Thursday, September 15, 2011

A $3,868 cell phone bill? Yikes!

We’ve all thought once or twice about losing our cell phone.

Cindy Jacop, of Lakewood, lost her phone… in Costa Rica. Losing names and numbers isn’t even the worst part.

When she returned to the States, she discovered $3,868 worth of roaming charges. Most of the usages came from someone using her phone’s Internet.

She says she wasn’t able to cancel the service on her phone immediately.

“I had no way of reporting the phone stolen until I got back in the country on Sept. 4,” she told me. “I talked to like seven people yesterday with T-Mobile over the phone, in the store and online and the best deal I got was if I paid half, they’d waive the other half.”

Any of us could have been in Jacop’s position so I called T-Mobile. Jacop deserved help. 

To T-Mobile’s credit, a representative started working on the case immediately.

Jacop got great news Wednesday.

“I just got a call from the Office of the President at T-Mobile! I spoke with Angela Beckett and she told me that they are going to clear all of the charges,” she wrote in an e-mail to me.

It’s nice to see a business taking care of its customer, even if it took our help to reach the right person.

“T-Mobile is committed to delivering the best experience in wireless to our customers. After a thorough review of the matter, and based on our conversations with this loyal customer, we made the decision to waive the international charges resulting from the device being stolen while traveling abroad,” Herman Daguere, T-Mobile’s USA director of external communications, told me in a statement.

He went on to say:

In order to avoid this issue in the future, T-Mobile recommends that customers set up PIN (personal identification number) or lock code on their devices to reduce the risk of unauthorized calls and charges, particularly if their device gets lost or stolen. Customers should also contact us immediately once they notice that their device is no longer in their possession.

To change the pre-set default PIN number for their particular model of phone, customers can visit or contact T-Mobile Customer Care at 1-800-937-8997.

If your phone is lost or stolen, contact T-Mobile Customer Care immediately; 1-800-937-8997. Or, if you have access to another T-Mobile phone, simply dial 6-1-1.

You will not be liable for unauthorized airtime charges incurred on a phone that is lost, or stolen if you:
·         Notify T-Mobile immediately
·         Ask to have the lost/stolen phone deactivated
·         Provide, within 14 days, any documentation requested, including a police report.

You must fulfill the remainder or your term by activating a replacement phone, or the cancellation fee will apply.