FTC Halts Scheme that Falsely Claimed to Offer Unlimited Inmate Calling Plans
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court issued a temporary restraining order against Marc and Courtney Grisham and two companies they operate, Disruption Theory LLC and Emergent Technologies LLC, which do business as inmatecall.com and inmatecallsolutions.com. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the operators advertised and marketed calling plans for unlimited minutes, which they did not provide. Prison and jail calls are provided by specialized service providers, which have contracts with correctional facilities and charge for calls at predetermined per-minute rates. Specialized service providers have not and do not currently offer unlimited calling plans. This is the first case the FTC has brought involving inmate calling plans.
The FTC alleges that the operators of the scheme preyed on inmates’ families and friends who rely on phone calls to stay in touch with their incarcerated loved ones—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person visitation has been suspended at prisons—and may be looking for cheaper calling options given the high cost of per-minute calls. According to the complaint, inmatecall.com and inmatecallsolutions.com charged prices ranging from $29.97 for one month of their purported “unlimited” service to $49.97 for three months, and $89.97 for a year.
FTC Halts Scheme that Falsely Claimed to Offer Unlimited Inmate Calling Plans FTC has no time for allegedly deceptive “unlimited minutes” claims