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Phone calls

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Firefeather
Firefeather's picture
Phone calls

Hi everyone. So as my title states, this subject is regarding phone calls. Me and my pp initially decided to talk on the phone around 6 weeks ago,  the process has been a complete nightmare! He can only alter his phone list twice a year, April and October but the prison in which my pp resides were switiching over to a new system aswel. There has been many delays due to this. I was initially told I needed to send in a phone bill or contract of my phone line, something that had my address and phone number on and for other reasons I dont know. Anyway to cut a long story short it turned out that emailing these documents were fine and would be accepted. I then get an email from the prison stating that they didnt actually need the documnets and that I needed an Advancepay account via connect network gtl, they also sent me some paper work with instructions to do so. So, I make an account online with connectnetworkgtl, recieved the verification link and activated my account...However, I could not log in due to errors. I called the company, twice! which cost me almost £20 for 2, 10 minute calls! On the 2nd call, I was a little agitated from being passed around, given all this info and instructions which were clearly not working for me. Anyhow he kept me on hold on the phone whislt he transferred some information over to another department, I was then told to wait and have some patience lol (quite rude if you ask me). The next day I get told by my pp that he had tried to call me, that my phone was ringing but no with no answer. Well, because I am Uk based, this would have been around 3-4 in the morning and I would have been in dreamland by that point, also I wasnt aware he was going to call. Obviously I am quite blown at this as I hadnt got my gtl account up and running. Any how he also recived a phone schedule for the very 1st time yesterday (he is over joyed) stating that we he can use the phone at the beginning of every month and that he can have up to half hour calls!!  So our first phone call would be tonight (in his time)!!!, I am so nervous. I have no idea how it has been sorted out but I am assuming that for inmates on dr, the whole system works diffrently than the general population. My question is... How does the call get paid for? Do I pay for it ? I am worried because if it does fall on me, it is going to be a lot of money each month. How do you all speak to your  pp's on death row via the phone ?  Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to any replies. xx

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Also I forgot to add that I had to send my phone bill and contract to connectnetworkgtl via the internationalinquries email address including his pin number.

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

Currently I'm in this nightmare of getting a working account with gtl/connect network as well. I don't know which state your pp is in, mine is in California (also on dr) and it turns out that the cost of international calls is very cheap now. They have lowered the cost per minute to $ 0,07 per minute, which would make a 30 minute call cost $ 2,10. Other than that I can't tell you anything, I'm sorry. 

Can you please tell me what fixed the problem with your gtl account?

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

I suddenly realize your pp has email, because he seems to be able to communicate on a daily basis. You are very lucky, that he is allowed that! I have two pp in two different states on DR and neither of them is allowed email. 

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi Carmen,

We have had nothing but a nightmare regarding the call issue. Yes he has Jpay,  I support him with E stamps every fortnight. I dont mind supporting him with E stamps because he posts me beautiful stuff all the time. I have recieved everything from braclets (Cotton), art and a beautiful book and he spends quite a bit of his money doing this, especially considering I am in the UK

Now the phone issue has almost drove me insane. My pp initially told me that he needed a paper copy of my most recent phone bill, the phone bill had to be in my name and registered to my Address, my name and email also had to match the details on the documents. This was an instant issue at the beginning because I did not have a working printer at home so I had to phone the company I use to send me a paper copy, it was a long bank holiday and I was also informed it would take 7-10 days to arrive. I was obviously becoming very stressed right from the onset of this process because I knew and was aware that he only has permission to alter his phone list twice a year, April and October. I believe we started the process in March. I thought, "wow we have plenty of time to sort it out" as I had the rest of March and then April to get it sorted. I couldnt have been more wrong ;( So on top of it being a bank holiday I also had to wait for the bill to arrive, it would have worked out well over 2 weeks. Then I had to get it posted to my inmate in the USA. It would never have reached there in time.

