Tmobile: Pay $239 For Calls You Didn't Make To Africa

Mike had his phone stolen and $239 in fraudulent calls made to Africa on November 4th, and even though he reported the charges on November 5th, Tmobile says he still has to pay up. Their inviolable policy is that you’re responsible for the charges up until you report the phone as stolen. Mike recorded his failed attempts to get Tmobile to credit his account.

At one point, Mike says, “We’ve been customers of yours for three years, with two phones, and two numbers on one one phone… We’ve never once called any country on the continent of Africa, and then all of a sudden on 3am in the morning on the 4th we decide to call Mali?”

Now Tmobile expects him to pay the full charges, and buy a replacement phone, a phone that will cost him more than it would a new customer. Under those terms, what incentive does he have to stay a customer? None, as he’s out of contract with them.

He even points this out, saying how Tmobile can get $239 from him now and then not a cent more, or credit his account and get many hundreds more over the course of his lifetime. This petty human logic bounces off the Tmobile-tron like a pebble off a tank.

There needs to be a federal consumer protection law, similar to what there is for credit cards, that limits consumer liability as long as they report the theft within a certain period of time.

You can listen to the call here (Running time: 17:05)

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. shan6 says:

    Clearly he is in the wrong! Who does he think he is, trying to reason with a corporation?

  2. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    Don’t you love how Mike uses blunt logic with T-Mob yet it won’t sink into their skulls? I honestly hope this gets resolved and in his favor.

  3. iEddie says:

    Why should T-Mobile pay for the calls? If the calls were placed after he had reported the phone lost/stolen, then they should, but he waited until the next day to report the phone lost/stolen.

  4. statnut says:

    So IEDDIE works for Tmobile.

  5. UpsetPanda says:

    I think the post picture is hilarious.

  6. gingerCE says:

    If Mike lives in California, there is a state agency that will help him with this–cell phone disputes. I saw this on my local news but sorry, can’t remember the name of the state agency.

    I have T-mobile and I knew unfortunately, that is what the contract states. I think it’s wrong though but the fraud is not treated the way it is via a credit card. For any T-mobile customers who don’t use their cell for overseas calls, login to your account and block international calling. It’s free and if you need to go overseas you can just log back in and unblock it. It’s immediate. That’s what I’ve done.

  7. jdmiller82 says:

    Poor guy. Just goes to show that companies like T-Mobile don’t care at all about their customers, and they are completely incapable of logical thought. Instead of trying to help their clients out, they just throw “policy” at them. What a load of BS.

    If I were Mike, I’d drop T-Mobile and not pay them a dime of that $239.
    And then I’d go post my story on this website

  8. MommaJ says:

    I don’t see why T-Mobile should set a precedent like this–there’s too much risk that people will conveniently “lose” their phones after racking up unusually hefty charges, for example, for calling a friend who is traveling overseas. He screwed up twice–by losing his phone and by not reporting it till the next day. Why should T-Mobile pay for his negligence? And for those who will surely carry on about “blaming the victim”, well, when you screw up, you get blamed–just like mom taught you.

  9. CarlR says:

    I wish CSR basic training included the difference between “can’t” and “won’t”. This would save everyone a lot of time.

  10. skittlbrau says:

    My fiancee left his phone in the black of a livery cab, and lo and behold he started calling Equador for hours on end.

    When he called T Mobile he got the rep to admit on tape that they believed his phone was stolen and the calls were fraudulent. He then got them to waive 75% of the charges because in New York it is illegal to profit off of fraudulent activity (yay for a lawyer father!). It sucks, but $50 was better than $200, and we got the phone back after calling the livery cab company and threatening to go to the city.

  11. iEddie says:

    @statnut: Nope, sorry. Don’t work for T-Mobile.

  12. Beerad says:

    I see it both ways. His logic is pretty bad, actually — “well, I’ve never called those places before so it’s IMPOSSIBLE that those were calls I would have made.” Wha?

    On the other hand, it’s pretty crappy that they can’t cut the guy a break. I’ve lost my entire wallet for a few days at a time only to have it turn up in the couch cushions; you don’t want to go through the hassle of reporting something as stolen if it’s not, and he called the exact next day to report it.

    Of course, there’s a super-high potential for abuse if they just start writing off charges, which is exactly why the policy exists.

    Meh. Could go either way.

  13. sleze69 says:

    I think this is a pretty standard policy. You are responsible for all calls until you report the phone missing. I bet Cingular, Sprint and Verizon all have the same policy.

