Everyone says they have it but we provide live customer service help for the friends and family, county correctional staff and for the inmates. None of our competitors provide immediate customer service help to all of the parties involved in use of inmate telephone systems. Most competitors have converted to Interactive Voice Response systems (a maze of buttons to press) and with absolutely no live customer service help.
Reliance was one of the first inmate telephone companies to develop their own direct billing system. Collect calls to land line customers are sent directly to the friends and family no matter which telephone company they are connected to. Collect calls to cell phones are analyzed by Reliance customer service center and a call is made to each cell phone user to attempt to have them signup with a collect call account. We also explain company policy and inform them of all the options they have to receive calls. When their account is used up they are automatically contacted.
Reliance is the only inmate telephone provider that sells inmate phone cards online. The friends and family of the inmate can purchase phone cards via a smart phone or a computer from any location with a credit card. Phone cards are sold in $20, $50, $100 denominations. The online phone card sales saves the correctional department time and reduces the need to handle cash. Sales increase with the ability of the customer to use a credit card and eliminate the need to physically deliver cash to the correctional facility. Some correctional facilities perform all their phone card sales online.
Reliance was the first in the country to provide inmate voice message systems for county correctional facilities. We designed a system that requires no maintenance and allows friends and families to leave a message for the inmate to call them back. All the messages are recorded and stored for future access by investigators. This system is free and we have found that more calls are made because friends and family leave their call back telephone numbers and inmates return calls to their voice message. Voice messaging also saves correctional staff an enormous amount of time.
Reliance is the first and only inmate telephone provider who allows the inmate to talk to a live customer service agent free of charge. When an inmate has a problem he can call us for free, directly from his telephone in the cell. The inmate help line saves county correctional officer time in not having to answer inmate questions and it helps Reliance get friends and families connected.
Reliance software allows the required agencies to reach the information and recordings for the telephone calls and voice messages from any computer on your network or through the internet. This software is loaded with reports and investigative tools. It is easy to use and available to all the agencies with a user name and password. Our customers tell us this is the best software they have ever used! We provide additional information about the telephone numbers dialed from your facility via our five state centralized billing system. This centralized system provides you with the name and address, phone card and collect calls made from other correctional facilities in our 145 facility network in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We also have additional information in our database collected over the last 15 years.
The current trend in the inmate telephone business it to charge a fee in addition to the cost of the published and approved call rate. The facility is paid commission on the published and approved rate but the transaction and collection fees are specifically excluded from commissions in the contract. We have personally experienced a transaction fee that exceeded 700% of the cost of the call. This is very important because the money to pay these fees decreases the ability of the friends and family to purchase normal telephone time.
Sample: Approved and Published Call cost: $1.80; Transaction Fee: $13.19. Total cost of one call $14.99. Actual reported revenue to the facility: $1.80.