Frequently Asked Questions
InmateAid is able to provide you with a new number that will allow your loved ones to speak with you at a lower rate than if they called your number directly. Most often prison phone companies charge very high calling rates unless your phone number is located where they have the lowest calling rates. We get you a new number that provides the lowest calling rates from the prison phone company - you still have to sign up with them and pay them for the local call.
Often that is a new number that is local to the prison, but sometimes the long distance rate is less expensive than the local rate. Either way, we get you the best rate possible. When the inmate calls the new number, we automatically connect that call to your permanent phone number.
InmateAid provide local or long distance telephone numbers only; this means your inmate will be placing a call through the prison phone company to a number with the best rate and you will avoid paying crazy telephone rates - savings that are only possible by having a new number that gets you the lowest rate possible.
NO. InmateAid only provides a local number that is forwarded to your current phone line. It can be a cell number or a landline. The rates being charged by the phone companies working with the prisons are unbelievably high. The only way to beat them is to have an InmateAID line so that the cost per call is at the lowest per-minute rate the prison phone company offers.
Regardless of the outbound calling format (whether GlobalTel, IC Solutions or other prison phone company), you have to fund the prison account for the inmate to call out. However, it is often cheaper for an inmate to call an InmateAID number than your existing. We are simply providing a NEW NUMBER to get you the cheapest rate from the prison phone company. We are not replacing the prison telephone service provider.
If I have an existing account with Global Tel Link, IC Solutions or other prison phone companies where I have to pay them first, will I have to pay them again to use your number?
The number that you opened the first account with is for your original number. When your inmate calls from the prison or jail, the time of the call is charged at the existing rate. When you get a NEW number from InmateAid, you will have to establish a new account with the service. You are going to be paying a substantially lower rate with this NEW line than with your original line.
Since you are pre-paying the prison phone service for your inmate (i.e. IC Solutions, Global Tel Link, PayTel), you may have to treat this new number as a NEW ACCOUNT with them as they often will not allow you to move money from the old number to the new number.
The savings vary from each state and even from facility to facility. They are determined by how much the prison phone provider charges for long distance telephone calls. The savings can be as much as 90% but are typically less than that.
Yes, InmateAid can help you if your loved one is in a county or local jail and can provide you with a new InmateAID number in most cases. Prison phone company rates vary from facility to facility. Sometimes a local line is cheaapest and other times a long distance line is cheapest. Using the InmateAID number can help you save up to 70% on each jail call.
Many people assume if the area codes are the same as the jail facilities the call will be local but quite often the call will be considered long distance. We take the guesswork out of the situation and get you the cheapest rate possible.
What if we get the line and shortly thereafter my inmate gets released, are there any refunds for the unused minutes?
InmateAid does not own the lines. We pay for them when you order them and the phone company has a No Refund Policy. The phone line is the commodity, not the minutes used. The minutes do not rollover to the next month, either. The term you select is the term the line "rental" is good for. Please make sure you understand, once the line is issued to you, there are No Refunds.
Prison phone companies don't block all lines, they do so in cases where the savings are the greatest. When they block you from paying $1.65 per call (with our numbers) instead of $12.85 for your current number it is for obvious reasons. You are entitled to procure local lines to save money, the government is not opposed, nor are the prisons, jails and detention centers. Only certain prison phone companies don't like it.
There are no restrictions in the United States using ANY telephone number you choose. The telephone lines were deregulated in 1969. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website endorses "Low Cost Inmate Call Routing Services" after denying a petition brought by Securus Technologies®, for blocking lines - now blocking is against federal law. We know certain prison phone companies occasionally still block lines. If that ever happens with an InmateAid number we will replace the blocked number for you at no charge.
InmateAid's longtime policy has been to replace phone numbers on active accounts at NO CHARGE, no matter the reason. If your inmate gets transferred, email us the new location and we will have a new number for you, usually within an hour of your request. If the line gets blocked, we replace the number, no questions and no cost.
