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International calling

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LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture
International calling

Hi. Hoping someone can help me. Me and my pen pal have decided we would like to speak on the phone. I'm in the United Kingdom and he's in California. My mobile phone provider does not have a collect call option so I signed up for global tel. I have given my pen pal the unique number to call but he says that it won't even let him finish dialling. We are using the dialling code 01144 in front of my number.
Ive noticed that the global tel website states that you need to register the number with my pen pals facility. Does anyone know how I do this or is there a better option for collect calls to the UK?

Thanks.

CLW
CLW's picture

Hi,

You need prepaid collect to receive calls from CDCR. They use GTL (ConnectNetwork) so if the option you have is not working, you could set up a prepaid account there.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

Thanks for getting back to me. My problem now is that I can't top up the advance pay because I'm international. So frustrating :(

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

You will have to email GTL and go through the process their international department is terrible so be prepared for a long wait to get anything done.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

Yeah ive noticed. With global tel, I've been given a unique number to pass to my pen pal but do I have to give him the country code too? So my country code is 0114, would i just put that in front of my unique number or do I have to take away the first 1 from the unique number.

Also, I have paid $45.99. Does that count as credit? Or do I have to deposit more money in the advance pay on connect network?

Sorry for so many questions. Just want this sorted and no one gets back to me when I contact them.

Thanks.

FrankieBones
FrankieBones's picture

GTL have stopped responding to people overseas in any other way except by email. I would imagine that $45.99 includes some credit. I would also imagine the number that they give you is the number that you have to give to your penpal to add to their list of phone numbers. I'm not sure whether its a local or international number though. If its local they shouldn't have to add anything. If its your international number then they will have to add your international number which is preceded by the internation dial out code, in America thats 011 followed by your country code which is 44 (I'm guessing for the UK) and then whatever your local number is.

 

There may be some trick to this. If you're calling a mobile/cell phone in Australia you have to drop the 0 off the front for instance my number might be 0418 424 368 but to dial it from overseas my number would be 418 424 368 (not my actual number but you get the point.)

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

Thanks alot for your help Frankie. I'll try all of the above.

mollymermaid
mollymermaid's picture

You have to write an email to AdvancePayInternational [at] gtl [dot] net telling them who you are, who your inmate pen pal is, the phone number you have the account under, your address, etc. etc. I'm having the same issues trying to call an inmate in Ohio while I live in Belize. Grrrrrr .....

Mateo
Mateo's picture

Yeah I'm having the same problem with trying to phone call with my Californian pal while I'm in UK. I told him just wait till I'm in California again and I'll buy a cheap phone or get a Area code number while I'm there... because all of this is too much hassle for something that should be so simple.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

I've managed to figure it out if you'd like me to help you. It's not all that difficult. I just thought it was initially bevayse I had no clue where to start. Only thing is when you want to add credit to allow your pen pal to call you, you have to transfer money via western union or through your bank which takes a while.

Mateo
Mateo's picture

I think for now I will be fine to wait, and he is fine too (His phone time is restricted and he has others to call). I'm visiting him for my first time later this year so I can discuss it all with him then. But yes, definitely, I'll be coming back here looking for help when I'm back in England so I will keep you in mind!

Izzers
Izzers's picture

The quickest way to solve this..altho not necessarily the cheapest is to rent a number local to the prison off skype..then jpay your person some money to buy a pre paid card...my guy in AZ calls twice a week..it cost him...well..me....about 6 dollars a week for 2x 15 min phone calls

Bergometti
Bergometti's picture

Hello, could you explain me please this procedure if I understand right. I am from Switzerland and I correspond with a pen pal in Ohio and I would like to phone him. I could ask my pen pal to rent a number local to the prison and send him money through jpay with prepaid card ? would it be possible ?

 

 

 

Northernyank
Northernyank's picture

Your pen-pal can't actually rent the number, you have to via skype.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

I got a 'local' number from global tel which makes the calls cheaper. You then have to email the advance pay International team to set register your details with your penpals facility. They will confirm once your account is set up and you then have to bank transfer money to them or send money via western union to add credit to the number you have registered. Give your penpals the global tel number once the credit has been applied then he should be able to call you.

Thats how it is for california anyway. They can only make collect calls. There could be a different option for ohio. Check on his/her facilities website.

Bergometti
Bergometti's picture

Thank you

LadyDay
LadyDay's picture

Hi guys.

Hope it's okay I hijack the thread.

I think I have the AdvancePay account set up, simply via connectnetwork using a Skype generated American phone number. Now comes the problem. I can't add money via a credit card since it takes am American card, with an American billing zip code. How do I put money on via Western Union or bank transfer instead? I could really use a detailed, easy to understand explanation :D

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

First dial 011, the U.S. exit code. Next dial 44, the country code for the U.K. Then the area code (2–5 digits). And finally the phone number (4–8 digits; area code plus phone number equals 10 digits).
You may need to drop a number like the 0.

LadyDay
LadyDay's picture

Thank you, but the problem isn't how he calls me, he already has and can call me, because his mother put some money on his account. The problem is how I put money on his account? 

By the way, I'm not in the U.K., but in Denmark. Not that that makes a difference.

