Agency to look into proposed jail call fee

Posted: Monday, September 01, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A state regulatory agency will decide if a proposed $2 fee for collect calls from inmates is justified.

An Alaska phone company, General Communications Inc., planned to start charging the fee today for each collect call made from a state prison, jail or halfway house. It would be billed to the person accepting the call.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will allow GCI to start billing for the calls starting mid-September, but the company may have to refund the money if it rules that the fee is unfair.

The agency said it received three consumer complaints.

An Anchorage bail bonding firm estimates the fee would cost the industry about $84,000 a year.

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