Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Phones

How can an inmate leave me a voicemail?

We are in the process of introducing a new program for you to allow any inmate that calls you to connect to leave you a voicemail whenever you can’t get to the phone. If your inmate/detainee is in a facility with this program, the next time you receive a call, you will hear “Press 1 to accept all communications from this inmate (or detainee).” If you press 1, the next time they call you, if you can’t get to the phone and you have voicemail, they will be able to leave you a voicemail.

How can I prevent an inmate from leaving me a voicemail?

If you have opted in to “accept all communications” from your inmate or detainee, and you change your mind, you change your setting by calling the customer service number at (866) 516-0115. From the main menu, press 5 “to change communications settings for this phone number”. Next, follow the prompts to select the inmate from a list, and then follow the prompts to change your setting.

I just received a call from a jail or prison that uses your service, what do I do?

If you’re unsure of who called you, contact our Customer Service [email protected] 1.866.516.0115 to help you figure out the name of the caller and the facility they called from. If you know the caller and would like them to call you back, Customer Service can help you deposit funds for them so they can call you back. If you don’t know the person, or don’t want them calling you, the representative can block your phone number to prevent future calls.

How do I set up an account and what are my deposit options?

You have three ways to create an account to make a deposit.

  1. The quickest way is to set up an account is online at GettingOut.com.
  2. At the facility lobby using the kiosk, which will also create an online account for you.
  3. Using the automated system when you call Customer Service.

You have three types of accounts you can set up.

  1. With the Friends & Family Account, funds go into your account to pay for communication services such as phone calls, video visits and messaging. Your friend or loved one can only call the phone number you’ve specified.
  2. With the Inmate Account, funds go into an inmate’s account to pay for communication services such as phone calls, video visits and messaging. Your friend or loved one can communicate with any authorized contact.
  3. With the Trust & Commissary account, funds go into an inmate’s account for purchasing items from the facility such as snacks, toiletries and other goods and services.

I just made a deposit. When will the inmate contact me?

When the inmate checks their voicemail, they’ll be notified they have funds available to communicate with you.

Do you offer monthly plans to allow the inmate to make unlimited calls?

We currently don’t offer monthly plans, packages or unlimited options. With a Friends & Family Account, you determine how much you want to deposit. You can make a deposit at any time and also set up recurring deposits. Once funds run out, another deposit can be made to re-load your account. As a bonus, telmate occasionally offers one or more free voicemails with Friends & Family deposits over a certain amount.

Do I have to sign a contract with you to use your services?

A contract is not required to use our services. Deposits can be made as often as needed, at any time.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as MoneyGram and Money Orders. We accept cash at the facility lobby kiosk.

When will my Friends & Family deposit be available to use?

All deposits are available immediately once the deposit is made.

When will my Trust & Commissary deposit be available to use?

Commissary deposits can take up to 72 hours to post, depending on the facility. Friends & Family and Inmate Account deposits are available immediately.

Is my credit card information stored in your system?

For your convenience, we automatically save your payment information. For security measure when speaking with a customer service rep you will be required to provide the entire card information.

Will you charge my account without my authorization?

No. If you haven’t set up a recurring deposit, telmate will not run credit card transactions without your express authorization at the time of a deposit.

Do the free voicemails given for purchasing prepaid phone time of $50.00, $75.00, $100 (and above) expire?

Yes, after 60 days of the purchase date.

Can funds be transferred from a released Inmate’s Account (this allows the inmate to call out to any phone number and use the GettingOut.com features) to another active account?

Only the released inmate can transfer funds from an Inmate Account. If you’re the owner of that specific phone number that has the available balance, then you‘ll be able to transfer the funds.

What happens to my funds if my inmate is moved from one facility to another?

  • If the inmate is transferred to another facility that uses telmate services, the funds on your account can still be used.
  • If the funds are on the Inmate Account, the inmate will need to request the transfer of funds from the previous facility to the new facility.
  • If the inmate is transferred to a facility telmate does not service, the funds will not transfer and a refund will need to be issued. To request a refund please contact customer service.

You can use the What Is Available at My Facility checker (scroll to the bottom of the page) to see what telmate services are available.

