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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

I was looking for a ride home on 9/26/15. I stopped at one of their payphones but didn't have any cash/quarters. Went to call collect but there's an option there to pay with your own debit card, so I chose that. I ended up making 6 calls, 4 of them went straight to voicemail and I hung up, the other two didn't answer at all. I get home and there are 6 $20.05 charges on my debit card. And today 9/28/15, there is another charge from them for $80.40. I've been robbed for $200 and I didn't even talk to anyone using their payphone!!! And there was absolutely ZERO warning of how much it would cost per call using a debit card and was not listed on the phone ANYWHERE. How can a simple phone call be 50 cents but with a debit card it goes up to $20???

So my husband who is a truck driver calls me collect on 9/12/15. We automatically (before I was even able to say hello) get charged $28. No warning of how much it is a minute or so forth. Well we talk 5-7 minutes. We say our love yous and hang up, well today there's a second charge of $35.56. When I call I get a smart ass, disrespectful customer service rep. She proceeds to tell me I have to give her my card number again and was being very disrespectful so I ask for a supervisor. She proceeds to tell me that they won't help me either.

I again ask for a supervisor and she says her supervisor is busy and then hangs up on me. I proceed to call back and when Katie (new rep) answers I immediately ask for supervisor. Well I talked to Frank and was informed that the first charge was an authorization fee and that it will drop off 7-10 days. Then tells me that an average 3-minute call runs $25 dollars.. like seriously that's like 8.33 a minute. He says that there's other fees as well in that amount. In other words if using this company getting ready to be **...

After reading the other reviews, I see that my story is the same as everyone else's. Unfortunately, it's not something that you are aware of until you are robbed. My family was camping in an area without cell service, so I used the pay phone to check on my mother. I made two calls. One that went to voicemail (30 sec) and one that connected (7 min). I was charged $45! Why weren't rates posted on the pay phone? I am still in shock that this is possible.

I called to place money on my phone with a 918 prefix and it cost me $45 for two 15 minute phone calls. I called and checked on my 310 phone and the call are $25 for three 15 minute phone calls. When I asked why the difference they said the 918 prefix phone was long distance and the 310 prefix was local. Both phones are for the same house and address. Both purchased in the same store in the same town. This prefix is given to a lot of people in the local town and they have to pay long distance charges to talk to a person in the same town that is in jail. This is crazy!!! The family of the prisoners are having a hard enough time dealing and handling the fact that their family member is in prison without being charged high phone charges due to the prefix of their phones!!!!

$28 PER call?? 1 of which didn't even connect??? This is an absolute crime. Custom Teleconnect must be shut down and/or brought to justice.

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We were camping outside Yosemite and did not have cell phone service. My husband wanted to let his mother know we were ok. He tried several times to call her collect but it would not work. He ended up using our credit card. As I sit here going over our statement, I see a charge for $32.99 for Custom Teleconnect. We assumed they were going to charge a fee, but we had no idea it was going to cost 33 bucks. This is a crime in my opinion and it should be illegal to swindle people like this.

Today at 7:00 am I got a collect call from my homeless brother. I haven't spoken to him in quite a few month and was excited he was alive. It asked for me to put in my credit card number which I thought was strange but did anyway. After that the call disconnected and I never got to speak to him. Talking to my friend later in the day she said it sounds fishy and like fraud. I check my bank statement online now and I was charged $28 (yes that's right $28) for a call that never even got connected!!!!! I am extremely angry and I hope nothing but awful, awful karma on whoever lets this fake company even exist.

I broke down on the side of the road 5 miles out of Yosemite and tried to call for Help!!!! I tried to dial direct with my ATM card 7 times with NO answer, and today there are 7 charges for $20.05 each coming off my card, $140 and NO ONE ANSWERED!!!!! I DON'T THINK SO. NOT GONNA HAPPEN...I WILL put you out of a matter of fact I am starting right now!!!! And I AM saying A lot of cuss words! YOU will NOT be taking advantage anymore!!!