  14. Mike_ says:

    @MommaJ: So are you telling us if your credit card gets stolen, you’ll pay for any fraudulent transactions out of your own pocket instead of asking the credit card company to reverse them (as they are required to by law)?

    Some people are going to try to defraud the phone company. Those people are called criminals. Most people are going to be legitimately reporting fraudulent activity on their account. Those people are ordinary consumers, and they deserve protection.

  15. warf0x0r says:

    Out of fear we should all call in our phones lost/stolen whenever we just can’t find it and see what happens.

  16. Mike_ says:

    When my wife bought a Macbook awhile back, the credit card company saw that she was making an unusual purchase and called to verify the order. Is there a reason T-Mobile cannot do something similar? This guy isn’t a big international caller, and all of the sudden he’s spending $239 calling Africa in the middle of the night. Can’t T-Mobile freeze international dialing while it verifies the validity of the calling activity? They could use an automated system that asks for some verifying information before connecting the call.

  17. Craig says:

    If I notice my phone missing the first thing I’m going to do is call AT&T and ask them to block any calls from the phone until further notice. Then, after a couple of days, if it doesn’t turn up I’ll report it stolen.

    As for having to buy a new one, doesn’t T-Mobile offer optional insurance when you get your phone? AT&T does. I didn’t take it, but I fully expect to have to pay for a replacement phone if I lose or damage mine.

    Having said that, T-Mobile has a choice as to whether to stick to policy here or exercise some customer service to keep a long-time customer.

  18. Amelie says:

    @MommaJ: How is getting one’s phone stolen the equivalent of losing it?

    Interesting, how a number of your posts have the standard, corporate-shill reply:

    MommaJ commented on “Why Does Best Buy Hate Its Customers?”, at 6:23 PM on Dec 12 Another poorly written rant about not much of anything.

    MommaJ commented on Alitalia Strands Passenger In Iran, at 8:14 PM on Nov 28 I certainly agree that the consumer deserves to be refunded the amount of his cheaper ticket in a more timely fashion, but he did voluntarily choose to buy a more expensive replacement rather than wait for a later flight, and that fact that his visa was about to run out and that he chose to travel in a country with no US embassy is a situation of his own making and hardly Alitalia’s responsibility. more »

    MommaJ commented on TigerDirect Unlawfully Restrains And Verbally Abuses Customer For Not Submitting To Receipt-Showing Demands, at 3:40 AM on Aug 24 Shaneal alleges to have already spent thousands of dollars in this store, so presumably she was quite familiar with their receipt procedure.

  19. trujunglist says:

    I don’t see why there can’t be some sort of middle ground to prevent fraud. If you’re a customer for years with a cell service provider and suddenly rack up a huge bill at 3 am to a place you’ve never called before and then report your phone stolen, then chances are you aren’t trying to defraud the company. Then again, I guess you couldn’t trust a corporation to be willing to listen to customers and make decisions based on historical fact, like everyone does every single day.

  20. HalOfBorg says:

    If he had simply ‘lost’ his phone – then he’d have no problem. It would be in a sewer or in his couch cushions or something.

    When he lost the phone, and it was FOUND by someone and used for their purposes, THEN he was victim of theft. Calls should be credited.

    I have found a wallet and a purse before – and nothing in them was used incorrectly. Blame the criminal, not the victim.

  21. howie_in_az says:

    So vote with your wallet: pay T-Mobile’s crazy $239 bill and cancel your service with them. Sure it sucks and I doubt an executive email carpet bomb would rectify the situation, but at least you have the comfort of knowing your money is instead going to another coporation (that may or may not have willingly spied on Americans).

  22. yg17 says:

    @iEddie: I agree (and no, I don’t work for T-Mobile). Cell phones should be treated the same as credit cards, the second you realize it’s missing, you should call and report it.

    Oh, and I don’t like the “but they can see I’ve never called internationally before!” Until Saturday, I never called internationally either. But since then, I’ve called my sister who is currently in Israel right now and using a prepaid SIM over there, so I have to call her Israeli number. If I call T-Mobile to say I never made those calls, how do they know if that’s really true or not by looking at my past usage? I’ve never dialed outside the US before, but that doesn’t mean any international charges are fraudulent.

  23. edrebber says:

    Get a new phone with another carrier and tell T-mobile to suck eggs. If T-mobile reports the activity to the credit bureau, then add your side of the story.

