Why do I have to use Pay Tel?

Does Pay Tel provide inmate phone service at my local jail?

How can I get a rate quote?

Why must I set up an account with a PIN to get answers?

What if I forgot my PIN?

How do I find out why a number is blocked and how to unblock a number?

What is the most economical way to open an account quickly?

How can I make a payment?

How can I find out when a number is unblocked?

Can I bypass the introductory messages when I receive calls after I have opened an account?

How do I block my number?

Why are calls blocked?

Why are some calls disconnected?

Why collect calls?

How does the inmate phone system work?

How are calls billed?

Are There Any Additional Fees?

Why are Collect Calls more expensive?

The Theft of Telecommunications Service is a Crime


PAY-TEL only bills calls that have been "positively accepted " by the called party. This means when you receive a call from a confinement facility, you will first hear a recorded announcement explaining that the call is from a confinement facility and the caller's name. After you accept the call you will then be notified that calls will be recorded and may be monitored. When you accept a collect call you are agreeing to pay the charges for the call. A billing record is only created if you press the number "3" to positively accept the call.

Calls will only appear on your telephone bill if someone positively accepts the call. Calls cannot be accepted by an answering machine. If you do not remember the calls, please check with anyone with access to your phone to determine who may have accepted the calls. If you would like to e-mail a question about your bill to a Customer Service Representative you can click here or call 1-800-729-8355 press 1 for English (2 for Spanish), press 1 again to enter your ten digit phone number and follow voice prompts.

In most areas, billing for "positively accepted" calls will first appear on your local phone bill. The amount of collect calls billed through you local telephone company is subject to different calling limits established with each telephone company. This limit applies per household, not per person.

In some cases your local telephone company or wireless carrier has refused to bill inmate calls. If your local phone service is with one of these carriers, PAY-TEL's Customer Service Department is prepared to assist you in establishing an account directly with us.

PAY-TEL has two options to establish an account. First, is our Prepaid Account with no credit check. Prepaid Account options on the Payment Options Page.

Second, is our Direct Bill Account for customers who submit a credit application and receive a satisfactory Beacon Credit Score.

You can open an account online by clicking below or you can call the Automated Payment Hotline at 1(800) 729-8355, 24 hours a day. You can make a payment with Visa, MasterCard, Check/Debit Card or Check. Click here to open an account.

When you open a Prepaid Account your service will not be interrupted as long as there are prepaid funds in your account. With a Direct Bill Account your service will not be interrupted as long as you pay your weekly invoices on time and keep your outstanding charges under your credit limit.

You can check your account balance 24 hours a day on our Website or by calling 1-800-729-8355. Click here for information on checking your balance.

Once you open a PAY-TEL Account, no additional charges will be billed on your local telephone bill. Any calls accepted prior to opening your PAY-TEL account will be billed on your local telephone company bill and must be paid on time to continue service with PAY-TEL.

If PAY-TEL receives notification from your local telephone company of an outstanding balance on your local phone bill for PAY-TEL calls, your PAY-TEL Account calling privileges may be suspended until the outstanding balance is paid. In addition, PAY-TEL reserves the right to use the money placed in a Prepaid Account to satisfy past due charges billed through your local telephone company.

Once you have set up a Prepaid Account or a Direct Bill Account it is a permanent decision. We have found in the past that allowing customers to switch back and forth from a PAY-TEL Account to their local telephone company creates significant customer confusion with the billing.

PAY-TEL Communications, Inc. reserves the right without notice to its customers and in its sole discretion to modify or amend any or all of its policies.

The theft of telecommunications services is a crime. PAY-TEL Communications, Inc. reserves the right to block calls to persons that do not pay for services and to prosecute individuals that attempt to steal such services.


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