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

Gtl does not accept international payments to an advance pay account.
If you wish to add money to your PP phone account you would need to select his phone fund if gtl gives you that option.
Otherwise send the money to the inmate to purchase phone time at commissary.

The only way to use an advance pay account with gtl would be to acquire a Skype phone number local to his State.

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

Oops sorry LadyDay I didn't read your other post.
But asking your PP to use the funds you send to purchase phone time is the easiest option.
You can try including all your address in the fields that you can enter information for if you wish to try gtl advance pay using a European card and address information. Leaving the state as the one your PP in and the country if it doesn't give you an option can be left as USA (you just need to ensure your full address is elsewhere for your bank to authorise payment, its a hit n miss)
Be aware however, that if you need gtl to reimburse you for anything they will block your card. I can no longer purchase through gtl. Not even adding to phone fund. My PP purchases phone time through his commissary.

Life is a pain sometimes.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

I just popped into my local western union with the details that advance pay requested via email. It took maybe a week for them to confirm that the funds were. There's a £10 charge from western union and also advance pay will deduct $3.00 from whatever you transfer to them. My PP is in California and the only option for him to call me is through connect network. He doesn't have the option to get a calling card. How did you get the American number through Skype? I have a global tel number and when advance pay questioned me about the country code, I stupidly told them I didn't need the country code in front of the number bevayse its a global tel number and now they won't accept my account. I've been trying to set this up for 6 weeks!! Would be good to hear how you get on LadyDay and any tips would be appreciated :) x

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

https://www.skype.com/en/features/online-number/
Basically its a skype business number. Easy registration and payment.
Your inmate will need to add this Skype number to his phone list. The next problem comes from the facility because they will know your already an international penpal/friend. I think my penpal added my Skype number with his family/friends address. They don't check this. However before you do anything ask your inmate if they are OK doing this.
Once the phone number is approved at the facility use the account you have already set up with gtl to add your number to.
Paying for calls; like I said this doesn't solve payment issues of using gtl. Gtl is the company you will still need to deal with.
When you say that your inmate can not use a calling card or purchase one. Are you saying he can not add funds to his own phone fund/account. If this is the case then you will need to continue to use western union.
Which facility is he with so I can have a look and get the full picture.

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

Hhhmmmm I dont phone my californian PP. I see they only have two option advance pay or call collect.
Is it the call collect option your inmate can not access?
I hope you both get sorted. Its expensive.

LadyDay
LadyDay's picture

Wow, what a lot of answers, thank you guys!

KateAndrews: My PP is in Kern Valley State Prison (California). I assume he would have told me if he could purchase phone time from his spending account, but I'll ask him anyway. Maybe he doesn't know that I can easily transfer him money. It would be easy, and comparatively cheap, to send him money via Jpay. His lovely mom has put some money on for us so far, and we've had a call, so my Skype number must have been approved. 

If just putting his zip code with my card info works that might be a good cheat. As long as it doesn't get me in trouble. I've registered my full address and country in the profile. It is indeed a pain sometimes! And you're right, it is terribly expensive! $3 for 15 minutes! Daylight robbery! I forgot what the reason was that he can't call collect. He tried once and it didn't go through. I think they may also have requested an American zip code when I tried to put in my card info. My memory is shit (Disease. Long story.). I'm sure we'll get it sorted somehow. I'm stubborn and his mother is on the case too (she's the sweetest thing and so happy I've come into their lives). 

GoldieLocks: I've e-mailed gtl to ask how to pay from outside the US, so hopefully they'll give me some information that I can use for paying via Western Union. If nothing else works. W.U. is so expensive! And the calling is already painfully expensive in itself! To get an American phone number I used this: http://secure.skype.com/my/skype-number/ He calls the number and I answer via Skype on my phone. 

 

 

 

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

KateAndrews. My PP is in corcoran substance abuse facility. The only way they can call is collect (which mobile numbers in the UK can't do) or by advance pay. I got a gtl number and registered it with advance pay incorrectly. I thought I would need to put the country code 01144 in front of my gtl number but I don't. So when I contacted advance pay to remove the 01144 they questioned it because I'm international. When I told them its gtl number, they told me I can't do that. I've already transferred a substantial amount of money to the account and now they have stopped replying to me.... I think I am entitled to a refund but I can't get hold of anyone. Feel like I'll never get to speak to my PP at this rate.

LizRoberts
LizRoberts's picture

LadyDay. You pay $35 every 3 months for a gtl number but from what I hear, it saves alot of money so its worth it in the long run. That's cool you got it sorted :)

LadyDay
LadyDay's picture

I pay about $8 per month, so the Skype solution is a bit cheaper. Plus, it's a company I'd rather give money to than GTL! It is so frustrating that you don't hear back from them! I hope you get to talk to your guy soon.

Nicjo
Nicjo's picture

I downloaded an app called Flyp it allows you to get an American number close to their area code, then set up GTL, it works for me perfectly fine and my partner is in Michigan im in UK 

BunnyJ
BunnyJ's picture

My PP is also in Corcoran SAFT and I'm hoping that he will be able to call collect to my landline which has an international calls bundle on it.
I Did get a 559 number through Skype but the whole GTL adding money hassle is putting me off.So fingers crossed for the landline....