View Full Version : House Bill 4050: Establish Prison Phone Rules


StacysWar030
02-01-2005, 05:39 PM
Here's a link to the new bill intorduced into legislation. I'm not thinking it really covers what we need.....but it looks like a start.

http://www.michiganlegislature.org/documents/2005-2006/billintroduced/house/htm/2005-HIB-4050.htm

Stacy

betrayed_4_life
02-01-2005, 05:43 PM
Could be a good start but I think that once again what will screw us (and them) are these little words:

subject to institutional security procedures

Ugh!! Off to pay my waaay high and totally unreasonable phone bill!!

Thanks for the link Stacy!

StacysWar030
02-01-2005, 05:47 PM
So far the only real progress is the block........now it has to go thru a bunch of channels before it's passed. In my experience with the legislation....one intorduces and another re-intorduces a better plan.......let's hope that's the case here.

Stacy

MrsBenji
02-01-2005, 06:52 PM
(3) The state shall not collect a commission greater than 25% on calls placed by prisoners.


That little bit right there may be the snag that stops it. I mean, in theory, that would knock 25% off the top of most of our calls. Okay, that is really theory, but as it is now, they take an "huge" percentage on most calls. It would be a really good start if it passed. How will the MDOC take the budget cuts AND a loss of commission from the phones. Will they be able to survive? I can save them $30k if they will just send my hunny home! :)

Enough rambling for me. For now. :)
Jenn

angeltob
02-01-2005, 09:20 PM
(a) The operator service provider charges a rate for operator services or toll services that is equal to the service provider's actual cost of providing the operator or toll service plus a fair and reasonable return.

First part kills everything that makes sense...."charges a rate for operator services or toll services" Its all electronic!!! Who the he(( are we paying AND why?? The only thing I see good here is "providers actual cost" But will they be honest?? I hope so...


(c) The system allows prisoners to use a nontransferable, nontangible prepaid account system, the rate for which shall not be greater than the rate described in subdivision (a).
OK...So...now they want to CHARGE us for using a prepaid service. What the heck does PREPAID mean here?!?


(d) The system allows prisoners to make collect calls and to use toll-free numbers to place calls, subject to institutional security procedures and to monitoring conducted under section 70.

Sooo....I dont see a charge for this part...wonder if that means I pay for the service through my local telephone company and the prison makes ZERO cut. NOT!! Toll-Free...Misguiding!! This is only for Attorneys!...wanna make a bet??

I like #2 so ill leave that one alone...


(3) The state shall not collect a commission greater than 25% on calls placed by prisoners.

NOTE - no specification on which calls...prepaid is prepaid and does not need an operators assistant... So are collect calls...again i say what are we paying for??

I have to think about #4...

AND FINALLY...

(5) As used in this section, "operator service", "operator service provider", and "toll service" mean those terms as defined in section 102 of the Michigan telecommunications act, 1991 PA 179, MCL 484.2102.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
***** 484.2102 THIS SECTION IS REPEALED BY ACT 295 OF 2000 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2005: See 484.2604 *****
(s) “Operator service” means a telecommunication service that includes automatic or live assistance to a person to arrange for completion and billing of a telephone call originating within this state that is specified by the caller through a method other than 1 of the following:

(i) Automatic completion with billing to the telephone from which the call originated.
(ii) Completion through an access code or a proprietary account number used by the person,(OUR LOVED ONES) with billing to an account (US) previously established(WHICH IS WHY WE WAIT SO LONG FOR OUR NUMBERS TO BE ON A LIST) with the provider by the person. - THIS IS WHAT OUR LOVED ONES FALL UNDER, LADIES AND GENTS.
(iii) Completion in association with directory assistance services. THEIR ORIGINAL CLAIM AS TO WHY THE FEES (SEE a ABOVE)
*NOTE* NOTICE HOW IT SAYS "oTHER THAN"

Definition of repealed

To revoke or rescind, especially by an official or formal act.
Obsolete. To summon back or recall, especially from exile.
Now, with all this information....bOY ARE WE SUCKERS WHEN IT COMES TO BELIEVING OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ANYTHING GOOD UP THEIR SLEEVE FOR US TAXPAYERS.