  24. Stan LS says:

    @howie_in_az: Why should TMOBILE have to be stuck with the guy’s bill???

  25. So let me get this straight.. T-mobile lets people make calls on the phone after it’s been reported stolen? If they don’t, then please explain to me how their policy makes a lick of sense.

  26. Stan LS says:

    @thnkwhatyouthnk: Holy, crap! Learn to read – “Their inviolable policy is that you’re responsible for the charges up until you report the phone as stolen.”

  27. @Stan LS: Holy crap! Learn to understand! I didn’t ask what their policy is – I’m not retarded – I asked how their policy makes any sense. If the customer is responsible for charges before the phone is reported stolen but not after, then they are implying that there are charges after the customer’s report which they are waiving for them.

    And now you know…

  28. Stan LS says:

    @thnkwhatyouthnk: Uh, no, they are implying that he’s only responsible up until the report is made. Afterwards, *if* there are any charges (ie, they are too slow to turn the service off) – its their fault. Makes perfect sense.

  29. CSR says:

    Verizon actually (unless they’ve recently changed it) will credit back any unusual charges that appear up to 48 hours prior to the phone being reported stolen.

  30. avconsumer says:

    After listening, I thought, gosh – the Consumerist should have a “black list” on companies that are voted on (for inclusion on said list,) by readers. I quickly came to the conclusion that all cell carriers would probably make the list sooner or later.

    Seems like international calling (on cells) should be disabled by default, and only enabled by a signed contract stating the obvious (in this case,) ramifications for doing such. Perhaps including the option for a pin # (I know pin # is redundant, but meh,).

    Tmobile is wrong here. Their fault for not having these safeguards in place already. They can’t expect John Q. Public to call the second his phone is stolen. Ironclad policy, doesn’t apply in this case, and/or the lack of judgment to pass a loyal longtime customer on up the corporate ladder. Though it may save them money in the long run, I’ll sure never use ’em. That’s at least 3 accounts they’ve lost forever.

    Thanks for spreading the word Mike (and your award winning patience and communication skills). I tend to disagree with the “supervisor” and am confident that there is somebody at Tmobile that would agree with you. I found the person willing to help me (with a Dell problem) through letters to the BBB and the Texas attorney general. They tend to take letters from attorney generals pretty seriously apparently (well… Dell anyway.)

    Consequently, Tmobile USA is based in Bellevue WA. The website for the honorable Attorney General Rob McKenna (Washington State) can be found @…

  31. At one point, Mike says, “We’ve been customers of yours for three years, with two phones, and two numbers on one one phone… We’ve never once called any country on the continent of Africa, and then all of a sudden on 3am in the morning on the 4th we decide to call Mali?”

    You would THINK they would flag it as unusual activity and disable the phone…

  32. jwissick says:

    @Papa Midnight: If my phone company suddenly cut off my phone cause I made a call overseas I would leave them at once. Now if they CALLED me and verified my account and asked me if that was me making the calls, I would be more impressed and happier.

  33. @Stan LS: Oh, forgive me for not wording it how you did. However, the way you so thoughtfully explained it to me has shown me the light.

    Anyhow, what do you propose happens if the criminal that stole the phone starts making the calls one minute after the phone is lost and they steal it? Should the customer have checked their pocket every minute and then ran to the nearest pay phone when they found it wasn’t there? Some of you people are such ass-hats..

  34. Buran says:

    @jwissick: Except then the fraud has already taken place and you’ll get billed for it if they screw up, as the original poster’s complaint shows… you really just can’t win.

  35. spryte says:

    I’d have to think most people wouldn’t notice their phone had been stolen right away…unless someone runs by and grabs it out of your hand. It’s perfectly normal that you may not notice it had been stolen for a little while – there should be some leeway allowed.

  36. Pylon83 says:

    Why should T-Mobile have to babysit their customers? The guy signed a contract stating he is responsible for charges up until he reports it stolen. He reported it stolen after the calls were made. T-Mobile has to pay their international carrier for those calls. Why should they get stuck with the bill? T-mobile probably has protections AVAILABLE if you choose to put them in place. Why should they be forced to shoulder the expense of imposing them on EVERYONE?

  37. rjhiggins says:

    @thnkwhatyouthnk: Hate to tell you, but you’re the ass-hat here. Stan LS explained things perfectly; you chose to misinterpret.

    Those suggesting he switch carriers: I’d be very surprised if Verizon and the others don’t have the exact same policy. Does anyone know for sure?

