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For wipe call
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What is the main
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Trafford Posted:
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diazou Posted:
Hello, It's
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claz
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Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Location: East Lyme, Ct

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: correctional collect calls Reply with quote Back to top

My wife is a guest of the state dept. of corrections and I need to be able to accept collect calls. The calls use MCI's operators and direct billing via MCI (meaning they bill me directly or i can prepay on the account). However MCI cannot route the calls due to a "block" by my local phone company, which in this case would be Vonage. I don't see why there is a problem considering the calls are handled and billed by MCI. Is there any way to recieve these calls using Vonage? This is unfortunate because Vonage may have to go in my case.
Thanks
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arcking
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Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Posts: 497

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Check these out, but there doesn't seem to be any way. Most suggested getting a toll free number of your own.

http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic11748.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic3732.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic3063.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic5890.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic5938.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic216.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic10215.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic1314.html

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claz
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Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Location: East Lyme, Ct

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks arcking for the threads you listed.

I can understand that Vonage's billing system is not set up to process collect calls. However, correctional collect calls are handled by "MCI Correctional Services" which bills directly or through a 3rd party biller, so the situation is different from the usual collect call which is billed to your local telco that has a billing agreement with MCI. Since Vonage does NOT have a billing agreement with MCI, MCI offers direct billing in which they will send me a monthly bill for the collect charges incurred. It is no different from a smalltown telco that may not have a billing agreement with MCI. This problem does not happen only with Voip services that can't process collect call, it happens with some telcos also. Obviously it is not a technical issue since some folks have reported the ability to recieve collect calls. If I am being billed by MCI directly I don't see how this hurts Vonage in any way. The question now is...does Vonage have any real live people to talk to to discuss this "block". This is an important issue for customers that have loved ones that are incarcerated. I would hate to have to start paying the ridiculous dollars that SBC charges for phone service in my area lol.
Thanks again in advance
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claz
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Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Location: East Lyme, Ct

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

A little update that may be of interest to folks with the same problem I'm having.

I talked to Vonage tech support and then was referred to an advanced tech support techician. I wish I had gotten his name because he really knew his stuff and was more than helpful. He did agree that this was a special situation and that really there should be no reason to block collect calls IF the originating phone company (MCI in this case) was collecting the toll and billing me direct. There may be some technical issue in that Vonage's system cannot discern whether a collect call being routed through was direct billed or not, hence the block on all types of these calls. The tech also conferred with other folks there and they all agreed that they had never really thought of this situation before. He also placed a request to management to review this type of situation and offer a possible solution.

All in all I'm very happy with the response I got even though my problem isn't solved at this time.

~regards
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arcking
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Joined: Apr 29, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

claz wrote:
There may be some technical issue in that Vonage's system cannot discern whether a collect call being routed through was direct billed or not, hence the block on all types of these calls.

That's what I figured, but I wasn't sure. I'm glad you got someone who seemed to know his stuff, and cared about the problem!

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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Claz, would a pre-paid calling card take care of your problem? Or does the facility insist on collect outgoing calls only?

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Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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claz
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Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Location: East Lyme, Ct

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Steve, but only collect calls to approved numbers on the inmate's call list are allowed, so a pre-paid card would do no good. MCI has the exclusive contract so the phones directly connect to MCI's operator. The equipment only allows calls to the approved numbers and detects trickery such as 3 party calls and what not, so there aren't many solutions for this problem.

Thanks for your input though.
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Are calls local to the facility also charged? If not, you can get a Vonage virtual number local to the facility, or even an 800 number.

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Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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houuser
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Joined: Sep 04, 2003
Posts: 435
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

In short, if like one in Texas, the pre-paid card does not work, because the "college" does not get their cut.... I mean rebate.
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claz
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Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Location: East Lyme, Ct

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Answer is no Steve, since incoming calls are not allowed in any form. Inmates get 3 outgoing calls per day.

At least I get 3 visits per week Very Happy But 3 phone calls a day would be nice. (nice and expensive too)

Good point houuser...it's all about the $$$ in the end.
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