mAYBE I AM THE ONE MISGUIDING...BUT IM PRETTY SURE IM READING IT RIGHT...THEY CAN NOT CHARGE FOR THOSE CALLS IF THE LAW SAYS THEY CANT... SO, THERE REPEALING IT AND THEN MAKE IT WORK TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. kEEPING IN MIND THAT MDOC IS PART OF OUR GOVERNMENT ALONG WITH THE MICHIGAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT...I GUESS ITS GOING TO TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO FIGURE IT OUT BUT FOR NOW, IM TOO SICK TO GO ON. WONDER WHAT THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IS SEEING IN ALL THIS? IM SEEING ILLEGAL AND MISGUIDING AND HAVE FOR A LONG TIME...when is it going to stop!?!?:angry:

angeltob
02-01-2005, 09:23 PM
Thank you for your attention and I appologize if I have offended anyone...

deb
02-01-2005, 09:27 PM
You haven't offended me.... I didn't respond ealier as I thought it all sounded bogus as well... They have it worded to still make $ off of us and continue the major kickbacks to the state...

Deb

angeltob
02-01-2005, 09:36 PM
...and then I wonder if we will still have to pay SPRINT a 64 million dollar contract! UGH!

witchlinblue
02-01-2005, 11:12 PM
What my instincts are telling me is that this is a plan that makes Sprint (etc) and the Government happy (somehow). I think they are happy that they are still going to get 25% and the 'providers' are happy because they will have the means to keep other companies out that want to make prison calls cheaper for the loved ones.
I don't know if I'm making sense here but how are these other companies going to get their foot in the door that claim save us money if the prisoners are going to be dialing a toll free number with pre-paid accounts. Isnt that pretty much what the other companies have anyway, except cheaper ?
If they control the toll free number that is dialed then the prisoners won't be able to use the other choices that we have. Am I right to assume that is probably what is going on here ?
I don't see that any of this is a win for us or our loved ones, just Sprint and Evercom slamming the door on cheaper alternatives for us.
Also don't they think that maybe some of us would like control over the money we spend on prison calls ? The way it looks is that we send the money and the prisoner can call whoever they want. We may not want our money being spent on whoever they chose to call. At least the way it is we can chose not to accept the call if its getting expensive that week. There must be a better way to bring costs down and I dont see that this will bring costs down for me at all. Especially since being in Canada my rates are crazy for a call from a Michigan Prisoner. I just got a bill and it is costing me around 18 - 20 dollars for each ten minute call. He is less than an hour away from me also, personally I feel like sueing someone for charging me that.
Maybe I didnt understand what half of that bill is preposing, but none of it looks good to me and I see it all being dictated by the big businesses, not the Michigan Government.
I pay for so much for James as it is; In Oakland county the cost of his prescriptions comes out of his account, his doctor visits (he has a disease and they are frequent), the calls, and just money he needs to buy proper toiletries etc. Not to mention stamps and whatever which I can understand. But the phone bills are just never going to get better and I don't believe Sprint or Evercom will have it any other way, because they are making too much money off of us.
Just as an added note though, recently in December, Evercom screwed up. In Oakland County Jail, word got out that someone managed to make a collect call to a cell phone. James tired as well as many other people. My cell phone is pre-paid and its only for emergencies and I keep only ten dollars on it. He called me right up until December 23rd a few times a day and it cost me less about $1.00 for each ten minute call. Evercom clicked into what was going on and put holds on everything until it was sorted out. But they can not bill a pre-paid cell phone account, at least not in this country. So after all these years, I finally got to stick my tongue out them for a short while.

StacysWar030
02-02-2005, 04:28 AM
I just KNEW you'd break it down in Lamon's (sp) Terms Angel :D THe only thing I saw good was the "no block" course NOW that I think about it, they can't block a phone that's prepaid..............duh!

