Friday, October 12, 2007

Hold The Phone!

When it comes to cell phone theft, thieves may have the upper hand. A recent case in Baltimore left one cell phone owner puzzled by the lack of action on the part of his provider (Sprint). University of Maryland Professor Orde Kittrie did everything he could after being mugged in daylight on a Baltimore street. He called his provider immediately and reported the theft asking the service rep if any recent calls were made. The response he got was that the information was confidential. After filing the incident with police it took nearly a month before Sprint released a call report, costing valuable investigation time, and consumer dollars.
According to The Red Tape Chronicles, cell phone providers require the owner to pay for any unauthorized calls that are made under an account. After a theft, no matter how many long distance calls are made, the subscriber is liable to foot the bill.
These such injustices are what led the to start of the Wireless Consumers Alliance, an independant, non-profit organization who strives to give the power back to the people. In fact, they provide a list of things to do if your cell phone is stolen. Some tips are simple enough, like keeping the key pad locked with a secret code and reading that contract carefully.


Nate Lull said...

Wow - who knew! Great post though - I really enjoyed it. This story is something everyone can relate too. Most of us have had cell phone troubles and just hearing about a story like this, makes the usual problems seem so minor.

The Red Tape Chronicles link contained a bunch of information that I was not aware of and I feel like I learned a lot from this. It was information that every cell phone user should know - but probably doesn't.

Maybe more links could have helped to make it a little more interactive - but other than that, really nice job.

Megan Eaton said...

what a crazy story...I can't believe how cell phone providers never really give you what you pay for...and unless you threaten to cancel your membership they dont want to help at all! I like your links...the list proves how little they actually do help and you link to the story you talk about.

Tracy Kracker said...

I have to say, I was very interested in this story because I have Sprint, and they'll do ANYTHING to squeeze money out of you. So, I wanted to see what I could learn on the Red Tape Chronicles about crappy customer service, but I saw the info on cell phones exploding. I'm actually planning on switching my service soon. And, I'll definitely be sure to avoid the Nokia and Kyocera phones.

Kristen LaVerghetta said...

That is crazy! I think this is a great story... It's kind of eye opening to hear that! I followed the "Red Tape Chronicles" link and read some of that article. I think it is so unfair that people are held responsible for calls made on their stolen cell phone. Credit card companies don't hold consumers responsible for fraudulent charges. If someone reports a phone stolen, why should they be held liable for unauthorized phone calls?