Legacy Inmate Services, based in Cypress, California, perhaps doesn't know that there are no inmates currently incarcerated in the Vincennes, Indiana Super Wal-Mart.
While shopping at my local Wal-Mart Supercenter, having no pocket change for a collect call, knowing my debit card was handy, I decided to place a collect call, billed to my debit card, to my military recruiter's cellular phone. I dialed 1-800-COLLECT, and instead got Legacy. At the time, I didn't recall the Legacy company name, but it sounded familiar. I soon found out why.
I entered my debit card information through all the prompts, while the entire time, waiting patiently for a rate quote message, something to the tune of "You will be billed for X-cents per minute". I never heard any operator or message quoting any rates or prices, and soon heard the dial tone of my call connecting.
I connected with my recruiter's voicemail system and left a brief message. The entire call, including ringing through, lasted perhaps one minute, possibly one minute plus a few seconds, maximum. Completing my message, I hung up. Never once was I informed what the call would cost.
I continued shopping, believing I still had around ten dollars left in my checking account (I am currently on a fixed income, for anyone who knows how that is). Bringing approximately four dollars worth of merchandise to the checkout, I was dismayed to find my debit card had been declined, and politely thanked the cashier for her patience, while quite impolitely grumbling under my breath on my way out the door. I was unable to purchase the badly-needed merchandise.
I went directly to my local library to access my online account statement. There I saw it, in plain black letters, seemingly chuckling with delight....
08/01/2011--LEGACY COLLECT CALLS INMA , CYPRESS--PENDING CASH PURCHASE--($10.45)
The INMA is puzzling at first. Read on...
Then it struck me. Legacy Collect Call INMAte Services was (perhaps still is) the collect call carrier used by Knox County (Vincennes, IN) Jail, which had racked up over seventy dollars in charges from a few short five minute calls on my parents' phone bill a few years ago. Not sayin who placed those calls or why ;p
In closing, tell me this; How am I charged by an inmate collect calling service, by making a collect call to a local number from my local Wal-Mart Supercenter? Had I been warned of the charges beforehand, I would have simply walked to my recruiter's office. It was about a hundred yards away.