Frequently Asked Questions

What if I forgot my PIN?

You have two choices:

Create a New PIN using Website:  If your account was established on Pay Tel’s website and you provided an answer to a Security Question, you may visit and follow the “Forgot Your Pin” instructions on the Customer Log-In page. When the requested information is provided, you will then be able to enter a new PIN.

Create a New PIN with Proof of Identity:  If you forget your PIN and your account was not set up on Pay Tel’s website, a new PIN will need to be created. To create a new PIN, you must fax or mail a copy of your driver’s license and a copy of your most recent telephone bill showing you are the responsible party for the telephone account. Also, you must include with the fax or mailed copy the six-digit PIN you wish to use.

The PIN requirement is a federal requirement to protect your personal information.

Fax No. 1-800-776-8423 or mail to:  Pay Tel Communications, Inc., PO Box 19290, Greensboro, NC  27419.

Why are some calls disconnected?

Calls may be disconnected if any of the following activities occur during a call.

  • Stop talking without hanging up.
  • Attempts to make a 3-way call.
  • Attempt to answer Call Waiting.
  • Attempt to put a call on hold.
  • Attempt to transfer a call.
  • Use of a cordless phone (static).
  • Use of a wireless phone (dropped cell tower or static).


  • If you are currently using a cell phone to receive calls and have had problems with calls dropping, please check your land-line number to verify you are having the same problem. If the problem exists with your land-line, please contact us for assistance. Please include your number, the date and approximate time of the calls where there was a problem. We will investigate including listening to available recordings of calls. 
  • If a problem is confirmed with calls to a regular phone land-line, you will be notified by email or phone and a credit will be issued to your account.
  • Pay Tel does not accept responsibility for dropped wireless phone calls and does not provide credits for dropped calls to wireless phones.

Are there any additional fees?

Pay Tel makes every effort to keep fees at a minimum. The following describes the types of fees which may apply:


In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress set up the Universal Service Fund to insure that the rates of rural telephone companies would remain affordable to all customers. All telephone companies including Pay Tel Communications are required to collect fees for various universal service funds that support phone service to schools, libraries, health care facilities and residential customers in rural areas where the cost of providing telephone service is very high.

The  Universal Service Fees (“USF”) on your phone bill are regulated by federal and state law. The USF is based on a specific percentage of the cost of the calls set by the federal government for interstate calls and set by state government for intra-state calls. The USF will only be assessed on applicable call charges and does not include any Pay Tel imposed mark-up or additive. 


A monthly Bill Processing Fee may be applied to the Pay Tel charges included in a customer’s local telephone bill each month when collect calls from a confinement facility are billed. The Bill Processing Fee is a monthly charge to help recover the direct expenses incurred by Pay Tel to bill, collect, and remit the various regulated and governmental-mandated fees. A maximum fee of $2.45 is applicable in states where permitted.

A monthly Bill Processing Fee may also be assessed to customers who open a Pay Tel Prepaid or Direct Bill Account to cover the cost of billing, collecting, and remitting the various regulated and governmental-mandated fees. For Pay Tel Prepaid and Direct Bill Accounts the Bill Processing Fee will be assessed once per month and will be listed on the monthly account statement.

For information on opening a Pay Tel Account, click here.


When making a payment on an account, you will be charged a Payment Processing Fee by the third party payment processor of the various payment options; Western Union® Quick Collect® as little as $5.00 for a payment of $50 or less (Western Union® charges higher fees for larger payments, see the Payment Methods page for more information), MoneyGram® $5.65 (Wal-Mart Stores), Automated Payment Hotline $3.00, Website $3.00 and Live Payment Center $5.95. To avoid the payment processing fee, you can mail payments (check or money order) directly to Pay Tel. Please be sure to mail your payment 2-3 days before your account is out of funds so you will not have any interruption in services.

How do I request a refund?

A customer is entitled to a refund for any unused funds remaining at the time the account is closed. A written request for a refund must indicate that a customer desires to close his or her account. Please include your name, address and phone number with area code, PIN, and your method of payment.

Refunds will be made in the same manner as we received your payments. Example: Credit Card or Debit Card payments will be credited back to your card; Western Union®, MoneyGram® and any payments received through the mail will be refunded by a Pay Tel check.

All refund requests must be submitted in writing.

Online Request Refund Form

Download Printable Request Refund Form

Please send your written request for refunds to: 

Pay Tel Communications, Inc.
Attn: Refund Request
PO Box 19290
Greensboro , NC 27419

 Refunds are processed within ten to fifteen business days. There is never a charge for a refund.

How can I speak with a Customer Service Representative?

When calling our 1-800-729-8355 for assistance, please follow the voice prompts to speak with a Customer Service Representative Monday – Friday 8 AM – 9 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Please note that Customer Service Representatives will not have any more current information than what is available to you through the Automated Customer Service Phone System.


How do I block my number?

If you would like to stop collect calls from a Pay Tel jail facility from coming into your home, please call 1-800-729-8355, press 1 for English (2 for Spanish), then press 2 and follow the voice prompts to place a block on your number. Pay Tel does not charge a fee for blocking your number from the facility.