Can I get a refund for my Friends & Family Account funds?

  • Please call Customer Service to find out if you qualify for a refund.
  • If you no longer need the account that the refund went to, then you’ll receive the remaining Friends & Family Account balance with a secure pin.
  • You can use this pin to make local, national or international calls by dialing 1-866-856-1858 and entering your pin and the number you’d like to call.
  • You cannot use this balance to continue to make deposits or communicate with active inmates who are in facilities that are not serviced by telmate.
  • Cash refunds are available to you if your account funds meet the facility specific requirements of balance minimums. To request a cash refund or to determine your eligibility, please contact customer service. Please be advised that eligibility for cash refunds may expire 60 days after initial date of deposit. Refund processing fees may apply.

What accounts can I transfer from/to?

As a customer, you’re able to transfer funds from your phone number to either another phone number, or to the Inmate’s Account (inmate’s personal account). Additionally, these transfer rules apply:

  • Transfers from the Inmate Account to a phone number are not allowed.
  • Transfers from a Friends & Family Account to an inmate’s Trust & Commissary Account are not allowed.
  • Transfers from an inmate’s Trust & Commissary Account are available to the Inmate Account only, at most facilities.

How do I transfer funds to a new phone number?

To transfer funds to a new phone number:

1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
2. Click the tab “View My Account” found at the bottom of the page.
3. Then click the tab “Transfer Funds” on the left sidebar.

*Your new phone number must be verified before funds can be transferred.

My call dropped, how can I get a credit back?

  • In order to obtain a credit back on any call(s) that may have dropped, the inmate will need to report the issue from within the facility.
  • The inmate must use the 211#, Inmate Report Hotline. Also, instructions are printed on a placard near all telmate phones.
  • There is a 2-day window to report these calls in order to receive credit back. Reported issues are generally reviewed the same day, and any credit given is applied back immediately.

What determines if a refund goes back in a check or to a card?

  • If your deposit was made in cash at a kiosk, or with MoneyGram, then the cash refund is refunded as a check.
  • If your deposit was made using a credit card, then the cash refund would go back to the card that was originally used for the deposit.

How long until I receive my cash refund?

  • Cash refunds can be received in two ways: By check or refunded back to the card used.
  • A check can take between 6-10 weeks to be received.
  • If the refund is going back to the card used it can take between 3-5 business days depending on the bank/card company.

I still have funds on my Friends & Family Account, and my inmate is back in jail. Can I use re-use the funds?

  • Yes. If the inmate is at a facility that telmate services and there are funds issued to you from a previous refund, you can use those funds again.
  • You’ll receive the remaining Friends & Family Account balance with a secure pin.
  • You can use this pin to make local, national or international calls by dialing 1-866-856-1858 and entering your pin and the number you’d like to call.
  • To receive your pin, call Customer Service. You cannot use this balance to continue to make deposits or communicate with active inmates who are in facilities that are not serviced by telmate.

What happens if I never call in to get a refund of my balance?

Any remaining funds will stay on the account until they are used or until a refund is issued. Refunds are only issued upon customer request.

Can I deposit money that the inmate can use to only call me?

Yes. With the Friends & Family Account, you can choose to deposit funds that can be used to only call a specific phone number. Just choose the phone number you would like to use.

Can I deposit money that the inmate can use to call any authorized contact?

Yes. With the Inmate Account, funds go into the inmate’s account to pay for communication services (phone calls, video visits, messaging, etc.) with a list of authorized contacts.

What is the cheapest way to accept phone calls from an inmate in a facility that uses telmate phone services?

Prices vary by facility, but setting up a Friends & Family Account is the cheapest way to accept a phone call from an inmate. Collect calls and Quick Connect calls (which only pay for individual calls) are generally more expensive.

How do I find out how much money is on my Friends & Family Account?

  • Log in to your GettingOut account.
  • Select the “My Account,” tab.
  • Click “Deposits”, select the recipient and find the balance next to your phone number.

You can also call Customer Service to hear your balance.

How do I find out how much money is on an Inmate’s Account?