  38. yg17 says:

    @Papa Midnight: If my phone company disabled my phone because I made the once in a blue moon international call, I’d be pissed off.

    As I stated in a previous comment, in my year with T-Mobile, I never made a single international call until Saturday. If they flagged that as suspicious activity and shut off my phone I’d be extremely upset. I don’t want to have to call my phone company to reactivate my phone every time I call another country.

  39. Stan LS says:

    @thnkwhatyouthnk: Every minute? The guy took a full day! I love how people expect the company to hold up their end of the bargain, but when they do wrong the policy no longer should apply. Seriously, what are you 5?

  40. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @iEddie: I “waited a whole day” to report my TMobile phone stolen because I thought I had simply misplaced it, I had no inkling it had been stolen. tMobile was more than helpful, credited me the racked-up charges to India (about $420), and even sent me an upgraded phone for only 50 bucks.

    But… I had insurance, so…

  41. iEddie says:

    My opinion on this is that T-Mobile does not have to do anything (the calls were made before it was reported stolen), but it would be nice if they did. I’m sure it would earn them some good PR if they did. But if they do that, I expect that people will conveniently be “losing” phones after making international calls.

    @ceejeemcbeegee: Did the insurance policy specifically cover this type of thing perhaps?

  42. cecilsaxon says:

    Mike sounds like a Napoleon Dynamite twin does he not?

    Do Malians have talons?

  43. MommaJ says:

    @zouxou: Yup, that’s me, the corporate shill for Best Buy, Alitalia, Tiger Direct AND T-Mobile! I’m exhausted! Honestly, I’m a small business owner (as in very small retail store), ex-child of the Sixties, mother to one teen and one twenty-something. Got shafted by a big corporation employment-wise a decade ago, so I know the ups and downs of life and know how corporations can do dirty. I am all for consumer protection. But I hate seeing so many posts by folks who refuse to take responsibility for the contracts they have signed or the missteps they have made and insist on some corporation making it all better for them. I know these are the same ones whose mommies used to march onto nursery school to fight their battles for them and kiss all their boo-boos, but you’re a big kid now, and the corporation is not your mommy. Ditto re those who can’t accept the idea that sometimes shit happens and there’s no one to blame. So boohoo, your cellphone got stolen and someone made calls. T-Mobile should waive its contract terms just for you and take your financial hit because life was mean to you? What are all these whiners going to do when life throws them a real curveball and there’s no corporation to blame? If one of my kids came to me with the type of woeful tale I see far too often on this blog,I’d tell ’em to grow up and deal with it. I read The Consumerist for helpful information and enlightening commentary, and hope for fewer posts of the “life’s not fair” genre.

  44. Amelie says:

    @MommaJ said:I know these are the same ones whose mommies used to march onto nursery school to fight their battles for them…

    So you’re a part-time psychic, too?

  45. LTS! says:

    Wow, that’s a lame comeback.

    Anyway, T-mobile offers protections against allowing International calling, another T-Mobile customer already stated he has his turned off. Failure to enable a security feature is the user’s problem. He never makes international calls, why should he have the feature enabled?

    Don’t respond with the, “how are customers suppose to know this and that” crap. It’s simple, you purchase a piece of equipment, if you don’t know what it does then you are a moron. I have international calling turned off on all my phones, I also have SMS and MMS turned off because I don’t use them. I have friends who continually complain about getting “SPAM” texts and I tell them to turn off the damn feature, they refuse to, so how do you respond to that?

    As far as the missing/stolen debate. It’s a risk. If you are unsure where something important is located, something that can cause financial harm to you if used improperly you risk having that harm inflicted if you are unsure that it was stolen. You weigh it against the inconvenience of reporting items stolen and dealing with that. If you get bitten, it’s your fault.

  46. meballard says:

    Depending on the circumstances, it can take a day or two before someone even notices the phone is missing. My mom keeps her phone in her purse, and somehow it got out of her bag and left at a Trader Joe’s (or in the parking lot, I’m not sure which), and she had no idea the phone was missing until someone from Trader Joe’s called home from her phone that night. Fortunately in our case no one used the phone inappropriately.

    According to Verizon’s website, they don’t have a fixed policy as to time, but they will credit calls you didn’t make before you call to report it stolen or lost:
    Also I believe Verizon doesn’t activate international calling by default.

    Even if a company isn’t willing to remove the charges entirely, it’s not reasonable to ask they pay full price, they should at least give a price break (being that they don’t pay anywhere close to what they charge for the long distance, and considering that the customer didn’t actually make the calls…).

