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Pennsylvania Visitation, Prison Phones, Packages & Mail Topics / Information relating to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and local / county Jail visitation, phone calls, mail, inmate care packages, etc.

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2009, 09:47 PM
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Default Global Tel*Link

I think a thread on this company is the best way to consolidate our experiences. I had a long talk with a supervisor there today to find out why accounts are so often blocked.

The gist of her explanation is this: Don't open an account for a PA STATE PRISON via their website. While your money will be there, the account won't extend to the state prisons. (Apparently, the on-line account sign-up is only for some county jails ... a little detail they don't explain before you arrpove the credit card transaction.)

Instead, if you want an account from a PA STATE PRISON, you should always set it up over the phone with Global Tel*Link. If the inmate attempts to call you collect, you will be prompted to set up the account. Beware that his 15-minute call clock will be running while you're doing this, so you may not get to speak to him this time. Other wise, call them and set up the account in advance.

If you want to pre-pay for a wireless phone number, they will require you send them a copy of your wireless bill -- not more than 45 days old -- as proof that you have an account in good standing. You can fax it to them. They require 3-5 days to set up these accounts.

Pre-paid to a landline is much easier and faster, as they can verify the line instantly.

Their number is: 877-650-4249. Their fax number (to send a copy of a wireless bill faster) is: 866-262-9123.

Also, we are considered a "former MCI" state, which means you get automated access to your account at 800-231-0193. Have your PIN number ready.

Using their "Advance Pay" to open the account cost me $9.50. Adding money later by phone costs nothing.

A word of caution: They aren't the most understanding people in the world. Conversations with their customer service people often feel edgy, as though they consider you to be the inmate. They are uncompromising and will quickly offer to refund your money and close your account. Even the supervisors come off as cold.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2009, 06:13 PM
kennyswife kennyswife is offline
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My experience with Global Tel Link is that the phone calls are not automatically deducted from your total. So if your inmate calls and you have $25 on there, the $6.25 for that call is not deducted until like 3 days later. That really messes up your account and you end up being in the negative phone calls. I didn't realize this until recently. I called them and they said PA is the worse state, not deducting right away. But I am grateful for this company because I have Comcast and they do not let you accept collect calls from correctional facilities.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:07 PM
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I didn't know about the Comcast situation.

Another call today to a different supervisor got me mostly the same information. Because of the PaDOC rules, GTL has to set up accounts manually. You aslo set-up a PIN to use when you call them about your account.

One last thing: You never get an agent when you call. You go through an automated system that ends by setting up a call-back within two hours. So make sure you're available for a couple hours if you decide to call them.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:45 PM
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Kenny' I used to have the same problem when I used to pay the calls on my side...Often it would be okay cuz it gave me like an extra day to get more money...

However

It is much much much easy and hassle free to send the inmate additional money, the cost stays around the same but I am headache free!!!

I am sending my inmate an additional 100 dollars for calls (2xtimes a day)...I don't have to deal with an account that lags nor with the poor customer services that never knows anything

Another thing I didn't like with Gtl and me having an account if you have $4.00 dollars and say thats enough for a call the call still wouldn't go thru because you need to have a min of 5 dollars...again my inmate can use his cards till it just doesn't have anymore!
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:16 AM
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I agree that inmate pre-pay is hassle free, and would prefer it to anything else. GTL also has a system that calls you whenever you have less than $25 on your account ... as if you don't know. It can be annoying.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the info about the prepaid calling cards. I guess I should do it that way, but my husband said that they take part of the money that comes in for fines etc. So, I would have to send him a pretty hefty amount so that he would be able to get his phone cards. It costs $6.25 for him to call each time, which is ridiculous. But I want to talk to him, so I will spend that. I only have 3 more weeks (hopefully, if they don't change their minds) for him to go to the rehab part of his program. So he will be closer to home... Thank Goodness! Again, thanks for the info!
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:46 AM
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Yes, they take a piece of all money sent in, which is important to consider. Then again, GTL charges $9.50 if you use a credit card to put money on their account ... someone always gets a piece, right?

Three more weeks! That's great.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:25 AM
Da_Mrs._389 Da_Mrs._389 is offline
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so all in all how does this really work?..is there a way you guys can break this down to me?..i am a first timer with the global tel*link and i want to know how to do it. I have not yet signed up with them but I would like to because its the only way my husband can call me.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:55 AM
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Glt has pre paid accounts for the pa doc!!!!!!!
They won't give me one!!!!!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:08 PM
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It's really simple. You call them and open an account for whichever number you want to use. They need to know where the inmate is. They process a credit card payment. They ask you to assign a PIN number to the account.

