL so I can not go visit him (have no money) but I want to beable to talk to him just to hear his voice. He has been in their since 2001 and he is not suppose to get out untill mid 2010 so I was thinking about getting a LANLine and have been looking around for a decent one that doesn’t cost that much and that you can exept collect calls on and ran across this site first. Can anyone give me any info. on how I can find out if Arizona to deal with T-Netix/Evercom or Correctional Billing Services. I really want to talk to him we have alot to discuss but I don’t want to go through what you guys have ” I rather write a letter ” And if anyone should be locked up it should be the people that run these phone companies that rip off us hard working individuals that are just trying to make it in life and keep in touch with our families. I wish they had to go through everything you all have went through and for some still are going through. I bet they couldn’t even put up with half the sh*t you all have. Don’t they understand if they put blockes on our phones and make it to where we can’t speak to our loved ones they will go crazy in their they don’t know whats going on they don’t know why the block is their they just know their is one. I know when I was in jail everyone I knew had a block and I got so depressed. They can get depressed to and get mad and that can just lead up to more charges or on lock down in a one person cell with nobody to talk to at all. From reading all the post from you all it seems like thats what they want. THEY SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOR ROBERY!!!! I mean not only for the money they stole but for the time they stole away from you talking to your loved ones. I got to go after reading all these post it just makes me sick to see how some people make a living off of other peoples heartache. I wish you all well. And can some reply to my post I would really like to know if I can make it around these a**holes

    Reply
  127. Dawn

    Need help I as well HATE TNetix and cant seem to get them to help me with a problem I have. My boyfriend is facing the rest of his life in prison and I have been recieving his calls at a friends house and paying the bills like crazy. I don not have a land line and heard and saw with my own eyes a prepaid collect call being taken on a cell phone. WHAT CELL PHONE COMPANY LETS YOU DO THIS!!!! TNetix says it is possible but they don’t seem to know with who. Does anyone know?

    Reply
  128. Danielle Cathleen

    I have heard of what Dawn says myself, though I don’t know how it’s done or through what phone company. How can it be set up for the inmate to use pre-paid time to call a specific cell phone? My loved on says he has seen it done from just one or two guys in there on the inside, but he cannot get the information from them on how to do it. If I could do this and bypass T-Netix/Evercom/Securus all together I would love to and would do it iin a minute. Any information on how to do this please?! I”m getting desperate.

    Reply
  129. Misty

    I know what ya’ll are saying is true. I have heard it has been done also and want to know what company does this can n-e-one help us out. I will do some research on this topic also and try to get back with evryone one soon. Good luck. And keep your heads up I have always been told if their is a will theirs a way. Now I just hope we can find it!!

    Reply
  130. Misty

    I think I found it, this site says no matter what phone service you have they will give you sevice for your loved one to call and it is very cheap also, cheaper than what i have seen n-e-where. Here is the web site http://www.outsideconnectioninc.net they say it doesn’t matter what phone sevice you have. Their site says they can set you up if you have a cell phone, VOIP phone, if your long distance provider won’t allow you to recieve collect calls, and etc. it doesn’t matter. I think this service is strictly for calls from inmates. Just look over the site. The guy that ownes this phone sevice was in prison and noticed how much money it cost his family to talk to him and when he got out he wanted to do something about it. So he has gone through what we are going through and it looks like he wants to do something about it. I have researched only a little about this site but plan on doing more and I will write back to show the outcome but what I have seen so far it seems like a good thing. I also seen a little about http://www.pco.com ( PCO stands for Prison Calls Online and people came here from MCI ) and their are alot of people that were subcribed to that site that have switched to Outside Connections I know we all are looking for a good and cheap phone seviceto talk to our loved ones and I ran across this one and decided to share it with you hope it helps.