Why are calls blocked?

To verify why your phone number is blocked you can call 1-800-729-8355, press 1 for English (2 for Spanish), enter your ten digit phone number.


The wireless telephone company you have chosen does not provide billing for collect calls. To receive future calls at this phone number you will need to open an account directly with Pay Tel. Click here to open an account.




Will I get an account statement?

  • Yes, Pay Tel makes account statements available on our website.
  • To receive a  statement through the mail or review it on the web, you must first complete an account application on our website.
  • Prepaid Account Statements are posted on our website or mailed monthly showing your call activity, costs as well as payments received and your account balance.
  • Direct Bill Account Statements are posted on our website or mailed bi-monthly showing your call activity and costs as well as payments received and your balance due.
  • Remember – if you opened your account using our Automated Payment Hotline, we do not have your address, so you will need to visit our website to complete an account application or call customer service at 1-800-729-8355.

How do I receive funds that are left on an account after six months?


  • Obligations of Customer
  • Account Notification
  • Balance Transfer
  • Prepaid Phone Card
  • Refund
  • Proof of Identity

Obligations of Customer: You must agree to notify Pay Tel of changes in your contact information, including email address, phone number, and mailing address. In particular, you must agree to notify Pay Tel if you no longer subscribe to the telephone number upon which your Pay Tel Prepaid Account is based. You understand and acknowledge that if you do not inform Pay Tel of changes to your contact information, Pay Tel may be unable to locate you and notify you of account status or changes.

Account Notification: In the event that your Prepaid Account has had no activity for a period of not less than three (3) months, Pay Tel will inform you of the account status and provide instructions on how to access account information.

Balance Transfer: In the event that your Prepaid Account has been inactive for a period of not less than six (6) months, and you have not requested a refund, Pay Tel may classify the account as inactive and transfer any Prepaid Account balance in excess of $3.00 to a Pay Tel Prepaid Phone Card and issue the Card to you. Pay Tel will only issue Prepaid Cards to those Prepaid Account Customers who meet the criteria described herein, and Pay Tel will not make Prepaid Cards available to any other customer or person, or under any other circumstance than that specifically described in this Policy. This action is necessary to protect the balance of your funds. Upon account opening, your account is identified by and associated with the ten-digit phone number then in use by you. If, at some point, you no longer subscribe to that particular telephone number, then the number in question typically is assigned to another telephone subscriber. That new telephone subscriber may attempt to open an account with Pay Tel using the telephone number formerly used by you. To protect your funds and avoid confusion in the event a new subscriber attempts to open an account with Pay Tel using the same telephone number, Pay Tel will transfer your funds to a Prepaid Phone Card identified by your original phone number preceded by two digits. This transfer will maintain your account balance with your name, address and Personal Identification Number (PIN) created when the account was opened. Pay Tel will issue the Prepaid Phone Card to you in the manner Pay Tel determines to be the most effective and efficient, (via U.S. postal mail or email).

Prepaid Phone Card: You can use the Prepaid Phone Card to make calls from any telephone (at rates set out in the applicable Pay Tel tariff), transfer the balance to an active Prepaid Account or to open a new Prepaid Account with Pay Tel. The call restrictions applicable to calls made from Confinement Facilities are not applicable to the Prepaid Phone Card calls. Network usage will be debited from the funds available on the Prepaid Phone Card on a real time basis in full minute increments as the call progresses. Call timing is rounded up to the nearest one (1) minute increment after the initial minimum period of one (1) minute.

Refund: You may, at any time, transfer the available balance on the Prepaid Phone Card to an active Prepaid Account, open a new Prepaid Account with Pay Tel or obtain a refund of any remaining balance by mailing the Prepaid Phone Card to Pay Tel at the address printed on the Card. In the event you do not receive the Prepaid Phone Card from Pay Tel or otherwise do not possess the Card, and you contact Pay Tel for the purposes of obtaining a refund, Pay Tel will refund your funds provided you can show proof of identity. Where allowed, a monthly card maintenance fee will be applied to any card balance existing more than twelve (12) months after the card has been issued. Pay Tel may waive the monthly card maintenance fee in appropriate circumstances.

Proof of Identity: Pay Tel cannot discuss any account information with you unless you have previously established a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for security purposes. When you first contact Pay Tel, you are provided instructions via Pay Tel’s automated phone system or website on how to create a personal six-digit PIN. When you speak with a Customer Service Representative, you will be asked to provide your PIN to verify your identity before personal account information is discussed. The PIN requirement is a federal requirement to protect your personal information. To use a Company Prepaid Phone Card, you must provide the PIN you originally created when the Prepaid Account was established.

If You Forget Your PIN, click here for options.

Pay Tel Communications, Inc. has a patent pending on the process designed to handle Inactive Prepaid Accounts.

The theft of telecommunications service is a crime

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 these services.

Pay Tel is constantly developing new and innovative ways to identify individuals who attempt to avoid paying for telecommunications services. Pay Tel is committed to identifying and prosecuting individuals who steal telecommunications services.