I had forgot my Cell phone at home and needed to use a phone. I found the public phone offered by Custom TeleConnect. It was 1.00 for 4 min. I had no change and used my Credit Card. I called the wrong number and got a recording that number was no longer in service. I then recalled a different number using my credit card assuming I was being billed for 1.00 for 4 min. I then looked on my bank statement when I got home and I was charged 20.05 for BOTH calls. This is Downright Robbery! Nowhere nor a pre-recorded message warned me of the outrageous fee or I would not have used their service. I was under assumption that I was being billed the 1.00 for 4 min... HA!!!! What a rip-off. This company needs prosecuted! I will see that this does not end here...

Since I don't have a house phone, I use my cell phone for all calls. On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, I received a call from my boyfriend who was calling collect. Little did I know how expensive the calls were! The first call lasted 5 minutes and it dropped after that. My boyfriend then called me back and I accepted the call (again not knowing how much the call will be). We talked for 17 minutes. I rushed home to check my account and was I shocked! Each call cost me $28! Really? So, for 22 minutes I paid $56, which is what my phone bill is for an entire month! Certainly, this has to be a rip off! They should not be allowed to get away with this!

I received a phone call from my husband collect and at no point in the message did they tell me that I would be charged $11.00 for the first 3 min. and $1.00 for each additional minute, but I selected option 3 and heard all the information I just stated. My complaint would be the horrible connection that I could not even hear what my husband had to say and only talked for 4-5 minutes max, and was still charged $20.00. So I can understand everyone else's complaints. I would expect service like that in some 3rd world country...... oh wait I was in a 3rd world country and still don't remember ever having worse service than this. It’s pretty sad how companies like this are allowed to do business in this or any country.

My husband had to call me collect from the in-patient program he is at. He called my cell phone so I had to give a credit card. First, there was a charge for $20.00 on my card for less than 10 minutes of talking. Now, however, it disappeared and came back at over $40.00!

I had to call in to work today, and my cell phone is off. So, I had to walk 6 blocks just to use a payphone as there are none in my area. I put $0.50 in the machine which it ate up. I had no more change, so I used my credit card by calling the number that was on the phone. I got through and was on the phone for less than 3 minutes. When I got home, I checked my credit card statement and found a $26.16 charge for that call. It's the only one I made. I'm making a complaint through my credit card company to refund this to me. That's a ripoff.

My son's cellphone was lost. He called from across the country collect and there was no option, but to decline the call or accept the call. I had no idea what the rates were. I had to put a credit card number in to talk with him. So, the billing for each call was $20.14 and respectively, $42.75 for 15 minutes, $34.95 for 9 minutes, $59.57 for 33 minutes and ultimately, my charge card billed me and Verizon billed me too! The telecommunication act of 1996 must have been incorporated for gangsters and the FCC needs to put a kabash on this kind of business. Where do consumers go when we are doing our darndest to live a decent life and help our family?

I called Verizon, they put me in touch with ILD Services who pushed me off to Custom Teleconnect. They were condescending, rude and clearly feel it is the "American Way" to rip good people off. I am shocked and abhor the idea that I am one of so many individuals that have been taken advantage of by this hypocrisy! I certainly would not knowingly agree to such charges. I know I cannot afford them. Will this ruin my credit? It makes absolutely no sense!

I received a collect call on 3/1/2012 which lasted a few minutes. CTI charged my debit card $32.99!

I had no change or a cell phone so I used a credit card for a local call at the Oakland International Airport. The only charge listed on the pay phone was 50 cents for a local call. The cell phone had a card reader so I swiped my Visa card. I could not hear so I pushed 0 for operator. The operator took card information again and connected my call. When I looked at my account a few hours later, I was shocked to see a charge of $20 for a local call that lasted less than a minute. Is this legal?