    Reply
  131. Misty

    I forgot one thing!! I also came across a site that helps people cope with loved ones being locked up I wasn’t sure if you guys knew this but here it is. http://www.prisonerfamilychat.com

    Sorry I feel like I am bugging everyone this will be the last post for a while. I just thought this would help!!!! =)

    Reply
  132. unknown

    well i see you all our very upset with tnetix and i have read most of this and im sorry for any and all complaints against this company however you and everbody else have no right to take it out on the representative..any and all questions u have are answered when u ask..if the rep doesn’t know then they get you the answer…i feel this is so unfair if u would give the representatives to explain anything you may understand pvps also known as payment verif. points or spending limits it is all done for your security and asking for a ssn is always for security however if you ask there is cases where that is not needed passcodes and such are taken aswell..and the blocks not always are fault..certain facilties have what are called site limits just please next time you go to call tnetix, cbs, securus, whatever they are called now..just think about the person your calling you dont know if there going trhough the same thing u are right now they are humans too they might have a loved one in jail just as you do…

    Reply
  133. Danielle Cathleen

    unknown, I can only speak for myself when I say that I have had nothing but bad experiences with the reps at Correctional Billing Services/T-Netix/Evercom/Securus. The hold times are ridiculous but what is worse is to be spoken to as if I am both stupid and just an annoyance to the “customer service” rep. This has happened with each of my several calls to them.

    The customer service reps have told me a different story each time I call them. I must call them regularly as CBS puts a block on my phone before they bill me, each and every time, and each and every time I’ve called I get different explanations and different directions from these csr’s. Having been in customer service myself, I am particularly polite when dealing with csr’s but that does not get me the same treatment in return when dealing with the CBS/T-Netix/Evercom/Securus crowd. My last call resulted in the rep insisting my loved one is being held somewhere other than where he really is, and she insisted that from now on my calls would be $11.00+ per call. I informed her that the recording always says “the cost for this call will be $.85, thank you for using T-Netix” and that if I start being charged $11.00 per call when the recording says I’ll be charged $.85 then that would be illegal, and that I also will take steps if the charges suddenly change after this particular call to CBS with her. I was civil and polite throughout being spoken to like I was dirt, and when I made it clear I would not simply accept my calls jumping from $.85 to $11.00 and that my loved one isn’t even in the prison they say he is in she actually started yelling “What the did you just say to me?” followed by more cussing directed at me. I asked for her name and she hung up on me. Sorry, I can’t at this point feel anything but disgust for anyone associated with any of the T-Netix/Evercom/Securus/CBS monster. I do however remain civil at least, which is more than I get in return.

    Another point of interest is that she told me that I have a limit of $240.00 that I can spend on calls in a 90 day period, and that even if I keep everything paid up, if I go over $240.00 worth of calls in 90 days, I will get a block put on my line. Also, if I should use up the $240.00 say in the first 30 days, even if I keep it paid up to date, a block will be put on my line from when the cycle started. What the heck for? If I’m paying for the calls why block the line at some limit they picked for my phone usage? If I’m paid up, there is no excuse for that!

    Reply
  134. Danielle Cathleen

    The above post accidently was posted before I finished editing it. The last paragraph should read:

    Another point of interest is that she told me that I have a limit of $240.00 that I can spend on calls in a 90 day period, and that even if I keep everything paid up, if I go over $240.00 worth of calls in 90 days, I will get a block put on my line. She said if I should use up the $240.00 say in the first 30 days, even if I keep it paid up to date, a block will be put on my line AND NOT REMOVED UNTIL THE 91ST DAY FROM WHEN THE CYCLE STARTED. So even if I was paid up to date on that 30th day, I’d have to wait 61 days until my next phone call! What the heck for?! If I’m paying for the calls up to date why block the line at some limit THEY picked for my phone usage? If they are being paid there is no reason for them to decide how often I get to speak to my loved one! If I’m paid up, there is no excuse for that!

    Reply
  135. Elvera Williams

    Thanks Danielle Cathleen for that update about CBS. This explains why I do not have my collect calls on my November Verizon statement that I received on yesterday. I get collect calls on both of my lines. I never trust these people so I tend to log my calls on a calendar.

