View Full Version : Putting money on prisoner's phone cards....

06-10-2006, 10:42 PM
My husband is doing time in a FCI and in the beginning of this nightmare he had given me a number to call to find out how I could send money for his phone card directly to the company who contracts with BOP. Does anyone know how I can get this information? (I cannot find the number he gave me)

06-10-2006, 10:51 PM
You wire your husband money and he pays for the phone minutes. I've never heard about being able to call the phone company and pay for their minutes.

06-10-2006, 10:51 PM
You have to put money on his books and he has to pay for his phone use.

06-11-2006, 07:33 AM

there's a great deal of BS on the website, especially about health care and rehab and education, but this money page says it all.

i send a money order to the lockbox in Des Moines, Matt gets it in 2 days, and he can transfer money to his phone and call me without having to call collect.

the register number is crucial, always remember that.

07-04-2006, 09:51 PM
I have found the easiest way for me is to go online to ( and wire money "quick collect." If I send it early in the morning, he has it within 2 hours. If later on in the day, he has it first thing next morning. That's the best way for me. But everyone is right, you have to get the money to him and he decides what he does with it.

11-20-2006, 04:41 PM
How long after getting the money do they get to put money on phone cards?
And how much does each phone card cost or how much do they have to have in their account to put on the phone? Do they get to order that same day if you send the money western union quick collect, or do they have to wait for a few days or the next week?

11-20-2006, 08:24 PM
There isn't actually a phone card, but a phone account. He simply uses the keypad and his pin number to move funds from the commissary account to his phone account. It can be done as soon as his funds are available and he has access to a phone.

11-21-2006, 01:39 AM
When your inmate first arrives, you might want to use Western Union Quick Collect to send money but, after that, if you plan, sending money to the Lockbox rather than by Western Union, saves you money, which you could use to treat yourself to a movie or pay the electric bill or you could send it though Lockbox and get a few extra phone calls or letters. I've never understood the "gotta have it tomorrow morning" plea of prisoners. They can learn to budget just like us - and probably should. Z.

11-21-2006, 06:51 PM
I am in the process of changing phone company's. My husband has been able to call me fine with the money he has on his phone acct. My question is he will be transferring sometime soon ? most likely through Oklahoma, I have been told that he will only be able to call me collect when there ?? The new phone service I am going to said I would have to call the institution to set up a prepaid acct. I am confused, will he not be able to call me collect while he his going through Oklahoma? And when he gets to Ft. Worth, want his phone minutes he has left over just follow him there?

11-21-2006, 10:05 PM
Minutes in OKC don't count against your monthly minute time limits...

If your phone company requires a prepaid account, you can either wait until he gets to Ft. Worth to get calls or set up the account. I don't recommend setting up the account, though...the reason is that he probably won't be in OKC long enough for you to use the balance & it's hard as heck to get Correctional Billing to issue you a check back for what's left on your account. It could take a few days to go into effect & I think you have to have $50 or more to get the account established. My husband's been through OKC on 2 occasions & neither time did he use up the equivalent of $50 in calls.

I know it's hard to wait, but that's my won't be too long before he gets to Ft. Worth & is able to call home with prepaid & much cheaper minutes.

11-21-2006, 10:15 PM
Welcome to PTO.

11-22-2006, 01:02 AM
This has nothing to do with me but I'm curious. Why would a phone company require a "prepaid" account if it's the prisoner who's paying for the phone call on his end?? Or is that just if the prisoner is calling collect?

11-22-2006, 05:14 AM
This has nothing to do with me but I'm curious. Why would a phone company require a "prepaid" account if it's the prisoner who's paying for the phone call on his end?? Or is that just if the prisoner is calling collect?

I believe what they are speaking of is if the prisoner is calling collect.

I've stayed with the main phone company over the years (Verizon). A lot of the newer phone companies offered do not work with CBS (or vice versa) to have the collect charges billed directly to your main phone bill. So the only way to get the collect calls is to set up a prepaid account with CBS so when they call collect....CBS simply deducts it from your account. It's a guaranteed payment without having the 3rd party collect. I guess they have lost to much money in the past with high phone cost. People who run the bill up then have their service cut off also get a block put on....they then have to set up an account like this to receive collect calls even if it's with one of the companies that work together with CBS.

People always laugh when I consider my phone bill one of my top priorites over other important bills. We don't have much....and what we do have is precious!

11-22-2006, 07:19 AM
Yes, I believe they were telling me (new phone carrier) that he would need to set up a pre-paid acct. to call collect ?? only while he is in OKC. He hasn't had phone for 4 mos. now (SHU) and he will be disappointed that his calls will not go through once he gets the phone in OKC., hopefully he will not be there long. We will just have to wait until he gets to Texas. Thanks for the infor., so much of all this stuff is confusing to me......I guess you learn as you go....

11-22-2006, 09:10 AM
I guess you learn as you go....

That's how many of us learn anything related to fed incarceration...and then they change the rules on you just after you get comfortable. It's confusing, though when you first start out...that's one of the reasons why I love PTO. There's always someone who has been through your situation.

11-22-2006, 12:44 PM
Thanks Sandra....I went ahead and got prepaid for the 50.00, I know how much he is eager to be able to call me, and the lady told me that once he gets to Texas he can continue to use any balance that is left there. Heck, he hasn't even been transferred, probably will be after the holidays....hope that when he does go to call me, that there will be no hiccup's. If it wasn't for reading about the phone issue's that others have faced on pto, I wouldn't have ever thought about him not being able to get through collect from OKC.........

11-22-2006, 05:34 PM
My husband was transferred to Pollock on Tuesday. I had a balance left with Correctional Billing Svs. and I sent a western union Quick Collect today as well. How long does it take before he gets to call home? Also, what does Corr. Billing Svs. need to get it set up in a new place? I am hoping that we can talk tomorrow on Thanksgiving.

11-24-2006, 08:25 PM
Hello Parrot....just wondering....did he get to call you yesterday?

11-26-2006, 11:39 AM
No, he arrived on Tuesday and I still have not gotten a call from him yet. I put money on both Correctional Billing Svs. and sent money via Western Union Quick Collect. Do they go through orientation or something that prevents them calling? If so, how long does it usually take?

11-26-2006, 12:45 PM
The first time my husband went in it took about 5 days to get his phone list approved. The next time it was the next day. I think a great deal of it depends on his counselor & how quickly they get the phone list put into the system.

11-26-2006, 07:30 PM
Maybe since it was Thanksgiving that slowed things down. It just made it really hard not to hear from him for almost a week now. I don't have any family support and the house gets awfully quiet.

12-20-2006, 07:40 PM
Call VAC their number is 866-822-5245

12-28-2006, 12:06 AM
does anyone know how much the monthly 300 minutes cost?

12-28-2006, 02:12 PM
$69.00/month if it is .23/minute like it is here