Telephone Frequently Asked Questions
Starting May 6, 2013 Advance Pay accounts will no longer be able to be set up or funded through myvconnect.com. Instead, anyone seeking to set up or deposit funds into an Advance Pay account online will need to go through offenderconnect.com.
Advance Pay accounts balances that were established utilizing myvconnect.com.com will be unaffected and will be transferred to an account with offenderconnect.com. Additional information regarding this transfer process can be located at myvconnect.com.
Value Added Communications (VAC)
How do I set up an Advance Pay account?
The fastest way to open an account is by using a Visa or MasterCard. You also have the option of sending in a Money Order⁄Cashiers Check or wiring the money through Money Gram. The minimum amount to open an account is $25.00 and the maximum is $100.00 if using a credit card. There will be a $7.95 transaction⁄convenience fee when adding funds to the account with a credit card. If sending in a money order, VAC will waive the transaction⁄convenience fee. You may make a payment over the phone by calling 800–913–6097 or by visiting V–Connect online.
Once a credit card transaction has been approved the funds are immediately available.
Why is there a credit card transaction fee?
Value Added Communications must cover their V–Connect administrative costs. The fee is $7.95. All payments are processed through an outside source who charges VAC a fee to process.
Can Friends and Family put money on debit or prepay accounts more than once in a 30 day time period?
VAC allows multiple deposits to be made within a 30–day period. A maximum of $200 within a seven–day period is allowed. This limit assists VAC in controlling any fraudulent activities while also providing friends and family with a high ceiling for deposits. When money orders are utilized, there is no maximum deposit time frame.
Do you accept Money Orders and⁄or Cashier’s Checks?
Yes. VAC does accept Money Orders and Cashier’s Checks. When filling out the Money Order or Cashier’s Check please make it payable to VAC. In the memo line, input the 10–digit phone number that you would like the funds to be placed on in order to receive collect calls. Send the Money Order⁄Cashier’s Check to VAC, Dept 2430, PO Box 122430, Dallas, TX 75312–2430.
Do you accept Money Grams?
VAC does accept Money Grams. NOTE: VAC will charge a transaction⁄convenience fee which is separate from any fees that Money Gram may charge.
To send a Money Gram, you will need to complete a Money Gram Express Payment form.
- Receive Code is 5031
- Pay to VAC
- City is Plano
- State is Texas
- Account number is the 10–digit phone number that you want the inmate to call
VAC allows up to 24 hours for the payments to be posted to the account. Please note that the payment processing center is not open on weekends so if you send in a Money Gram on a Friday, it may not be posted until Monday.
How much do the calls cost?
The calling rates are different based on where the phone number is located in relation to the facility. To determine the exact cost of a call plus any applicable fees, please call 800–913–6097.
Do cell phone calls cost the same?
There are no additional charges when the calls are made to a cell phone. Your cell phone provider’s standard talk time rates will still be applicable.
VAC encourages households that accept calls from incarcerated offenders to have at least one land line in your residence.
If I am being billed through my phone provider, why is my account suspended?
VAC has recently experienced a significant increase in bad debt and therefore has imposed a MAXIMUM credit limit which is the maximum dollar amount that we bill through your local telephone provider. Once anyone hits this credit limit in a 30–day period they are considered a “high–end user” and are being asked to open an Advance Pay account. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Can I receive phone calls from more than one inmate?
Yes, the V–Connect account is associated with the dialed telephone number so if two inmates from the same facility or different facilities under control of the same correctional entity (such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a State DOC or a county⁄city with multiple facilities) then multiple inmates can call the same V–Connect phone number. Currently an account must be established at each unique correctional entity where calls are being made.
Can I add more than one phone number per account?
VAC’s system is designed to allow one phone number per account. You would need to open up a new account for each phone number that you want the inmate to call collect. All transaction⁄convenience fees will apply to each account that is funded to receive calls from an inmate.
How do I transfer funds from one phone number to another phone number?
VAC can transfer funds from one phone number to another as a one–time courtesy. You would need to contact a Customer Service Representative at 800–786–8521.
How do I transfer funds from one facility to another facility?
As long as VAC provides service for the facility that the inmate has been transferred to, a Customer Service Representative will be able to transfer the funds. If VAC does not provide service for the facility that the inmate has been transferred to, they will gladly issue a refund. Please call Customer Service at 800–786–8521 to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
Why would my credit card be declined if there are sufficient funds in my account?
In order to protect our customers from fraudulent transactions, the billing address is verified through your credit card company. Please be sure that the address you enter to process a payment through V–Connect does not differ from the Master Billing Address on your bank’s records or you will be declined. You will need to contact your credit card company to check the address they have on file for AVS (Address Verification System) purposes.
If your transaction was declined due to AVS Mismatch (billing address provided does not match billing address of cardholder), please do not attempt to resubmit your request as it will send multiple authorization requests to your banking institution and place holds on your funds. Please contact your banking institution to verify that the Master Billing Address they have on file is the same as you entered when you registered.
My credit card transaction was declined. Will I be charged for this transaction?
Declined transactions may appear on your billing statement as pending transactions. Because the transactions were declined, they will never be posted or permanently charged to your account. Unfortunately, during the time the bank is processing the pending transaction(s), the reserved amount will be held by your bank and those charges will be deducted from your account balance until the pending status is removed by your bank. These funds are not being held by VAC, therefore, VAC is not responsible for fees incurred due to pending charges resulting from denied transactions.
What happens when the Answering Machine Picks Up?
As a standard rule there is no charge if a call gets terminated to an answering machine. The system will determine that an answering machine has acquired the call and the inmate will not be allowed to leave a message. In some rare cases, depending on the line quality and tone process of the answering machine the system will set the call as accepted and a charge will be levied. In these cases, VAC will refund the money and will request that the customer change the answering machine at their discretion.
Why are my calls being dropped and a three–way recording comes on?
The facility has requested that all calls be monitored and cut off if a three–way call attempt is detected. The level of sensitivity is set by the facility. Static or any kind of background noise other than conversation, may cause the three–way detect to be reported. VAC does not issue credit for any calls that are dropped due to three–way call attempts.
I am receiving calls on my cell phone and my call was dropped in the middle of the conversation. How do I receive credit for the call?
VAC will not issue credit for cell phones as they are unreliable.
What if the inmate is released?
This is specific to your need. You may close the account or use for another inmate. Note: an account must be established at each unique correctional entity such as Department of Corrections and a local county jail.
Will my Advance Payment account expire?
No. However, a $4.95 monthly inactivity fee will be charged to a stagnant account that exceeds 180 days of no call activity until the funds have been exhausted or the call activity resumes.
How do I close my account?
To close your account, please call 800–786–8521 to speak to a Customer Service Representative. You may be charged a $4.95 refund fee to cover their administrative charges.
What is the VAC refund policy?
As of January 1, 2010, VAC charges a $4.95 refund fee to cover their administrative charges. If the account has never been used (i.e., no calls ever received) and closed within 90 days, VAC will waive the administrative charge and issue a full refund.
Why are there no details for the VAC account?
Companies such as VAC have little to no control with the Local Exchange Carriers (LEC’s) in regard to their billing policies or statements. While all of the information may be provided, the end decision on what goes on the bill lies within the LEC.
Why are there are no monthly statements?
No monthly statements are mailed. Call records will be provided by request. As with all collect call types, VAC suggests customers keep a log of calls accepted for personal verification.