    The entire industry of carriers for the prisons have changed. All of the dominate carriers have exited the market. We only have left the smaller carriers that do not have billing names and addresses for customers.

    The bottom line is that they do not want to be bothered with collect calls. They want their money up front. They figure if you use up your limit before the 90 days then you will have to prepay if you want to talk. You can go over that $240 as long as you pay up front.What a shame.

    Reply
  136. unknown

    no the 90 day limit is becuase of all the fraud the people that get a line hook it up for a month and disconnect use your brain the company has to protect themselves too..pre pay is honestly the best option u dont even have to speak with a representative then..honestly everybody complains abou it but you no what it honestly allows u to budget and manage your spending.. people just need to think about how the company is trying to protect themselves as well as the customers..

    Reply
  137. Danielle Cathleen

    unknown, they don’t need to protect themselves from the people who keep their accounts paid up to date or even pay forward a bit (as I do), yet they still do this. Their concern is not for service to either their customers (us) OR the inmates, it is for their profits. That is more than apparent if you either deal with them yourself or read even just this one blog with it’s 144 responses let alone any of the other blogs on T-Netix/Evercom/Securus and Correctional Billing Services.

    As far as pre-paying, plenty of people have been ripped off by doing that, posts on this thread discuss it. People prepay but the money disappears or takes forever to make it into the inmates account, and then you have to deal with the constantly disconnected and dropped calls and the charges for each call connection when the inmate calls back (if he’s lucky enough to be able to do that).

    Sorry, I don’t buy the just protecting their interests unless you mean protecting interests = make big profits by ripping people off. As for HELPING ME BUDGET, I don’t need THEIR help in budgeting my money, thank you very much. Who are they to decide how much I can spend on phone calls in a 90 day period?! Nobody should have that right as long as I am paid up and pay my bills on time!

    Poor T-Netix/Evercom/Securus/CBS….here they are just looking out for us, helping us with our budgets and protecting themselves from us crafty phone bill dodgers…. uh, right.

    As for pre-pay, there’s no way I’m going to invest in a pre-pay account when so often others have and the money never makes it to the inmates account or the phone charges are jacked way up or the calls are constantly dropped and lines blocked anyway. It’s bad enough to endure all this crap while paying for it as-you-go, to give them a big hunk of money up front is just asking for trouble unless you don’t mind throwing your money away, or burning it.

    Reply
  138. mike Post author

    Right on, Danielle. unknown’s comment does the same thing that T-Netix/Evercom/Securus/CBS do: it presumes that the families of inmates are guilty by association. It assumes that anybody related to an inmate is somehow more likely to (1) commit fraud and (2) be unable to manage their money, and so these prison phone billing companies are somehow justified to engage in their fraudulent and price-gouging practices.

    It’s economic bigotry, pure and simple. T-Netix/Evercom/Securus/CBS says that anybody related to a prison inmate must be either a criminal or somebody unable to manage their own finances, and so justifies ripping such folks off to pad their own profits. In short, they inhibit families from communicating with one another, interfere with inmates’ support structures, and thereby increase the possibility of recidivism, all so Dick Falcone and his friends can pay for their Irving, Texas McMansions.

    Reply
  139. Nana

    My husband is in oklahoma and he called me this mornin. The recording said” the first minute is $5.89 and for each minute after, .89.” I wonder why it’s so expensive? Is there a way for this to be cheaper? I remember when he was at county, he could call with prepaid cards and at least that was more inexpensive. He wants me to use t-netix. I’ve been skimming over the posts and I don’t think it’s a good idea. Wrongful billing and all that. HelP!