You can create on-line access to your account and add money (without service charges) from that point on. This is far better than waiting for them to block a call because your account is under $5, which is their threshold. You can also make payments over the phone, by wiring money, or by sending a check or money order.

We in PA must follow the nsructions for "former MCI contracts." (That's because MCI used to handle DOC calls before GTL came along.) They have a different phone number for account maintenance (adding money, e.g.)

And I can't imagine why they wouldn't open a pre-paid account for anyone. Have they said why?
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:12 PM
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Hopefully you can help me. My account has been set up, it has plenty of money, they have verified my phone number.

My husband has been trying to call and he says "it's not working". GTL says that he hasn't made a call attempt. I believe my husband. GTL says that they can't activate the account without a call attempt.


What is going on with this. It has been 7 weeks??? What does my husband or I have to do to get a call to go through?
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:49 PM
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I set up the account after the first call attempt, so I can't be sure if they could've done it any other way.

My first questions would be the obvious ones: Is he calling the same number you're trying to set up with GTL? Is he in a PA DOC state prison?
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:59 PM
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They didn't even let me put money on the account until a call attempt had been made.

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Old 01-02-2010, 12:19 PM
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He is calling the right number. He was able to purchase a phone card so I have been receiving calls that way. I don't want to lose the money I put on the GTL account, and they are no help whatsoever. I feel like complaining to a consumer protection agency. How can they just keep my money and fees and not provide a service???
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:50 PM
laurencs143 laurencs143 is offline
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You should be able to get a refund, i had money left over on a county account and put more on the county account by accident and they let me transfer it all over to the state account so i don't see why they wouldn't give you the money back they may charge a fee but you should at least get some back, just don't take no for an answer try to be polite when you call and dont give up i know it's hard.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default global tel

EXACT same thing happened with my son. Now he calls me collect on our house phone. Haven't gotten the bill yet, but don't care. It's much easier.




Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownEyes View Post
Hopefully you can help me. My account has been set up, it has plenty of money, they have verified my phone number.

My husband has been trying to call and he says "it's not working". GTL says that he hasn't made a call attempt. I believe my husband. GTL says that they can't activate the account without a call attempt.


What is going on with this. It has been 7 weeks??? What does my husband or I have to do to get a call to go through?
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:39 AM
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when my hubby was locked up before he got cards. it worked out ok that way
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:03 AM
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Funny, when I demanded my money back, the suddenly "found" the call attempts and activated the account. I have not yet gotten a phone call to see if it works this time. I'll keep you all update.

I hate all of this.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:32 PM
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I think we all do.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:09 PM
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I hear you about hating all this what makes it worse is that most people you have to deal with aren't very understanding, just try and stay calm and patient i know how hard it is I'm 7months pregnant with my first child and just knowing he's gonna miss her birth kills me not to mention all the additional crap of not knowing anything and not getting much help from the DOC and others but just hang in there it will get better!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:26 PM
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I have a prepaid account with GTL for another family member in another state, and calls go straight through and charge against that prepaid acct. When my friend in a Pennsylvania prison tried to call me from Dallas Corr Facility, it would not go through. Another post under Prison Phones in the forum says Verizon is the phone company for Pennsylvania. Does anyone know? Can you set up a prepaid with Verizon?
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:03 AM
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No, you must call GTL and "activate" the account for SCI-Dallas. GTL accounts are specific to the prison and the phone number, so they must have both in their system. Calling Verizon won't help, unless Verizon will direct bill you as a Verizon subscriber.

I have Verizon direct-billed by GTL for may landline; I have a pre-paid GTL account for my wireless. (Yes, a lot of prisoners call me ...)
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobble60 View Post
Yes, they take a piece of all money sent in, which is important to consider. Then again, GTL charges $9.50 if you use a credit card to put money on their account ... someone always gets a piece, right?

Three more weeks! That's great.





ok so, if my inmate calls and i set up the account then i get charged 9.50 as well as the 6.25 for the call?
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:57 PM
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bobble so do you need to set up an account everytime they get transfered to another prison within the state of pa? Or anyone else that knows the answer I have an account set up he's at camp hill now once he's sent to his home prison will i have to set it up all over again?
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencs143 View Post
bobble so do you need to set up an account everytime they get transfered to another prison within the state of pa? Or anyone else that knows the answer I have an account set up he's at camp hill now once he's sent to his home prison will i have to set it up all over again?

I saw your loved one is at camp hill....can you tell me a little about it? Hope all is well for you.
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