Valley man disputes cell phone charge

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PHOENIX -- A Valley man says he was having a big problem with his cell phone provider so he contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

He tried to work out the problem on his own, but he says he got nowhere.

Paul Sofolarides says he'd only had it for a few months, but the screen just stopped working.

But instead of giving him a new phone, he says the cell phone company gave him a hard time.

Sofolarides has been with T-Mobile for seven years, mainly because the cell phone provider has always been there for him.

"I've been happy," Paul Sofolarides said. "I have never had any problems. Absolutely, they're very good."

And that's exactly why Sofolarides went to T-Mobile's Web site. He wanted to purchase a new cell phone.

But after just four short months of using that new phone, Paul Sofolarides says it stopped working.

"The screen is like 2-1/2 inches wide and the screen wasn't illuminated," he said.

T-Mobile said no problem and gave Sofolarides a brand-new phone.

He was pretty happy until T-Mobile contacted him later and blamed him for damaging the first phone. As a result, T-Mobile charged him $120 for the new phone they gave him.

Sofolarides tried to explain he didn't break anything and after not paying the $120 charge, he says T-Mobile suspended his service.

So, Sofolarides contacted 3 On Your Side.

After 3 On Your Side contacted T-Mobile, they looked into the issue and just two days later Sofolarides says he received a phone call from T-Mobile telling him they were removing that $120 charge from his bill.

Sofolarides says he's been fighting this battle for months but says it was 3 On Your Side who got it resolved.

"I'm just really happy," Sofolarides said. "I got my phone back and just thanks to Gary and to Channel 3. I appreciate it."

Sofolarides has been with T-Mobile for seven years so I think that may have had something to do with T-Mobile dropping the charges. Regardless, I'm just happy T-Mobile was willing to work with me on this one.