    Reply
  140. unknown

    well danielle this is a last reply sorry..but as for the 90 days it is nothing to do with the customers number at all were limiting the calls to that number..its not for the actual customeras for the prepaid funds never making it to the inmate it won’t they are not the facility in order to send the funds to the inmate it needs to be sent to the facility.. anyways i can argue all day to the fact the cbs which is the billing department you call are a company working for the customer.. anyways as for the calls being disconnected have you ever thought to ask for a credit on any of those calls.. Also funds do not disappear on a prepaid acct unless they sit there for over 180 days a refund is always available upon request.. I am sorry to hear everybody has so many trouble.. my experience with cbs/evercom(which is no longer) t-netix (also no longer)/Securus which is the company that owns the phones has been wonderful i have a prepaid acct i can pay over the internet when i pay my regular home bills.. no need to contact a representative unless i seek credit for coc ..in that case I am aware there needs to be an immediate cb or under 3 minutes.. hope everybody else that has a good experience can post so they do not turn everybody off cbc since they are a wonderful company

    Reply
  141. ToWhomItMayConcern

    I have complained to the FCC, State Attourney Generals Office and BBB, this company has to be stopped.

    Reply
  142. Elvera Williams

    Hi Mike,
    I’m happy for your family that David is home with the family. Thanks again for this website about T-Netix because of David and for your stand against this injustice. I haven’t commented here for a while because I am still waiting for a final resolution of my formal complaint at the Maryland PSC about this situation. I can tell you for a certainty that I will be victorious in this matter. This company is the biggest fraud there is. I challenge anyone that works for them to say otherwise. For those that work for T-Netix that would dare to respond to me is that you don’t know what you are talking about if you are not their legal counsel. I will be represented by my legal counsel.
    Thanks again Mike and best wishes to David.

    Reply
  143. adrianna

    Hi all, Im calling from Palm Bch County FL…how would i go about recieving collect calls from tnetix on my cell phone (if there is such a thing), everyone i know says there is….but i cant seem how to do it. pls help!

    Reply
  144. Someone that is concerned

    I have sat here and read everyone of the complaints and have to agree that Evercom/T-Netix (which now are going by Securus) are really a ripoff.

    I worked for Evercom for 8 years and when I stood up and started telling the upper management that what was going on with the cost of the calls was totally wrong I was asked to leave the company or I would be fired. Well anyway, I left the company after thinking very hard about it for a few days.

    I hope that everyone that has posted here understands that when Securus gets the contracts with the DOC or the County Jails that the State tells Securus how much that they can charge for the collect or pre-pay calls. So I keep seeing that everyone is pissed off at Securus but you should also be pointing that anger back at the State also for they are getting a cut of the money that Securus is getting from you. I know that there are a few states that are getting somewhere around 50% of the money is being collected for the calls.

    Just wanted to let everyone know of this so that maybe we can stand up to Securus and the State Goverments and tell them that something really needs to be done about this.

    GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!!!

    Reply
  145. Elvera Williams

    Hi Everyone,

    Just an update, today at 1o’clock in Baltimore there will be a community forum with the Maryland Secretary of DOC and the Commissioner. I will ask them to consider reducing the cost of calls that we pay. Part of our increased cost has to do with security. The so called security does not work. I was disconnected for them having detected 3-way calling on my line. That is a lie because I do not have that feature.

    The issue of Securus, at this time Evercom the other part of Correctional Billing Service is under investigation by the state of Alaska brought on by the public utility staffers themselves for blocking calls to families in a certain area because the local phone company does not have an agreement with Evercom.

    Also the other issue is that Securus does not have to right to be operating under Evercom filed tariff with the public utility commissions because it is only a holding company and not a telecommunicaton company.

    T-Netix, Evercom and Securus days are numbered.

    Reply
  146. James

    Just contracted with T-Netix so I could speak with my son. He was able to call his sister in IL but it was about $6.00 for a 5 minute call. Here in NY its 1.58 to receive and .09 cents a minute as it is a local call.
    There number used in NY is 888-610-7079
    T-Netix or Securus
    PO Box 2052
    Mechanicville PA 17055

    .

