I know it could happen to you, because it happened to a friend of mine.
Larry, my friend, was working overseas. Only when he got home did he realize that, although he had his cell phone, it didn’t have its sym card. The card had been stolen.
No problem, he figured, and immediately called AT&T, with whom he had an account. That’s when he learned that someone had already charged thousands of dollars to his account. And that’s when he learned that his cell phone contract had some very small print that made him responsible for all charges up to the time he reported the theft.
Maybe I shouldn’t be amazed at how much in international calls one person can charge in a relatively short space of time. Long calls to Mom? In Fiji? Like those Vonage commercials, but without the somewhat charming Vonage sales pitch?
Larry investigated suing and discovered that while not impossible, given the small print factor it would have been prohibitively expensive for him alone. He’d have to join a class action against AT&T and the courts have recently been very harsh about granting class action status.
So here’s today’s Daily News piece about a similar sort of case, although this guy — a lawyer with the NFL — is suing. In Andrew Lee’s case, it’s T-Mobile who “hounded him for five years — and even sicced collections agencies against on him — after his wife lost her cell phone and someone else rang up $1,500 in charges.”
Everyone who depends on cell phones (I’m not one of you) better read this article: Gridiron lawyer Andrew Lee: T-Mobile’s fraudulent bill was a five-year personal foul – NY Daily News.
And, oh, here’s the last sentence in the article (by Barbara Ross): “A T-Mobile spokesman said the company ‘does not comment on pending litigation.'”
What a shocker! (I wish someone would change that boring cliché language.)