Global Tel Link’s advanced payment program allows prisoners to make calls to their family and friends on the outside. An account can be created where funds are deposited to pay for these calls. They accept payments by credit card, checks, cash, or even Western Union. While it would appear that they are doing a great service for the prisoners, they run a deceptive practice.
If you were to go to the local discount store, you could buy a pre-paid cell phone that would give you the ability to make a call for around $.04 per minute. At those rates, you could call anyone and talk for as long as you like. However, if you needed to call a friend or family member in prison, that call would cost you around $1.13 per minute. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math and figure out that the standard 15-minute call would cost nearly $20. So why is GTL allowed to charge the prisoners such astronomical fees, and why isn’t anybody doing anything about it?
The problem is in the setup says AL.com experts. See, the prisons, jails, and detention centers enter into contracts with phone providers. They choose the phone company based on the “kickbacks” the provider offers. For instance, if the prison takes in more than $100,000 in calls that month, they will get a commission off of that amount. The reason why so many of these institutions choose GTL is because they are known to give large kickbacks (read: http://www.law360.com/articles/792851/global-tel-link-accused-of-smear-campaign-amid-patent-row) to their customers. However, the ones who have the least are paying the most. The prisons are cashing their checks and the prisoners’ families are scraping together pennies to even hear the voice of their loved one.
They will continue these practices until someone or something stops them. As long as the prison is getting their cut, they see no need for change. The families of those who have been a victim of price gouging need to unite and stop this company. To learn more, watch the YouTube video that discusses the wrong doings of Global Tel Link.