    Reply
  147. james

    T-Netix in NY uses 1-888-610-7079
    billing address:

    T-Netix (SECURUS is another name on billing)
    PO Box 2052
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

    Local calls in NY are 1.58 to receive and .09 per minute
    PRE PAY:
    50.00 minimum w/ 8.00 surcharge to use credit card/check

    Reply
  148. Judith K. Steck

    I think I have finally gotten a handle on this. After all the garbage excuses including my husband put a block on the phone in June (he died 3-12-06) she finally told me the truth as she knows it. My son makes the collect call. I get billed for it on my monthly bill. At that time I owe 25.00 or thereabouts. My phone company gets the money. They pay Embarq who in turn pays Correctional billing. As soon as correctional gets the money they release the block. My son calls and before I am even billed for the call another block is put on my phone. Because this is political and the sh– hit the fan and exposed all the excessive charges for calls they want to switch everyone to a prepaid calling card. Under the collect method – my son can only call collect once every 3 mos. I guess we can look at this a different way. The state has to have the money from somewhere. Otherwise services are the lst to go. It is another tax!! They are losing a ton of money in collect phone call fees and the state and local taxes on the phone calls. Hope they straighten it out soon.

    Reply
  149. Al Opdenaker

    My phone rang while I was eating lunch at a local restaurant. “I have a collect call for [static] from [static] will you accept?” Before I can say anything, the phone seems to go dead. Then someone else is speaking and the only thing I could understand for “Queene Ane County Prison”. Well, it turns out that my granddaughter’s father is in that institution , I think. The voice changes again and a man explains that if I want to speak to the caller I have to set up an account. It sounded very strange to me. He said I would need to give him some information so that he could set up my account, and he started asking me questions, name, address, last four digits of my Social Security Number. He asked me to spell every word no matter how simple the word was. He then explains that the best way to set up this account is to use a credit card. Ding, ding, ding!! The bells and whistles start ringing. There is no way on earth that I am gong to give anyone my credit card number especially since I still do not even know at that point who he is and what organization he represents. He tells me that the least I can give him is $50 plus an $8 fee, and the maximum is $500 with the same $8 fee. I ask him who it was that wanted to talk to me, to which he replied that he was not permitted to give out that information. The whole thing has got to be a scam, I think, so I ask for the company’s snail mail address, and he surprized me by giving me one. I told him I would call him back later today or send the money to him via snail mail. He sort of”sneared” at that when he said that it takes at least ten day to set up the through the mail. I said “thanks” and hung up the phone. I googled T-Netix and wow! a bonanza of information every single bit of it quite negative! How much danger am I in for having given him the last four digits of my SSN? Is there something I can do to prevent him found using it to steal my identity? Obviously the state’s are not interested in helping us.

    Reply
  150. Len

    How do we get rid of T-netix in the detention centers? Is there a need for a “middle-man” to make a phone call? Was there a contact bid open to the public or was T-netix given the opportunity without a competitive bid? These are just a few questions I have about this situation. It’s not fair!

    Reply
  151. CB

    I am another one that T-Netix has messed with. Same deal, my son was calling me collect and I was paying my bill and out of the blue my phone line was blocked. No explanation at all. I finally got a hold of T-netix and had to set my account up so my son could call me. I argued with the operator that it is my perogative to accept his collect calls and pay for them on my regular bill. She totally ignored me and went on with her questions. If I want to accept the collect calls it should be my decisions not T-netix. I hate this and wish there was something I could do.

    Reply
  152. Elvera Williams

    This is a response to CB and others that fell victim to setting up an account with T-NETIX. File a complaint with your public utility commission. The process is lengthy but it has to be done. It has been 16 months since I filed my complaint with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The commission began ruling on my formal complaint the 1st week in June 2007. As of yet there has not been a decision. It is important that everyone do this first, by filing a complaint with the utility T-NETIX will be forced to respond directly to you and at that point you will learn how they operate and then you can challenge them for what they have done to you.

    Your can read about my current formal complaint with T-NETIX that the Maryland Public Service Commission has put online. Just google this search by typing in Elvera Williams v T-NETIX formal complaint and it will come up.
    I guarantee that everyone will learn a whole lot by reading this and you will understand just how to challenge them.