There is a fee for overage minutes that is billed at $0.089/minute. We send invoices in increments of overage amounts that require collection by the utility. If we do not get remittance we will charge the card on file - if the card is declined the telephone company temporarily suspends the service until payment is made. Invoices and Payments are located in your My Account area when you login to your account. Reinstatement is immediate.
If you have accrued an overage charge, sometimes the better option is to switch to the Quarterly Plan which means you pay for three consecutive months and get the 1000 minute/month plan. We will make allowances where you may use the overage amount paid in that month to upgrade your plan, effectively erasing the overage fee.
You would normally be charged $19.95 on the 28th of each month under the Monthly Plan; upgrading plans using the overage fee paid in will bring you the additional minutes needed to avoid overages going forward. You would pay for two more month at $39.90 ($19.95 x 2), but increasing the minutes in the month you're in by 700 additional. Under this option you would not have another payment due on the plan for the next three forward months ($59.85 due at the next Q-Plan billing).
Why are some local calls more expensive than long distance calls through certain prison phone companies?
Certain prison phone companies have been charging local numbers $12-15 per call and the long distance calls are about $3.00 per call. It is clearly a move that is aimed at confusing people who look to "Low-Cost Routing Services" to save money. This is not in all cases but we are seeing it in about half the cases. When the discounts are reversed, we simply get long distance numbers for people who are local.
Certain prison phone companies websites have Rate Calculators that you could use to see what the calls cost before signing up with us or them.
Our service is selling a utility from an outside company licensed to issue phone lines. The telephone line is the commodity, not the usage of minutes and it's cost is a fixed amount to InmateAid upon activation. Our provider has made it clear that the numbers they issue to our Members are non-transferrable and unusable by them upon deactivation.
Therefore, our service is a no-contract, month-to-month service for as long as you need the savings. If we get you a line on Monday and the inmate is released on Tuesday and no calls took place there are still no refunds, We pay for the line from your order and it will remain active until the end of the term you select. Once the number is issued and activated, the utility cannot resell this line to another citizen - by federal law. It must be quarantined for many months and it becomes dormant.
Why do the services like Global Tel Link or other prison phone companies tell us your service is a scam?
Simple, we are the only way around the system that they operate to maximize the most profit from people forced to use their service. There is no other alternative. To beat their exorbitant call rates, you need a line that provides for the lowest calling rates. If your line is already receiving the lowest rates, we may NOT be able to save you money. Many prison phone companies have rate calculators on their website. You can see exactly what the prison calls will cost utilizing your current phone number versus either a new local or long distance number. You can read what the government has to say about this service: FCC endorses "Low Cost Call Routing Service" in an effort to save you money
Yes, InmateAID just announced a new phone service for Federal Inmates for only $5.00 per month! InmateAid can help if your loved one is in a federal prison and can provide you with local numbers in most cases. Local calls from ALL federal prisons are 6 cents per minute. Long distance call cost 21 cents per minute. The inmates are allowed 300 minutes per month; the difference to the calling account is $18 for local calls versus $63 - $300 for long distances. The $5.00 fee InmateAid charges for the local line still save you $45 per month based on 300 minutes. That equates to a savings of $540 per year!
People that speak to their inmate more than once per week are our most satisfied user. High volume callers are saving hundreds of dollars per month. You have to justify getting the number from us with the savings. Only you know how much you talk, and more importantly how much you WANT to talk.
By using an InmateAid number, you are lowering the price of the call. You can talk longer for a lot less money! Prisons contract with only one prison phone company to provide outbound inmate calling services for each prison, jail or detention center. The prison phone company has no competition. We don't replace the prison phone company, we are simply providing a number that makes their call price less (based solely on the telephone number). People that come to InmateAid are already getting gouged, they are looking for a better option.
You have to use the prison phone company regardless. We use call-forwarding to help you get around different rates for local or long distance calling. We provide you with a number that gets you the lowest rate possible for each call. For people that speak to their inmate every day, the savings per month can exceed well over $100.00.
Some companies have a Rate Calculator on their site. You may use these links to check their current calling rates:
*WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE LISTED PRISON PHONE COMPANIES IN ANY WAY.