Stacy

dmpdbd
02-02-2005, 05:45 AM
Witchlinblue:
The last part of your post confused me. When my guy was in the OCJ, it was MCI that handled all his calls...Evercom or Correctional Billing had nothing to do with it. That was just a few months ago. Has something changed?
Catlady

angeltob
02-02-2005, 05:52 AM
I believe the block they speak of might be that the prison cannot block our phones from accepting calls ONLY our phone companies can for personal bill reasons...(they can take that privelege away from the prisoners but they cant effect us with a block - that would be controling)...Just the way I read it...I dunno...Im still sleepy

angeltob
02-02-2005, 05:53 AM
DMP...County jails are not upheld by state rules...Go figure!!

witchlinblue
02-02-2005, 06:58 AM
dmpdbd;
Maybe its because I'm out of state or out of country but its Evercom that I'm getting from OCJ calls. Actually his dad lives in Detroit and his calls are from Evercom too via Oakland CJ. I know the recording off by heart. They have just blocked me and I'm trying to deal with them yet again, which makes me mad since we have court on Friday. Every time this happens to me with Evercom, I can't get the block off because the phone system and billing is different in Canada, I've been dealing with this problem for a few years now. Bell Canada pays them directly but there is up to a 30 day delay depending on when in the month the block goes on and they won't relay any deposit I try to send threw Bell Canada. If I was to give Evercom a deposit, it would be lost because they can't make an account for me since I'm not in the country. My phone company says that they don't deal with deposits and if I was to pay $200 extra it would just sit in my account with Bell Canada as a credit. In the past my only choice has always been to change my phone number which I've had to do more times than I can count. Other countries may have a system to deal with this but Bell Canada sure doesn't. I even tried to switch to Sprint Canada once and they couldn't help me because Sprint US and Sprint Canada do not do business directly with each other. I'm hoping they can come up with a solution for me. I'm also hoping that when James is sentenced he is moved to somewhere that has Sprint not Evercom, Sprint at least tries to help me and has in the past conversed with my phone company to find a solution, though not much came of it but at least they tried and not at my expense. Calls to Evercom have cost me, since they love to put me on hold forever. My phone company is lost for words as far as the charges and how to fix it other than changing my phone number. They can't control what they are billed from another country except to add it to my bill. I honestly think they are taking advantage of people in other countries because they think there is not much that can be done about it, one of these days I will find something that can be done about it. I have years of detailed bills showing I've spent 1000's of dollars that went directly to Evercom or Sprint. Can you tell I have a thorn in my side over this ? You know if James was calling way up in the Northern Penisula it wouldnt cost nearly as much for ten minutes, I'm just on the other side of the tunnel, two blocks from it as a matter of fact and he is in Oakland Co, it really is disgusting to me.
I better shhhhh-up here because this could end up two feet long and I could go on forever about it.


Witchlinblue:
The last part of your post confused me. When my guy was in the OCJ, it was MCI that handled all his calls...Evercom or Correctional Billing had nothing to do with it. That was just a few months ago. Has something changed?
Catlady

Lions Heart
02-02-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm so confused by the whole phone thing, probably because I haven't had to deal with it yet. I'm glad that you ladies are on top of it for the rest of us who are a little slow on the draw. A Big THANK YOU!

angeltob
02-02-2005, 06:53 PM
Now that I have had time to cool off Id like to explain a little deeper if I may:
There is only one law and that one is showing that specifically states they are NOT allowed to charge a fee....and they have been for many many years. They pick their amounts and get away with it because no one is overseeing what they are doing. They are getting away with it and NOW that they have realized the error of their ways (and know we are close to class action - JMO), they want to repeal the law that they have been breaking. How is that right?? and if you look at the bill, they are making it so they CAN charge a rate legally. (right after the repeal comes up) I do not understand where the fcc or the ftc is in this...Has someone paid them off?? I hope this doesnt pass and that the repeal does not open any more ugly doors for Michigan. They have gotten away with too much and we need to start educating ourselves with the laws in this state and stop letting people like Lemmons the Third and Lemmons Junior speak for us without asking us what we want! Who did they get these ideas from?...I think I might write the third and junior and ask them these questions. Then my Governor. I dont like the way our government is working but we cant change it with someone stating "the people of the state..." when they are not asking the right people...Its my guess that they come up with these laws by asking the government what they want...Its not theirs to want it. Its our to have it. We the People needs to be re established.
We the people have a Phone contract already with the DOC (the state pays that out of our taxes) ...that contract is worth 64 million dollars...Why are we being charged an outrageous amount and then, when we accept a collect call they charge an enormous fee?? Its not our provider, its Sprint and the MDOC. The very people who we contracted with and Id have to say 64 million dollars is not a bad chunk of change...what do you think?? Should the Department make commissions off a contract if that contract is being paid by the state?? Shouldnt those commissions go back to the taxpayers?? and if in fact you agree, then really, why charge a fee at this point?
I realize that the doc needs to make money somehow, but this is not the place. there are laws and rules set in place to protect us and the state is going against their own grain in what they are doing and have been doing...Im pounding my head over this one really, but I intend to look farther into it and Ill keep you all posted as to what I find.