    I gather that everyone has been assigned a credit limit by them and this is your first time learning about it. An account can be established when a person calls from the local jail and then when they go on to prison you have an account with CBS that you know nothing about.

    Reply
  153. Jen

    I am currently going throught the same thing. My fiancee is in the county jail and has not been been able to call me for a week. The people at t-netix are rude and they do not let u know it takes 90 days for them to receive a payment. So when your credit through them runs out they want you to prepay. This is a load of crap. They first told me 50 dollars was okay to prepay by check. as of today the 23rd of Oct. they want 150 dollars with 7 dollar surcharge. People beware. Esp. when the local jailhouse only uses them.

    Reply
  154. Janet

    My complainent with T-Netix (EVercom Systems Inc.) is there billing practices. I began receiving calls in Oct 2007 (approx 4 a day) from the Fresno County Jail of which I immediately hung up because I knew no one in jail. This went on for 10-days till I called the Sheriffs Dept and had a block put on my phone. November bill from my phone company comes and what do you know billing from T- Netix! So I called their 800 number to demand a credit to my bill. First it won’t get me to a person to discuss this mistake with because you have to have a 4-digit personal “code”. Of which I didn’t have —-and was not about to set up since this was there mistake! After continued research i got a number of an actual person a T-Netix to call. I finally was connected to that person who proceded to be very rude to me when I denied ever accepting any calls. Finally after much complaining and insisting they said I would be issued the credit to my phone bill. BUT —-Here is the clincher—— It will be 2-3 months (billing cycles) before it would credit to my account. Well it didn’t take them 2-3 months to bill me so why the delay on a credit? I said that was not acceptable and asked first for a supervisor (to no avail) and then I asked for an address to send a complaint. I was told there was no corporate address and I would have to email or call them again. What do they mean no corporate office?
    What a substandard shady business the states and corrections dept have gotten involved with!!!!

    Reply
  155. Chena

    Someone needs to do something about t- netixs i have a pre paid account with them and they are very unprofessional. I receive calls from my husband in jail and i spend alot of money to talk to him. However t-netix takes there time posting funds to accounts to were as though there are times i can not speak to my husband all weekend because they dont post money to accounts on time i put 30.00 on my account on Dec 23, 2007 so i would be able to speak with my husband on christmas day and he would at least be able to hear our small children open there gifts t- netixs did not post that money on our account until later christmas day this is not the first time they do this often and when you try to speak to a supervisor you never can. You can call to discuss an issue and at times they put on a recording saying systems are down and call back later when they know they are doing people wrong this has to stop i feel like telling them they get no more money from me but they already know this is the only way we can talk to our love ones so they do it and not care. I cant wait until my husband gets out tnetixs can kiss his mine and our kids ass!!!!!!!

    Reply
  156. Catherine

    After reading through the horrors that people have had to go through I feel that my situation is fourtunatly (for me) much better. My brother who is mentally unstable has been sentenced to weekend incarceration in MD. Tonight was his first night. As I said he has some mental and emotional problems and one of the main things tha helps him get through is knowing that I am here for him and he can talk to me. In fact the last thing he said to me when I droped him off was that he would call me just as soon as he could so we could say good night or else he wouldn’t be able to speak. Well he called and we had barely said hello to eachother before I was kicked over to this voice message saying I neede a T- Netixs account. I sat on hold for over thirty min. all the while just imagining how confused and scared he must be. Then I was disconeccted without speaking to anyone. That’s when I went on line and found this site. I am so thankfull that he will be home on Sunday and I feel so deeply for all of you who aren’t that lucky. Even though I will be able to explain everything to him and we will have to deal with the fact that we won’t be able to speak while he is away on weekends, I still feel outraged. Not on my own behalf, but for everyone else. As Mike has put it, this is unconstitutional and morally wrong. I have taken the suggestions to heart and fully intend on writing letters to congrestional and state officals. Even though my situation is no where near as bad as others’, anyone can see that this is disgusting and T- Netix is a morally bankrupt company. Tank you for your site. Without it, I would have had no idea what was going on. To the rest of you, my heart goes out to you and if there is anything I can do to aide in putting a stop to this I will.

