Lost cell phone leads to big charges

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TEMPE - A Tempe man said he's having big problems with his cell phone provider, so he contacted 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper for some help.

Losing your cell phone is like losing your wallet.

For many of us our cell phone is our life so if you lose your cell phone "freaking out" is probably acceptable.

But for a Tempe man, it also turned into an expensive lesson.

Casey Campbell said he and his family have been satisfied T-Mobile customers for years.

"Well, for 11 years, my brother, me, and my mom were on a family plan and we really had no problems," Campbell said.

But last month, Campbell said he accidentally left his cell phone inside a taxi he was riding in.

Whoever found that phone used it and used it a lot.

Campbell called T-Mobile to report his phone was lost and a T-Mobile representative checked his account and told him the bad news.

"I stayed on the line and she comes back and says there were 900 dollars in charges," Campbell said.

Those charges came back to international calls, calls made overseas to Somalia.

Campbell doesn't even know anyone in Somalia.

He said he asked T-Mobile to remove the fraudulent charges; he even filed a police report with Tempe police claiming someone used his phone fraudulently.

Still, a T-Mobile representative told him he had to pay the bill.

"He was actually rude to me," Campbell said. "He wouldn't let me get a word in. No consideration. It was pretty much, you owe the money, I need it."

Aggravated, Campbell and his family cancelled their service with T-Mobile, and early termination fees brought his T-Mobile bill up to $1400.

That is when he contacted 3 On Your Side.

"I'd like for the bill to go away," he said.

T-Mobile looked into Campbell's matter at the request of 3 On Your Side and decided that his $1400 bill with those calls to Somalia could and would be waived. That meant Campbell will have to pay nothing.

Although it was pretty classy for T-Mobile to remove the charges, they would not provide 3 On Your Side or Campbell with anything in writing indicating he was in the clear which is rather peculiar.

So although they told 3 On Your Side they will waive the charges, I'm hoping this issue does not raise it's ugly head 6 months down the road when they turn the bill over to a bill collector.