Remember, InmateAid is not replacing the phone service at the jail or prison; we are using call-forwarding numbers so you receive calls from your inmate at the cheapest published rate, legally. You are going to pay the company that has the contract for all inmate calls. In 75% of the cases, a different phone number makes a world of difference in the price. We find the best option for savings, your inmate dials the new number, and the calls ring on your existing cell or home number. It's that simple.
Do the math. You are looking into this because the calls are really expensive. If the InmateAid number saves $5.00 per call, it doesn't take long to have the price difference pay for your InmateAID number. If you talk to your inmate every day for a month, you save $5.00 x 30 days or $150.00 in real savings. This explains why our customers love paying two companies.
For Federal Bureau of Prison phone customers, the recurring occurs monthly on the same day as your original purchase. You can cancel anytime by logging into your member area and selecting to cancel the recurring charge.
For all non-Federal phone customers, the recurring charge occurs on the 28th of every month. This is payment for the next month's service. All lines are paid for at the utility electronically on the first of every month. Both the company and the member have a 2-3 day window where we can square their business for the month. Accounts where the card on file is declined, the service is suspended. An invoice is emailed to be paid at your convenience - line activated immediately upon payment. If you get charged and do not want the service in the next month we will cancel the service going forward and refund the $19.95. Once the service is activated into the next month we cannot offer a refund. If you would like to cancel, you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you a return email acknowledging your request. This serves as your receipt that there will be no further charges to your account.
No Question... Just another note to say that my fiance and I are grateful for your service! Blessings to you!
i just got your email explaining everything to me, so i understand it now. Thanks I will definitely give a good word about you guys!!
I hope you remember me and remember all of the problems my daughter, we were having with Securus Tech. I have been meaning to let you know the outcome. I was able to go to Tucson for a visit. While we were there, we talked to an inmate and his wife and they gave us advice on how they avoid issues. We now put money on his account to buy a prepaid phone card. He calls the local Tucson numbers we have through you. This way, we bypass Securus Tech and all of the problems and add-on fee for depositing money. The calls cost the same (only $1.84 per call). We have closed the accounts with Securus Tech and they did give us refunds. Since he has been using the prepaid phone cards, we have not had one problem. Thanks for all of your help. It is appreciated!
Thank you very much for your help. He is in a State System. I am very happy that I found your site. Thank you for every thing that you do for our Inmates and our families.
I got the discount # for my inmate to call. When I spoke to you guys I wasn't sure about the service. I cancelled the auto pay on the number. How do I reinstate this auto pay? The service is awesome. BIG money saver.
Please discontinue my phone service on both the Mom and Steve lines, as my son is out of captivity. I have appreciated your help during the time my son was in jail, and your phone service did, indeed save our family money and enable us to talk much more frequently than we could have with GTL long distance. That led to our inmate being less stressed and more optimistic in a difficult situation. Thanks again. Sarah T
Hello. In need to cancel my Discount Telephone as my inmate is being released today! Please advise what I need to do in order to cancel. By the way, this service was WONDERFUL. Saved lots of $$. Thank you very much. You guys were awesome.
Two days ago I wrote a letter on this website to ask a question about the long distance discount telephone service. I would like to say that the response time was very quick, within minutes. It wasn't just an email either it was a phone call answering my question. Thank you very much. It is greatly appreciated. It isn't always easy for loved ones of an inmate to deal with the anxiety and difficulties of their loved ones being away. Also phone companies definitely capitalize on the situation. Even though the loved ones didn't commit a crime they are stuck paying all these high prices and having unanswered questions. Thank you Inmate Aid for helping to ease those anxieties and help the loved ones of inmates out!
Your site is a godsend. It has so much information in one place. Thank you, thank you.
Man you have wonderful customer service thank you very very much and I have liked you already on Facebook!! I have spread the word on Michael's FB page about you too so Have a Wonderful Weekend and again THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Saving money on inmate calls has never been easier. Checkout our how-to video below.
An inmateAid user just bought a new discount phone line for KY DOC - Bell County Forestry Camp (BCCF).
Savings are $1.76 per 15-min call.