    Reply
  157. cathy

    Want to talk T-Netix, and about not having the option to claim your spouse as a human being base on the repugnance of a so called “inmate billing company”. where the automated person seem to be collecting more ph minutes for it prompts and warnings than you get in connection time. How about this fact that my spouse is unable to contact me for weeks at a time because the charges for him to dial a (347) code cost more than 32.00 per 30 min calls. if this is not the worse how about the fact that it take up to 28 hours for the account to clear before he can attempt to try and reach me wait! no 5 consecutive days we have not spoke with a clear account status of more than $60t. what about the $9. quick collect charges applied or the $6. surcharge for a credit card use inorder to apply credit to your “T-Netix ” correctional billing account. I need to know does any 1 out there have a solution.
    p.s. thanx for your site it provides more vent for the out side population than our families inside the WALLS. YOU ROCK

    Reply
  158. Geniene

    Damn. What a nightmare – I live in Canada, and my boyfriend is in Illinois in jail. He tried to phone my house today – but its blocking collect calls… he was able to get a hold of me on my cell with a phone card and told me to contact T Netix about the block. I’m kinda freaked out to phone and set up an account when everyone on here has been ripped off by these jerks. Good luck to all of you.

    Reply
  159. Elvera Williams

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been away from home for a very long time. The reason that you’all have not heard from me is that in October 2007 I had a massive heart attack and had to have a tracheostomy and be placed on a ventilator for several months and I had to have physical therapy. I finally made it home on Nov. 21, 2008.

    Upon being united with my computer I e-mailed the Secretary of the PSC where I have my formal complaint against T-Netix. I was told that the commission had not ruled on it as of yet. Imagine thats a total of 2 yrs.

    I want everyone to go online and read the response of T-Netix through their attorneys. You can type in Elvera Williams vs T-Netix and it will come up. I want everyone out there to know that their response is full of lies.

    I intend to challenge them on all of it . I have already contacted a lawyer about these lies.

    It says that my husband contacted Verizon with them on the line and verified payment of the telephone bill. This is one big lie.
    Will keep everyone informed of the outcome.

    Bye for now.
    Elvera

    Reply
  160. mike Post author

    OMG, Elvera — I’m so glad to hear you’re OK! I continue to be grateful for all your activism, and hope you’ll let us know (and look how many there are of us, now) what we can do to help out with the struggle against the vile ways T-Netix makes money off the suffering of families, and how taxpayers are supporting that suffering for corporate profit.

    Reply
  161. Elvera Williams

    Yesterday quite to my surprise I got an envelope in the mail and it was from T-Netix’s attorney’s. It was a supplement to my formal complaint that one of the counsel’s at the PSC had 3 questions for them to answer.

    It asked them how was I informed about the PVP and how did I find out about them increasing my credit limit for each one of my telephone lines.
    They did tell the truth about this one. It was the territory manager in Maryland and they gave his name. Each one of my lines were increased to $500, I never requested this.

    The PSC reequested the current amounts that I owed on my phone bills. T-Netix stated $69.00 which is not true. They don’t seem to be able to answer anything correctly.

    It’s to bad that they don’t post the supplements to T-Netix response to me because it would be very easy for anyone reading it to know that they have been personally discriminated against. I have been treated differently then all of the others that post their comments here.

    I suspect that they commission will be doing a final ruling soon.
    Will keep everyone posted.