I got a phone call from my boyfriend who was incarcerated. They never once told me how much the phone call was going to be, but they asked me to put in my information. I gave it and my phone call with him was very brief, maybe 5 minutes. I checked my card and I was charged $20.14, but they said something about I was going to be charged 38 ** dollars and the 20 dollars would be accredited to my account. This should be a crime. How can you just charge someone without them knowing? They offered me a 40% discount, which would make it 22 dollars, but that's still crazy 22 dollars for 5 minutes. I even had one operator tell me he refused to give me the discount because I told him I'm not paying this. This is absurd and I'm not sure if it's even legal.

A charge was posted to my account for $50.55 on February 4, 2012 from Custom Teleconnect. I never got a call on that day, nor accepted any call from Florida. I am not even sure how they got my credit card number to even bill to my account. I see this company has done this many times and has many fraudulent acts, and I would like this company investigated.

My husband had a roadside emergency. He went to a payphone, but it wouldn't accept his coins so he eventually called collect. The auto voice asked me for my credit card number and I gave it, thinking it would eventually tell me the cost and ask me to push a button to accept such cost. But that didn't happen. A two minute cost me 20+ bucks. It's unconscionable that the FCC allows this company to continue to victimize people in emergency situations or for that matter, any situation. The only posted rate this company has is for their coin cost, which is rigged to not work. FCC should be held just as accountable as this fraudulent company!

This is an outrage! My son got stranded about a mile from home, and it was pouring rain. He didn't have change, so he called me collect from a pay phone for a ride. The call lasted only a couple of minutes, if that. To my horror, I was billed over $20.00 on my debit card. I expected a collect call to cost maybe 5 or 6 dollars. But over $20 for a local call is ridiculous. I am retired and on a fixed income and that $20.00 hurt! I was 3 days from my next automatic deposit. It's lucky I didn't get my account overdrawn, which would have incurred an awful fee from my bank. My son paid me back, but he was stunned about the fee. He would have walked home in the rain if he'd known what this company was up to. Why does the utility commission allow this?

I was in Orlando, Florida when my cell phone died. I used the pay phone using my credit card. When I looked at my statement, I had four pending charges of $28.16 each. When I called, they told me that the pending will drop when the actual calculated time of each call was calculated. Three days later, I checked my account and I was charged for three of the calls at $33.97 each. Each call was less than a minute, because no one answered the call. When I called, they told me that this person and that company had to get paid. But since the calls were so extremely short, they took 40% off $101.91 for three calls that totaled less than one minute.

Stranded in North Dakota, I used a pay phone that showed long distance call of four minutes for $1. I attempted several times to use a credit card which wouldn't go through. One week later, I see a charge for $28.16 on my card statement. Even if the card hadn’t gone through, it was about a four and a half minutes of call.

The customer service specialist informed me that it was the pay phone owner’s issue and that the FCC does not require them to disclose the actual fees. When asked about the posted cost, he replied that it was only for coin calls. This is a very disturbing company. If the phone or recording shows CTI or Custom TeleConnect, avoid it!

On a hot day, my son-in-law was stranded without a car or money. He called collect to arrange for a ride. He then had to make a second collect call to see if someone would be able to pick him up. Both calls lasted less than a minute. I could not accept the calls without using my debit card.

The next day I went online to check my bank balance and was shocked to see that I was charged over $20 per call. I was at no time informed that the charges would be that high.

My brother called me collect from the phone number listed on Franklin Street in Sacramento on June 24, 2011. There was a recorded message asking for a credit card to accept the collect call. I entered my card number and accepted the call and spoke with my brother for exactly 2 minutes and 38 seconds and hung up the phone. The next day, I checked my bank account online to stub my checkbook for the charges. I had been charged $20.14 for the call. Since the call had been an emergency, I chalked it up to a learning experience.

However, while checking my bank account on June 28th for a different charge, I noticed that Custom TeleConnect was now charging me $32.42 for the same 2:38 call on June 24th. It is now June 29, 2011 and the $32.42 charge is still "pending" on my bank account and my attempts to contact the company have been fruitless, just recorded messages.

