Innovation Inc: How Walmart and Securus Technologies are using technology to overhaul their reputations
But there's another component to transformations, too: reputation.
In the case of Aventiv Technologies — the parent-firm of prison communications company Securus Technologies that's backed by billionaire Tom Gores — new CEO Dave Abel is relying on a digital overhaul to rebuild a tattered public image.
Securus has faced heavy criticism over the past few years for the costs it charges prison inmates to use the services, which lawsuits allege is sometimes as high as $15.99 for a 15-minute call. But Abel is promising sweeping changes and Securus poured an additional $30 million into its tech budget — on top of the $50 million it already spends annually.
"We believe that the incarcerated community is worthy of the investment of capital. We believe they're worthy of technology," Abel told me. "Part of our transformation has been convincing and demonstrating to the leadership of our company and within our company that
Abel says the company reduced the average call cost to 15 cents a minute, a 30% cut from earlier rates, and it provided 26 million free calls during the coronavirus pandemic. But that hasn't stopped some customers from spending hundreds of dollars a month to talk to family members.
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