Only the inmate knows their own balance. If you deposited to an Inmate’s Account, you will need to ask the inmate what their balance is. You can do this over the phone or schedule a video visitation or send a message, if available.

How will an inmate know that they have funds available?

An automated voicemail message is sent to an inmate each time funds are deposited to an account.

How do I add another phone number to my account?

Every phone number is its own account. To receive calls to an additional number, set up another Friends & Family Account and add funds. The inmate can also use their own funds to place a call.

How do I leave a voicemail for an inmate?

Call Customer Service to leave a voicemail. Availability and rates vary by facility.

How do I prevent an inmate from calling me?

You’ll have the option to block the inmate when they call you. You can also call Customer Service to have your phone number blocked from a specific inmate or even an entire facility.

What’s a PIN?

A PIN is your unique, 6-digit Personal Identification Number used to access your GettingOut account at a kiosk, GettingOut.com and over the phone.

How do I create a PIN?

To create your PIN on GettingOut.com, follow these steps:

  1. Go to https://visit.telmate.com/.
  2. Click on “Log in with Email and Password.”
  3. Enter your email and password, then click “Login.”
  4. Enter your phone number and new 6-digit PIN, then click “Continue.”
  5. Follow the prompts to verify your account.
  6. Confirm your updated account information, then click “Done.”
  7. Check all the boxes, then click “Accept.”

What if I don’t create a PIN, will my account go away?

You will be locked out of your account until you create a PIN. If you do not create your PIN by 09/30/16, you’ll need to call telmate Customer Service at 866-516-0115 to reactive your account.

How do I set my PIN over the phone?

The easiest way to set your PIN is on GettingOut. Optionally, call 866-516-0115, follow the prompts, then press 8 to set your PIN.

I forgot my PIN, what do I do?

Call 866-516-0115, follow the prompts, then press 8 to reset your PIN.

Video Visits

How do I add an inmate to my Contacts list?

Here’s how to add a Contact:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account and click on the “Contacts” tab.
  2. Find your friend.
  3. Click the Schedule Visit.
  4. Once your friend accept your visit, they’ll be added as a Contact.

How do I invite an inmate to a video visit?

  1. Schedule a suggested visit.
  2. If the inmate approves you can visit and also be added as a contact.
  3. Also, the inmate can send you a request if they have your email address. You’ll be sent a message to your GettingOut account asking if you want to accept the invitation.

How do I check the status of my suggested visit?

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click on the “Calendar” tab.
  3. If the visit has not been accepted by the inmate, it will read “Invited.”
  4. If the inmate has approved the visit, it will read “Confirmed.”

When does the visit timer start?

Your visit begins at the time you scheduled. For example: “Your scheduled 30 minute, 11 am appointment begins right at 11 am.” If you log in a few minutes before your visit, you’ll see a helpful timer counting down until your visit begins. When scheduling a visit, all times will be shown will reflect the facility time zone.

What if I don’t have an email address?

If you create an account using the lobby kiosk, you only need to enter your phone number. During the account creation process, click the link that says, “don’t have an email address.”

What if I’m late for my scheduled visit?

You can log into your visit late, but it’s important to remember that your visit starts at the scheduled time, not when you log in. If you log in 10 minutes late, you will miss 10 minutes of your visit.

How do I cancel a visit?

Canceling a visit is easy:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click on the “Calendar” tab and click the “Cancel” button.
  3. Please keep in mind, a booked visit that is cancelled less than 24 hours before the scheduled visit will not be credited.

When booking a visit, does the time of the visit match the inmates timezone or mine?

Visitation times are in the timezone of the facility (the inmate’s timezone). Ensure you have selected your correct timezone under “Profile Settings” in order to receive correct start times for your scheduled visits.

What’s my password?

Here’s what to do:

  1. Click the “Forgot your password?” link when attempting to log in.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. You’ll get an email with a temporary password.
  4. Log in with your temporary password and change it when you’re prompted. If you don’t have an email address on your account, call Customer Service to get a temporary password.

What’s my username?

Your username is usually your email address. If you forget it, you can call Customer Service @1.866.516.0115 and they will give it to you after you confirm your identity. They will assist in confirming what username was set up. We cannot provide information from an account without first confirming the actual owner of the account is calling in.

