Frequently Asked Questions

First Time Customers

Does Pay Tel have an app?

Yes, the Pay Tel Connect™ app is available now in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The Pay Tel app provides the ability to be notified of messages instantly, send and receive messages (if available at the facility), check your account balance, and add funds to your account. In addition, you can tap the Rise4Me link to find resources for housing, food, clothing, healthcare, jobs and more.

If you are on your phone, tap here to download the app.


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. 


Starting June 1, 2016, account statements are available electronically via the Pay Tel website at no cost. Upon request, Pay Tel will mail a printed copy of your current statement.   Except where prohibited by State regulations, a Paper Statement Fee (PSF) of $2.00 will be deducted from your account balance for each request.  There are no other account fees.  Note:  This fee does not apply to California customers in compliance with CPUC regulations.


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; Website $3.00, Automated Payment Hotline $3.00, Live Payment Center $5.95, PayNearMe $1.99, MoneyGram® $5.95 (Wal-Mart and other locations), and 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). 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.  Note:  Website, Automated Payment Hotline and Live Payment Center fees do not apply to California customers in accordance with CPUC regulations.

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.


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.




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.