The comic by Kevin C. Pyle Charges May Apply starts with a man sitting at the table with his phone ringing. He narrates, "It was weird that I hadn't heard from my daughter in a few days and I was starting to worry. When the call came in, I didn't recognize the number and almost didn't pick up"
He answers the phone and exclaims, "It was her." An automated voice on the phone says, "...an inmate at Zavala County Jail. Our records show you don't have an account or enough funds to complete this call. To pay for just this call using your credit card or debit card, please press 1..." The man immediately presses 1. The automated voice continues, "This call will cost $4.12 for the first minute and $0.51 for each additional minute, plus any additional federal, state, and local taxes. Plus a one time transaction fee of $3.00."
The man narrates, I didn't really think about the money. Once connected to his daughter, he exclaims, "An unpaid traffic ticket? They put you in jail for that!"
The comic cuts to the same man in his car as his phone rings again. He narrates, "She sat in jail for a week and called almost every day. I should have known those calls would add up. But whenever she calls, she sounded so scared. So every time she called, I immediately pressed 1 again." As he counts coins to pay for gas, he tells his daughter on the phone, "Listen, I'm sorry honey, I don't know why the lawyer didn't come. I'll call him right now."
The comic then shows the man at the grocery store talking on the phone with his daughter again. He tells her, "I know you're scared. We are trying to find the money to get you out of there."
Next, the comic shows the man looking at a piece of mail. He narrates, "When I looked at my bank account, I was shocked to see that 5 calls had cost nearly $100!" The comic cuts to the man driving. He continues, "Next time she called, I decided to listen to all the options instead of just immediately accepting the call."
The automated voice on the phone says, "To decline this call, press 4. If you would like to permanently block your number from receiving calls from this facility, press 6. If you do not want to connect this call, but would like to fund an account to pay for future calls, please hang up and dial 1-800..."
The man narrates, "I realized I needed to decline her call and set up an account to avoid the $3.00 'one-time transaction fee' on every call." The man writes down the number as he drove, and continues "I wrote down the number, hating that I had to ignore her to set up an account."
The scene ends with the man receiving a voicemail on his phone. He narrates, "Then I saw a voicemail from her. Securus made me pay $7.72 to listen to it." In the short voicemail, he daughter says, "Guess I missed you. I'll call you again around 3:00."
The man exclaims, "Just one more way for them to take my money."