  47. Hawk07 says:

    It could have been a lot worse than $239. However, the caller has a lot of great points and from personal experience, T-Mobile is penny wise and pound foolish.

    We need more cell phone companies to become national and clean up shop on crappy cell phone CS.

  48. ironchef says:


    “Can you hear me now? Good!”

  49. XTC46 says:

    @warf0x0r: they will suspend the number until you call back and say you found it. It takes 30 seconds for each call. I have to do this frequently becasue our employee’s lose their phones. heck I can suspend phone numbers from our online account access page. quick and easy.

  50. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    I agree. They should be able to notice odd calls/charges like this and suspend the account until the person attempting the calls can confirm their ID. Or have a feature where if you attempt to dial outside a certain area you must enter a PIN before the call is placed. This would not only stop scammers/thieves in their tracks but those not so honest customers that make calls then claim it was “fraudulent”. A CSR can just say “I’m sorry, but the call was placed with your PIN and you should be the only one with that information”.

  51. coren says:

    Considering he reported it stolen within a day, and taking into account the oddity of calls to Africa at 3 AM, you’d think TMobile would recognize something is up. Maybe he thought the phone was lost or misplaced.

    Plus, it doesn’t seem like this is exactly a situation where fraud works that well. Report phone stolen after you make irregular charges (why you’d all of a sudden need to make enough of these charges I don’t know). Phone is deactivated, you have to buy a new phone, which isn’t always the cheapest thing ever, or involves reupping contracts and shelling out for another two years.

  52. majortom1981 says:

    If he didnt report the phone stolen that day its his fault .Go ahead and try to explain why it isnt. If I lose my phone within an hour I report it lost.

    He reported the phone a day or two after it was stolen.Its his fault for being lazy.

  53. grlzero says:

    I had this experience with Sprint. My phone was stolen (quite obviously stolen: my friend’s car was broken into and many things were missing). We knew about the theft less than an hour after it occurred. I neglected to report it to Sprint for 6 hours, during which time around 6 hours of calls were made to various South American countries (and I’ve never made a call to South America in 7 years as a Sprint customer).

    Sprint agreed, after a long CSR call, to remove half the long-distance charges from my bill. That would’ve satisfied me, had I not had a police report on file describing the event, listing the exact time it occurred. The report would’ve cleared up any discrepancy about when I lost control of the phone, but when I offered it the CSR refused to even accept a copy for consideration.

    The upshot is that a rep at the Sprint store gave me the new-customer price for a new phone. In the end I was content with that, but I’m still annoyed with the (pretty rude, actually) treatment I got from the CSR.

  54. avconsumer says:


    Ok… there are so many things wrong with this mans experience…

    First…The customer is always right. This may be old and cliche’, but it’s THE single best customer service policy of all time. Either Tmobile doesn’t care enough, or their corporate or legal staff are too incompetent to realize this and/or the following issues…

    It’s Tmobiles JOB to protect their customers from this kind of thing from the get go. Contract schmontract. Did YOU read YOUR entire cell contract? To really do it right, did you have your lawyers review it before you signed it? I’m not even going to get into US/World literacy statistics, much less any comprehension of legalese stated in such contracts. We’re talking the general public here. Have you MET the general public?!

    If they had any sense, international calling would be disabled by default, and only activated with an additional contract stating the obvious, with further protection (a pin perhaps, as stated, possibly only certain countries enabled.)

    With technology progressing as it is, this will become an increasingly common occurrence. If these policies don’t change, I won’t ever be buying groceries or starting my car via my phone.

    Hell, for all we know, it could be unofficial policy for Tmobile to refuse to deal with this kind of thing because of the additional revenue!!

  55. cerbie says:

    Did he know it was stolen that day? Did he even know he didn’t have it that day? Did he look for it that day?

    @majortom1981: how do you know it was lost within an hour? There are people who use their phone infrequently enough that they would not notice it was gone until they went to put it on the nightstand for next morning.

  56. Stan LS says:

    @grlzero: “That would’ve satisfied me, had I not had a police report on file describing the event, listing the exact time it occurred. ” What does that have to do with anything? Fine your phone got stolen – sucks. Nobody is saying its your fault. But how is it Sprint’s fault? Why should they pick up the tab?

  57. Hawk07 says:


    “It’s simple, you purchase a piece of equipment, if you don’t know what it does then you are a moron.”

