Around Acadiana

Jan 27, 2014 1:42 PM by MELISSA CANONE

BBB alerts consumers to

Better Business Bureau of Acadiana advises caution when dealing with Jail Call Services, operating locally online as

Consumers allege they paid Jail Call Services $70 to enroll in the phone program, but gave up on the service after trying unsuccessfully to use the system to contact a relative incarcerated at prisons.

Many complainants said they tried repeatedly to get the company to refund their money when they couldn't get the phone program to work, but the company refused. Several said the facility's regular phone service provider told them they were blocking prisoners' calls because it was illegal to use the third-party call forwarding system required by the Jail Call Services program. The company has had 207 complaints and failed to respond to 175 of them.

The business has an "F" rating with BBB, the lowest possible. More than 200 customers across the nation have filed complaints against the firm.

Their complete BBB Business review can be found at: .

Offers of big savings on jail or prison calls may sound enticing, but consumers often discover that these companies fail to live up to their promises.

BBB suggests friends and family members of inmates contact jail or prison facilities directly to ask about phone programs.

According to BBB files, one company that was contracting with a jail for phone service told a consumer that she would be criminally prosecuted if she continued to try to use a phone number provided through the Jail Call Services program after she tried to call her incarcerated son.

BBB offers the following tips to avoid being taken by this or similar schemes:

· Start with Trust®. Check out the business with BBB before doing business.
· Contact the jail or prison directly about phone call procedures. The facility usually will have a list of rules to follow when attempting to communicate with persons incarcerated there.
· Be wary of any company that offers to save you money on prison or jail calls. The service may not be compatible with the facility's phone service or may violate facility regulations.
· Pay with a credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge later.
Better Business Bureau works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. For more than 100 years, BBB has helped consumers make smarter buying decisions and is evolving to meet fast-changing marketplace needs.

BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.



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