I think this is fraud and from the other stories I've read online from others who have used this service, Custom TeleConnect is gouging people who have no choice but to accept the call without ever being told what the final charge will be until they get all they can out of your checking account. I would be willing to pay the initial charge of $20.14 because what could have been a very serious situation with my brother who was stranded without money or cell phone service was averted because of his collect call to me. I don't feel the added charge is fair and I don't feel obligated to pay such an outrageous amount for a call that lasted less than 3 minutes.

I got a call from Larned Hospital (Kansas) and was billed exactly 21 minutes, and I ended up incurring a $47.43 phone bill. The company that handled the billing was ZPDI, and when I called them to ask about the charges, I was told I needed to call 1-866-739-8953, the number for Custom TeleConnect's customer service.

Well, $50 is a lot of money. Those **.

My husband had locked his cell phone and keys in the car so he called me through collect on a pay phone. All I heard was his name and collect call so I accepted it. Then, a recording came on and said that it needed valid credit card to take the call. I did, of course, because I did not know what was wrong. We could not have talked for a minute or less and I was charged over $20.00. That is a total rip-off scam.

I was bill $31.74 for a four minute collect call from a pay phone from a person I did not know. I was not forewarned of the cost of the call beforehand nor was I allowed to hear the name of the caller. I either accepted or not. I am on a fixed income as I have been unemployed for 19 months and my unemployment benefits just ran out. I just got off the phone with a representative of this so called business and he could only authorize a $10 credit. Because of this additional charge on my regular phone bill, I will not be able to afford one of my medications this month and will have to cut the pills in half in order to get through the month.

This is outrageous and someone needs to do something about this business. I see that there are many complaints from consumers so when is something going to be done about it? Who will stand up for us unsuspecting phone owners? They should be required to acknowledge the charges before the recipient accepts the charges. Totally highway robbery and is probably against some FCC regulation. I hope someone who is in the position to do so will take this by the horns and get it fixed.

My wife called from a pay phone in an emergency and not knowing any other way to call collect (since she grew up outside the US). She called *11 as was listed on the phone. I received a call on my cell phone and had no choice but to accept the call, although I was not informed of the costs at all. I found the next day that my debit card had been charged $20.14 for a call that lasted less than 1 minute. The following day, there was another charge of $26.24, even though no other calls had been made or accepted. The day after, the first charge of $20.14 was gone, and the $26.24 remains. This is ridiculous, predatory behavior. This company is charging people whatever they please without disclosing any rates or charges.

I have a charge on my home telephone bill for a "collect" call 3 minutes that comes to a total of $25.23. Every time I try to call and dispute the charge, I get extension 806-687*9921 and they can't take my call; please leave a message and they'll call me back. Sorry that person’s voicemail is full, then I get a dial tone. This call was made on September 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm. I don't get off of work until 4:00 pm and it takes me about an hour to get home.

Since I'm the only one using my home phone, there is no way this "collect" call was ever accepted. I am calling my regular carrier to let them know the charge is disputed and will not pay it. Someone really needs to look into this company's scam from what I read. Anything you can do to help me and put a stop to their business practices would be greatly appreciated.

On September 6, 2010, my daughter accepted a call from a relative in a hospital in Mississippi. After realizing what she had done, I hung up the phone in about two minutes. I received my bill and it showed three calls at 3, 3, and 4 minutes for a total of $90.66. When I called Custom Teleconnect, the representative said she could only remove the first two calls at 3 minutes because they were the least time. Even though I explained that the last call for 4 minutes was not accepted, she said I had to dispute it with my phone carrier. Two calls for 3 minutes each at $30.47 for a total of $60.94 is pure robbery. This company and any like it should be required to state cost of call before it is accepted and not allowed in places like hospitals and other places where people are at a disadvantage.

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