How do I delete my GettingOut account?

You can discontinue your account by contacting Customer Service.

How do I set up my computer for at-home visits?

You will need the following:

  • A computer.
  • A webcam and microphone, or a computer with these components built in (most laptops have these built in).
  • Latest version of Safari and Firefox. Using other browsers may not load the page appropriately in order to begin your visitation.
  • Latest version of Flashplayer must be installed on the browser you are going to use for your visit. If you’re not sure what version of Flash you have, go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and update your computer to the most current version for free.
  • A high-speed Internet connection is recommended. Dial-up and satellite are not supported.

Tips:

  • When using a Wi-Fi connection, you may experience a lag or delay depending on the traffic of your connection. Internet connectivity issues are not subject to credit.
  • For the best visit experience you should use headphones, but they‘re not required.
  • You can test your webcam and microphone for at-home visitations: https://visit.telmate.com/test
  • We cannot assist with downloading and installing newest Flashplayer or browser versions.
  • We cannot guarantee that your visit will be issue free as internet connection, camera, and microphone problems could exist that our test cannot identify.

How do I start a remote visitation?

To start a remote visit:

  1. Log into Gettingout account 5 minutes prior to start time
  2. You should see a green start button under Quick Links (left side of profile)
  3. Click start button
  4. Click “allow” when the adobe flashplayer pop-up screen appears. You will see yourself on the screen.
  5. Wait for inmate to connect

Tip:

  • If Green start button does not appear, log out and log back in.
  • Ensure you are logging in at most 5 minutes prior to visit start time.
  • Ensure your visit is confirmed by checking the “Calendar” tab.

Can I use an iPhone, Android or other smart phone for remote visits?

Video visits on mobile devices is not currently supported. Remote visits can only take place on a computer (or laptop).

Do I need to check in at the kiosk before my appointment?

No, just check for your name on the visitation monitors. You can check the status of your visit on the kiosk provided in the facility’s lobby.

When I visit in the lobby, how do I know which monitor my visit will be on?

Look for your name on the monitors. Your name will appear on a visiting monitor in the lobby when your appointment is scheduled to start.

How do I log in to the lobby visit station?

You enter the same phone number you used to create your account, and touch “login”. You can also opt to enter your email address by clicking “Use email address”.

How do I make a keyboard appear on the visitation monitor?

Touch inside any text box. An onscreen keyboard will appear.

I’m going to visit at the facility. What should I know before I go?

Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan on visiting at the facility:

  • Schedule your visit before you visit the facility by creating an account on www.inmatephones.ca, so that you don’t have to spend time waiting in the lobby.
  • You can also schedule your visit when you get to the facility by using the lobby kiosk to create a free account.
  • The visit starts at the exact time of your appointment, so arrive a little early and log in on time to make sure you get your full visit.
  • You’ll need your photo ID to register, schedule and visit, so bring it with you every time you come to the facility.
  • Refunds are given when visits are cancelled prior to the visit start time. Refunds for missed visits are refunded on a per facility basis. Please contact customer for further assistance.

How do I upload a photo?

To upload a photo:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click the Photos tab.
  3. Click “Take New Photo” or “Upload New Photo” (you’ll be alerted if you don’t have enough funds).
  4. Take a photo with your webcam or select a photo from your computer by clicking “Choose File.”
  5. Give your photo a title and choose a gallery or create a gallery for your photo.
  6. Click the Share Photo button.
  7. Choose who can see your photo and click Share.
  8. Once your photo goes through the required approval process it will be shared.

How do I change my profile photo?

You can change your profile photo in several places, and you may also change the photo as often as you like (if there is a sufficient balance in your account). The charge for changing the photo varies per facility.

To change your profile photo:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Select the “My Account” tab.
  3. Choose either: “Public Profile” then select the option “Select a new profile image.” Or simply choose “Set Profile Picture.”

Note: All photos are subject to an approval process prior to the photo being uploaded. Profile photos are not stored in a gallery.

How do I move photos from one gallery to another?

Moving photos from one gallery to another is free. Here’s how to move photos.