    Reply
  162. Micky

    I just stumbled across this site and I am so pleased, I now live in the UK and my partner is in MD in MCAC and we have been suffering terribly over the last year with calls and T-netix refuses to listen to me when I call them. I have spent hours on the phone to them at a very high cost to me, the automated service asks for a 3 digit code which I don’t have. I send a money order each month to cover the costs of our calls plus calls he has to make to his sister in another state. I have so many emails from them and they seem to be about the same thing although I explain in depth what we are going through, we are meant to have a 30 minute call on a fixed rate, this call never lasts longer than 20 minutes in total if we are lucky, sometimes we get a dropped call after 3 minutes and this can happen up to 5 times in a day. I then tell him to not call me back as this is costing us to much. He will get charged for the full amount. T-Netix has ripped me off so much tonight I didn’t know where to turn to so looked online for answers. The institution does not have any complaints forms to hand out, but having said that they don’t even have remedy forms either, does anyone know where I can download a complaints form for T-netix so I can send it to him and others on his pod ? I would really appreciate this as I am running out of patience over here. This facility is so slow in doing things, this is costing me a fortune. If anyone has any advice they can give me I would really be sooooooooooooooooo grateful.

    Reply
  163. Elvera Williams

    Just an update, after complaining to Governor O’Malley I finally got the PSC final ruling. They dismissed my complaint and gave me an opportunity for judicial review. I may or may not pursue it.

    The bottom line is the process was good for me in that T-NETIX did some serious lying in their responses. At the same time I had that complaint I also had one at the FCC. In that complaint they lied and told the FCC that it was no additional issues to the PSC complaint. I found this out when I got the formal with the PSC.

    This morning I e-mailed Commissioner Copps at FCC to find out what is the penalty for lying to the FCC? and would I be permitted to have my complaint heard again. I will wait for an answer.

    Next, after this I reported to the FCC Enforcement Dept that T-NETIX gave me preferential treatment , the territorial manager instructed the customer service manager to increase my credit limit to $500 on each of my phone lines.
    I never asked him to do this. This is discrimination as far as the Telecommunication Act is concerned and a clear violation of the Act.

    You can read about this in the supplement to my complaint. Go to MD PSC website and click on official filings. Type in T-NETIX and hit go and you will see my complaint along with two supplements.

    I also took the liberty of informing Mr. Elliot Schlanger of MD DBM of this and about T-NETIX lying in the PSC complaint. This is the biggy, a response came to me by way of Office of the Attorney with a cc to Schlanger. Rather then answer me directly they claimed that they would wait for the outcome of the PSC and FCC.

    When you read this on PSC website(about my complaint) then you know that they realize what is coming down the pike.

    I feel that Verizon is a part of the conspiracy with T-NETIX, Evercom and CBS.

    Hope that complaints go to FCC and MD DBM when people read this, its not fair to everyone that have posted here and been a victim.

    Reply
  164. Len

    Elvera, have you contacted an attorney to help with your T-Netix issues? T-Netix is a corrupt, decietful, lying, etc., company! I am going to make a complaint against them with the DBM. I am also interested in the next bid proposal for inmate telephone systems in Maryland. There are some reputable companies out here. Hopefully, one can win the bid and we can be rid of T-netix!!

    Reply
  165. Elvera Williams

    Len,

    I have an attorney, I have decided that the entire business of all this confusion rest in the lap of the FCC . I want to make FCC accountable for all of this mess. Yes T-NETIX is a very corrupt with their Correctional Billing Services. One has to be careful that no new contractor is connected with CBS. You can make a complaint to DBM then they will know that I am not the only one.

    Reply
  166. Brad

    Are there any others out there who want to file suit against this company? I’ve only been having to deal with it for the past month, but it’s been hell. I’ve been getting disconnected every couple of calls and found out today that the reason is that i have call waiting on my phone. The operator told me that I had to have call waiting taken off my phone or it would keep happening. When I asked why I hadn’t been told to do this when I signed up, he said it was on the web site under “To avoid being disconnected.” And, actually, it doesn’t say that one has to have it disabled, it just states “Don’t use or answer Call Waiting.” I’ve got to get moving on something else this moment but will check back here to see if there are other who want to sue this company.

    Reply
  167. E. Watson

    Why in the hell should they care who I talk with? I didn’t ask them to block my calls. By the way, I tried to call comcast and was place on hold for 9 mins. WTF!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 × = sixteen

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>