Wednesday, November 21, 2007

If Your cellphone is Lost or Stolen....

Have your ever lost your cell phone? Maybe someone stole it from you or you've left it behind at school. If you this situation has happened to you then you should know the proper steps that should be done. You wireless carrier might have a certain policy that will be applied in this situation. Let's have a look at these policies.

AT&T 's service agreement states that,
If your wireless phone or other device ("Equipment") is lost or stolen, you will be responsible for all charges incurred on your phone number until you report the theft or loss and provide a police report number to us. After you report the theft or loss to us, you remain responsible for complying with your other obligations under this Agreement including, but not limited to, payment of any monthly service fees.
This means that it is important that you should immediately inform AT&T if your phone was stolen or if you have lost it. You don't want to be charged with all the calls on your stolen or lost phone on top of the misery of having lost it.

If you signed a deal with Verizon Wireless then you should remember that,
If your wireless phone is lost or stolen, it is very important that you notify us immediately for your own protection, so that we can suspend your service to prevent further usage. If your bill shows charges to your phone after the loss but before you reported it, and you want a credit for those charges, we will investigate your account activity. You do not have to pay the charges you dispute while they are being investigated to determine whether the charges resulted from usage by someone not authorized to use the phone. Further, if we haven't given you a courtesy suspension of recurring monthly fees within the prior year, we'll give you one for 30 days, or until you replace or recover your wireless phone, whichever comes first. You may need to provide further information regarding the theft or loss if we ask for it.
Verizon's stance on the loss or theft of a cellphone is softer than that of AT&T but it still stresses the importance of reporting the loss or theft of the wireless phone immediately. They are also offering a suspension of recurring monthly fees until your replace or recovered your phone provided they did not give you a suspension a year earlier.
Sprint/Nextel has this to say about the loss or theft of a wireless phone:

Call us immediately if your Device is lost or stolen because you may be responsible for usage charges before you notify us of the alleged loss or theft. You agree to cooperate if we choose to investigate the matter (provide facts, sworn statements, etc.). We may not waive any Early Termination Fees if you choose to terminate Services as a result of loss or theft of your Device.
Their policy is basically the same with other carriers. Informing them of the loss or theft is extremely important. However, if you choose to terminate Services after losing your phone they may not waive any early termination fee.

T-Mobile's terms and conditions states that,

If your Phone is lost or stolen ("Lost Phone") you will not be liable for unauthorized airtime charges incurred on the Lost Phone if you: (a) notify us immediately; (b) ask us to deactivate the Lost Phone; and (c) provide within 14 days any documentation we request, including a police report. You must fulfill the remainder of your Term by activating a replacement Phone (which may be full price) or the cancellation fee will apply.
Again this policy emphasizes the importance of letting the carrier know about the loss or theft of the cellphone. T-mobile also stresses that a customer must activate a replacement phone if he or she loses the original device.

It's clear that informing your wireless carrier is the first step you should make when you lose your wireless phone. It also helps if you have proof of the lost of your phone because investigations will follow. However, the best way to avoid this situation is to take better care of your wireless phone so that you won't misplace it or have it stolen by a dishonest person.


waffle said...

T mobile terrible!!! Did nothing to help. Customer for 6 years average bill 80.00... 10 days stolen charges of 1300.00 rung up. They cant help at all....Run away from this company...

Carolyn said...

t-mobile re-activated an account i had suspended and let the thieves who stole the phone also use a stolen credit card. The credit card doesn't match the name on the account, and to make matters worse, the person who activated was not either of the people on the card nor the account. I think this negates their policy as it's a breach of security.