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click the “Photo” tab.
  3. Select the gallery the photo is in.
  4. Select the photo you would like to move.
  5. Click the pencil appearing below the photo.
  6. You will be directed to a page where you can select an existing gallery to move the picture into. Or you can create a new one.
  7. Click “Save Photo.”

How do I share my photos?

To share your photos:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click the Photos tab.
  3. Select the gallery the photo is in.
  4. Select the Share button above the gallery picture.
  5. A list of your contacts names should appear. If you’d like a specific person to be able to view the photo, make sure the box is checked next to their name. If you don’t want others to see your photo, uncheck the box.
  6. Click Share.

How do I send a message to an inmate?

To send a private message to one inmate:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Select the “Message” tab then click on “ Send new message.”

OR

To send a message to all the inmates in your Contact list:

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Select the “News” tab then click on “Post New Status.”

Note: Not all facilities have the Message feature. You must have a sufficient balance to send messages. Inmate must be a contact prior to messaging.

How long can my message be?

Messages can be up to 500 characters long, including punctuation. There’s a helpful character countdown feature at the bottom of your drafted message.

What’s the difference between posting a new status and sending a message?

  • Posting a new status update allows anyone in your Contacts to see a message you wrote.
  • Sending a message is a private communicate between you and one Contact.

Where do I find the message an inmate says they sent me?

Log in to your GettingOut account and look under the “Message” or “News” tab.

Why can’t I schedule a visit with an inmate?

There may be several reasons:

  • The inmate is currently not allowed visits.
  • The inmate is not one of your approved contacts.
  • You do not have sufficient funds on your prepaid balance to purchase visitation time. Call Customer Service for further assistance.

Why am I having trouble logging in to my account?

There may be several reasons:

  • You forgot your password (click the “Forgot Your Password?” link when attempting to log in).
  • Your account has been suspended.

Call Customer Service for further assistance.

It’s been several minutes and the inmate hasn’t appeared on the screen. Why?

There may be several reasons, including:

  • If inmate is released, the visit will be automatically cancelled. The inmate’s visitation privileges were suspended.
  • The inmate is in treatment or court.
  • The inmate may not know about the visit.
  • You may have logged in to the visit too early. Try logging out and logging back in to your account.

Call Customer Service for further assistance.

Why is my calendar showing the wrong time for my visit?

If you booked a visit for one time and there is a different time listed in your calendar (under the “Calendar” tab), you may need to adjust your time zone.

To adjust your time zone:

  1. Click “My Account” tab.
  2. Click “Profile Settings.”
  3. At the very bottom of the page is an option to adjust your time zone.
  4. Select your correct time zone and click Save.
  5. If you go back to your “Calendar” tab, you’ll see the adjusted visit time.

What Adobe Flash Player Settings do I need to choose to start my visit?

You can test your camera and microphone before you start your visit using the Video Visit Troubleshooter.

Here’s what you need to choose for the Adobe Flash Player Settings:

  1. When the pop-up window appears for the Flash settings, click on the second tab. It looks like a monitor icon with an eye.
  2. Select “Allow” and click the “Remember” box.
  3. Select the Close button.
  4. Attempt to restart your video visit.

How do I add money to my account?

  1. Log in to your GettingOut account.
  2. Click on the “Deposit” link on the left-hand side or the My Account tab and then “Deposit.”
  3. Choose the inmate you’d like to receive funds, the payment method and the amount.
  4. You can also set up recurring deposits for your convenience.

Do I need a credit card to create an account?

No, a credit card is not required. But if you would like to pay for additional visits or remote (at-home) visits, you will need to add a credit card to your account.

Which account do I deposit into for visiting and messaging features?

Deposit into your Friends & Family Account to send messages and pay for visits.

Can I pay for extra visits or remote visits with cash?

If you would like to pay for extra visits, be sure to deposit enough funds to cover however many visits you would like to schedule. You can use cash or a credit card at the kiosk. Credit card only when depositing online.

How do I cancel a scheduled visit and will I still be charged for it?