    So if I buy a car and I don’t know how the engine works and how to repair it, I’m a moron?

    Not everybody else is as intellectually gifted with electronics as you are.

  58. Pylon83 says:

    So you think that any large corporation should hold your hand and make sure you don’t get into any trouble? That’s absurd. T-Mobile owes them nothing other than providing service. T-Mobile should not be expected to notice odd calling patterns if the phone has not been reported stolen. That’s why you must report it stolen and why you are responsible for any calls up until that point. I’m sorry, T-Mobile is 100% right here. If you lose the phone, or it gets stolen, its more your fault than it is T-Mobiles, and with that in mind, you should bear the loss, not them.

  59. CSR says:

    You’re right, VZW doesn’t have I-dial automatically set up on phones. You have to have service with them at least a month first before they’ll even add it.

  60. CSR says:

    One thing I would suggest to people is to have features they *know* they’ll never use blocked. For example, say you know you aren’t ever going to download music onto your phone. Block it. Because if someone steals your phone, a lot of times they’ll start downloading like mad. I’ve seen it happen on many accounts in cases of stolen phones. So it isn’t just phone calls you have to worry about with this issue. In fact, quite a few people that steal phones won’t make calls that could end up leading the cops back to them (they will sure call the heck out of those sex phone numbers though. And for some reason it seems they are all based out of the Dominican Republic.).

  61. persephone says:

    @CarlR: Yeah, I think he just got unlucky with the rep. I’ve had tmobile for years and I’ve never had anything but good service. When I call them with a random question, they suggest ways I can save money on my account.

    And, as far as I know, they’re at least one company that didn’t wrap up my records in a bow and hand them over to the government.

    [disclaimer: I do not work for tmobile, nor do I even know anyone who works for tmobile.]

  62. MacBastard says:

    I am a T-Mobile customer, and international calling is OFF by default on your account when you start service. You can turn it on by talking to a CSR or logging on to the my.t-mobile website and checking a box on your list of services.

    Either way, you have to positively know you’re doing it, because even if you’re using the web, the page will inform you “You have enabled international calling blah blah blah. Are you sure you wish to do this?” and you have to say yes AGAIN.

    SO – if this guy says that he didn’t have his international dialing on or didn’t know anything about it, I would call BS on that as T-Mobile kind of makes it a big deal if you want it on.

    Now, the dude that stole his phone may have called T-Mobile to enable it, but he would have had to have known the victim’s SS number, or have gotten a CSR that didn’t give a shit about verifying the guy’s identity before turning on the service. In that case, this mess would be T-Mobile’s fault. He can ask T-Mobile exactly when his international dialing service was enabled on his account. That may be a more interesting question.

  63. shch says:

    What he needs to do (and this may very well have already happened) is call T-mobile, tell them he is upset with the service and is going to cancel due to this charge. As he is not under contract, they will transfer him to retention, who will offer to credit either part or all of the fee and probably give him a new phone at a heavy discount if he agrees to resign his contract(not most desirable, but certainly better than just paying the bill and signing a contract with a new company with an activation fee and possibly deposit who will likely cause him similar problems in the future and probably has EXACTLY the same policy in regards to lost/stolen phones.

  64. shch says:


  65. pigeonpenelope says:

    So pretend you decide to call internationally and rack up a high bill. Then you call and say that you didn’t make that call and your phone was stolen. Lets say Tmobile just credits that and they do that for all the customers that say that. It would be a ridiculous loss in profits. There has to be a rule in play. And those that lose their phones really need to take action and have their service suspended. Suspending the line not only saves the cell phone companies money but also the customer. I have no sympathy for a person who doesn’t take responsibility.

  66. pigeonpenelope says:

    MACBASTARD: most lines have international dialing capabilities turned on automatically. You have to specifically request to have international dialing barred. I do just in case. Honestly, I would call your carrier first before assuming your line is set up with international dialing barred. If you don’t use your phone to dial internationally (and if so, why aren’t you using a calling card?) then ask your carrier to block your phone’s ability to dial international numbers. This will save your hide if you get your phone stolen.

  67. Difdi says:

    I had much the same experience with Tmobile. My phone got stolen, and apparently *nobody* at Tmobile thought anything was odd about a guy who used about 30-40 minutes of a 400 minute family plan to call his mother over the course of a month, suddenly racking up $2300 in international calls to Africa. It was eventually resolved, without my having to fork over a couple thousand dollars for a phone that was reported stolen (but still in use after the report), but it took a while.