 

The day that the paper bill arrived at my address,(after waiting 2 weeks) I had it all prepared and was just about to go the post office to get it sent when my pp emailed me. He emailed me to say that the prison would be more than happy to recieve digital copies of the bill, I was furious (all that time wasted). However I was still relieved because all I had to do was email it right there and then and it would be instant. So I attached the documents to an email and sent it to the correct facility via their email. I then got a reply from the prison stating they no longer needed the documents and that they were now starting to use a whole new system, that they had a new contract!!! I couldnt believe it, everything seemed to against everything I did and in the mean time also dealing with my pp's frustrations. I was also told by the prison department that I needed an advanced pay account through "connect network GTL". They sent me some digital documents and instructions on how to go about it. They also advised me that "international" calling was permitted and that they had several inmates that used it and called out of the country. What could go wrong? I thought to myself. It sounded so easy to do and sort out.. 

 

Before making my account I read all the instructions and understood that the system worked by adding funds to the inmates phone account. Sounded easy enough and I was prepared to do it. I thought all I had to do was to enter his name, facility and his id number. 

 

I then proceeded to make an account with GTL, recieved the verification code and activated my account. Whilst setting my account up, everything went through seemingly well, considering  I had read about a lot of complaints regarding the drop down list for the UK and several other european countries. A lot of people were stating that there was no option to put in their countries details, they were missing from the menu. I didnt have an issue with this and was able to put in my UK details. Everything seemed to be going smoothly... That is, until I tried to actually activate my account. As soon as I entered the verification code and tried to log in, all I was experiencing was errors "oops, something has gone wrong, please try again later" and it never corrected itself. At first,  I contacted their facebook page "Connect Network GTL" and sent a message regarding my issues, they replied explaining that I had to email internationalinquiries [at] gtl [dot] net and that they would set the account up. Well, after numerous emails from me to them, I heard nothing back. I eventually phoned them for the first time to see what was going on. I was then told by the adviser that my account would not be permitted without the relevant documentation! I was to send my phone bills and phone contract to them!! I also needed a special pin number, this pin number should have been allocated to the inmate and it is their personal phone ID. I could not believe this was happening! 

After explaining everthing to my pp, he was finally given a pin number which he sent to me. The whole process took almost a month to sort out at this point. So I finally had all the information and documents to send to the international inquiry email address, which I then did. Did not hear back for days so I sent them another email. All in all I sent around 5 emails with no reply. I ended up ringing the company again, by this point I was extremelly agitated! I explained to the adviser that I had sent all the relevant info including the pin number and had still not heard anything. He then put me on hold whilst he transferred my details over to another department (I dont know where). At the end of the call the adviser asked me to have patience and just wait!

 

To my utter suprise,  and I have no explanation or knowledge on how but my pp informed me that he had called that same evening (his time). He said my phone line was just ringing with no answer. Well I am in the UK so it would have been around 3-4 in the morning, I was fast asleep and totally unaware that he was going to call. He was then given a phone schedule for the very first time explaining times with his new list of numbers. He has got permission to call me again this evening between 6-9pm his time. So tonight will be our very first call to each other! I am just hoping that nothing else goes wrong, we will both be so upset. The only thing that I can think of that may have pushed it through, is having his private pin numberr? and all the documents.

I am totally confused as to how it all works because I havent been asked to add any funds to an account, I cant even log into my account and he can only make calls once a month, so it is completley different in terms of rules as to what they say on the GTL website. I think the red tape is alot more for inmates of death row, there is a lot of hoops to jump through but I think that pin number is key. He is permitted a 30 minute call but I have no idea who pays for it. 

The only thing I can advise is speaking with them on the phone (its expensive ). I definitly recommend you contacting the death row department in which your pp resides and ask how you are supposed to go about it. Also ask if your inmate if has a special phone pin.

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

have you tried signing up with GTL using an american address and zipcode? i had the same problems it will let you sign up with a UK address but wont let you log in after x

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

but i figured out how to do it all, if you need help let me know x

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi Kwhitt93,

If you could offer any help I would be most, MOST grateful and I thank you in advance. I am getting so frustrated with the whole process and all though I am doing my very best to sort it out, my pp gets stressed too. I cannot understand how my pp has already called me a few days ago (i missed the call) and plans to call me this evening (his time) if there are no funds in the account. I have just tried to call them again to try and add funds via phone but it just isnt working ;( xx

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

So he will still be able to call you even if there is no funds on the account, just if you was to answer his call it wouldnt give you the option to accept if would give you the option to adds funds to the account instead, the way i add funds to the account is call the number he calls you on and theres an automated service you can follow from there to add money, you are in the Uk too right? gtl makes it so difficult for us here lol, also do you use an american number?xx