  • To cancel a visit, log into your GettingOut account and click on Calendar.
  • There you find all current scheduled visits as well as the ability to cancel a visit.
  • Refunds are credited to the prepaid account that paid for the visit.
  • Cancel a visit, log in to your GettingOut account.

I missed my scheduled visit. Can I get a refund?

Refunds for missed visits vary per facility. Please contact Customer [email protected] 1.866.516.0115 to find out if you are eligible for a refund.

How are paid visit(s) refunds issued?

  • Please call Customer Service to find out if you qualify for a refund.
  • When a paid visit is refunded, the credit will be applied back to the party’s GettingOut account that was initially charged for the visit.
  • If you no longer need the account that the refund went to, then you’ll receive the remaining Friends & Family Account balance with a secure pin.
  • You can use this pin to make local, national or international calls by dialing 1-866-856-1858 and entering your pin and the number you’d like to call.
  • You cannot use this balance to continue to make deposits or communicate with active inmates who are in facilities that are not serviced by telmate.

The resident I was scheduled with wasn’t available for visit, can the visit be refunded?

Call Customer Service and give them the resident’s name and explain why the inmate wasn’t available for a visit (for example, they were in court). Once Customer Service verifies your information with the facility, they’ll let you know if you’ll be refunded.

How do I know if my inmate is receiving my messages?

Here’s a few things to keep in mind about sending messages:

  • If you don’t hear back from the inmate right away it’s because every message has to be approved before you get a response.
  • Check the horn notification icon in top right-hand corner to see if the message is pending for approval.
  • Make sure that when you send your message, you get the pop-up that says, “Your message has been sent,” and shows how much you’ve been charged. If you don’t get this pop-up, make sure you have enough funds on your account.
  • You can also click the horn icon if it turns orange to review any error messages.

How do I find out how many free visits my inmate has?

Since only the inmate knows how many free visits they have, we suggest logging into your GettingOut account and sending them a message so you two can coordinate a visit. 

What’s the difference between suggesting and confirming a visit time?

  • If you’re scheduling a visit for the first time, your only option is to suggest a visit.
  • Once the other person accepts the visit, it will be booked.
  • The next time you schedule a visit you can suggest a visit time if you’re not sure what the other person’s schedule is or you can confirm a visit time if the two of you have already agreed when to visit.

How do I unblock a Contact that I blocked by mistake?

To unblock, click the Contacts tab, select the inmate, click the View Profile button and then click Unblock. 

How do I create a free account?

Click here to create a free GettingOut account.  

How do I rotate a photo?

Make sure your photo is rotated correctly before you upload it, since you won’t be able to do this in your account. 

How do I know the inmate has received my request to visit?

  • If you chose “Suggest Visit Time,” when you scheduled the visit, you need to wait for the inmate to accept.
  • Once your visit has been accepted, the invitation in your calendar will change from Invited to Confirmed.
  • You’ll also see a notification in the News tab if your visit was approved.

Tablets

How do I send messages to my loved one who has access to a telmate Tablet?

To send and receive messages, you need to:

  1. Add funds to your Friends & Family Account so that you can send messages to your loved one, and to ensure your loved one can return your messages you can add funds to their Inmate Account.
  2. Once funds have been deposited, you can send and receive messages.
  3. From your account, click the “Message” tab then click on “ Send new message.”

Note: You must have a sufficient balance to send messages.

How do I share photos with my loved one who has access to a telmate Tablet?

To share photos, your loved one must add you as a contact.

  1. Add funds to your Friends & Family Account so you can send photos and messages to your loved one.
  2. To make sure your loved one can return your messages, you can add funds to their Inmate Account.
  3. Next send your loved one a message asking them to invite you as a Contact.
  4. Once you receive the email from your loved one and accept the Contact request, you can send photos to them.
  5. From your account, click the Photos tab.
  6. Click “Take New Photo” or “Upload New Photo” (you’ll be alerted if you don’t have enough funds).
  7. You can choose who can see your photo by selecting the gallery the photo is in.
  8. Select the Share button above the gallery picture.
  9. A list of your contacts names should appear. If you would like the person to be able to view the photo, make sure the box is checked next to their name. If you don’t want others to see your photo, uncheck the box.
  10. Click Share.

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