Heres a thought...Since we already pay Sprint in the contract, how about if they just allow those calls to just go through on a prescreened phone number?, sure they have to acknowledge that the call is from an inmate for safety, well, they do that when you prepay...so how about "This call is from.....to accept this call and pay your phone company the standard fees of your local or longdistance company, Press 0?"
THATS WHAT I WANT TO HEAR. THATS WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. ITS PRETTY SIMPLE. GIVE US OUR MONEY BACK. Ill gladly pay my phone bill but im done putting it back into someone elses pocket just because they have us at an advantage.

Want a commission? Take your cut by allowing other phone companies to come in and offer a better price...I have yet to see the other offers for contracts and there were a few...but yet the only ones that were concidered were two and they were both Sprint. Why didnt we see these? Ill be seeing the next ones.

boy am I in a mood huh??
angel


(5) As used in this section, "operator service", "operator service provider", and "toll service" mean those terms as defined in section 102 of the Michigan telecommunications act, 1991 PA 179, MCL 484.2102.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
***** 484.2102 THIS SECTION IS REPEALED BY ACT 295 OF 2000 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2005: See 484.2604 *****
(s) “Operator service” means a telecommunication service that includes automatic or live assistance to a person to arrange for completion and billing of a telephone call originating within this state that is specified by the caller through a method other than 1 of the following:

(i) Automatic completion with billing to the telephone from which the call originated.
(ii) Completion through an access code or a proprietary account number used by the person,(OUR LOVED ONES) with billing to an account (US) previously established(WHICH IS WHY WE WAIT SO LONG FOR OUR NUMBERS TO BE ON A LIST) with the provider by the person. - THIS IS WHAT OUR LOVED ONES FALL UNDER, LADIES AND GENTS.
(iii) Completion in association with directory assistance services. THEIR ORIGINAL CLAIM AS TO WHY THE FEES (SEE a ABOVE)
*NOTE* NOTICE HOW IT SAYS "oTHER THAN"

StacysWar030
02-03-2005, 03:42 AM
Well, I have NO problems leaving the investigation up to you :D But just know I'm there with ya. I'll write whoever. Just keep me posted :) I agree with you 1000%!

Stacy

Lions Heart
02-03-2005, 07:03 AM
Isn't there some law about a company having a monopoly? Didn't the utility companies just get their hands slapped not to long ago because they had monopolized the market and had to offer choice. I know that I had several different companies wanting to be my natural gas provider ther summer before last. Shouldn't the phone companies such as Sprint and the Government have to follow those same rules? So much for free enterprise as far as the state is concerned. I also thought that there was a law through the IRS that said that a company getting money from the government couldn't overcharge. I know that the company I worked for before had to go through an IRS investigation because of some bad practices by our management. But then again we are just the little guys.

angeltob
02-03-2005, 09:13 AM
Yes Autumn there is a law about monopoly...thats where I dont get where the FTC or FCC is on this. It doesnt sit well with me at all and shouldnt sit well with any one concerned on the economy here in Michigan or how our government runs. In as much as the department can manipulate the government (and the government supports it) in such a manner, yet, we would be procecuted to the max for trying this...even worse would be how nasty the media would be to a company who tried to monopolize like this...Does extortion ring a bell?? That is present here too but our government is really good at sweeping this all under the rug arnt they?? Its because JQ public has no idea and doesnt really care. We gotta start caring...

Lions Heart
02-03-2005, 10:38 AM
I know that the IRS was really interested in what we were doing with the money being spent. Maybe that would be a better approach then the FTC or the FCC.

angeltob
02-03-2005, 08:34 PM
Theyre on my list autumn...you can count on that for sure.