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi Kwhitt,

Well apparantly he did call last night, he said it was ringing and ringing but I never answered. The issue is I never answered because I did not hear the ringer my end. Its caused all sorts of issues, hes very annoyed now and wishes me to leave him alone and delete him ;( Stating he is fed up of the issues and the free world ;(  I use my landline and my UK number, I dont have an American number. Also when I try see last caller it hasnt registered so I have no idea on the number he called on ;(. Its just all one big mess and I am not even sure if he meant what he said or it was out of anger but I might not even hear from him again.

Thank you for your help

XX

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi Kwhitt,

Well apparantly he did call last night, he said it was ringing and ringing but I never answered. The issue is I never answered because I did not hear the ringer my end. Its caused all sorts of issues, hes very annoyed now and wishes me to leave him alone and delete him ;( Stating he is fed up of the issues and the free world ;(  I use my landline and my UK number, I dont have an American number. Also when I try see last caller it hasnt registered so I have no idea on the number he called on ;(. Its just all one big mess and I am not even sure if he meant what he said or it was out of anger but I might not even hear from him again.

Thank you for your help

XX

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

yeah maybe thats the problem, if you are using your Uk numbers, you can download apps like text plus, talkatone, or skype to get an american number which is much easier and cheaper for you too, if you get a phone number with an area code where he is at. Hopefully he didnt mean what he said and is just frustrated with the situation because that would be a shame. no worries if you need anymore help with anything let me know xx

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi again,

How does it work? Would I have to make a new gtl account? Because my pp is on death row he only has the option to change his number list twice a year, April and October, he has different rules I think. They have way less priveledges. How would a US number connect to my land line address in the Uk? It sounds really technical which I am not the best at.

XX

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

Hi, so there are apps you can download onto your phone which allow you to choose an international number, whoch you can then give to your PP, so when your PP calls they will come through on the app you use, thats what i do as its cheaper, and you dont connect it to your landline, its totally separate xx

Kwhitt93
Kwhitt93's picture

are you able to log into your gtl account at the moment?xx

Carmen163
Carmen163's picture

Dear Firefeather, it looks like your pp is currently in the same mood as I am, I am utterly fed up with the whole phone situation. It's just awful to feel so dependent on a company that clearly doesn't give a f***. I am considering writing an email to their CEO, Deb Anderson (deb [dot] anderson [at] gtl [dot] com), or to another big shot manager. I mean, it can't be true in this day and age that it's not possiblt to make a phone call from A to B. 

I am very sorry your pp could not get through. But don't worry; I am sure he'll just need some to time to cool off. And girl, you have this wonderful way to communicate through email with your pp. My pp in California will be transferred to jail in a couple of months, since his sentence is overturned, so maybe we can phone then. Or at least email, that would be a big improvement. 

Thank you for your lenghty explanation, I really appreciate it. It just annoys me so much to hear they never had the decency to return your emails and than had the #*&)!! dare to tell you to be patient! I hope your pp will email you tomorrow and that he will appriciate all the hard work you've done. 

Firefeather
Firefeather's picture

Hi Carmen,

Yes he was very upset which caused a lot of anger and I guess he took it out on me. I am not angry with him, I totally understand how he must be feeling. He had been looking forward to our call very much and he was over joyed when he knew it was a 30 minute call. I was also feeling excited although nervous at the same time. I cant understand why international calls are such a problem, there are so, SO many people in various countries needing to use the service and not just pp's but family members too ;(.

I have still not heard anything from him, I am giving him his space and not crossing his boundaries. Usually when he says something, he usually means it, I know what he's like, he can be very stubborn. I have checked my Jpay account and it doesnt appear that he has blocked me but I dont know how it all works their end.

Yes, Jpay has some very good advantages but it is not with its issues and technical bugs. Usually when he snail mails me stuff, its usually around 10 days in which I will recieve it. I really do feel for you too, I can understand the frustration, I really hope and pray that something can get sorted for you too even if it is an email function for the time being. Fingers crossed for you and your pp.

Thank you for your kind words, I do appreciate it very much

XXX