What To Do If Your Cell Phone Is Lost Or Stolen?
There are situations in which sometimes we get in, that we feel rather helpless
or without knowing exactly what to do or where to go for help. Having a personal
cell phone (telefone celular) lost or stolen may be one of these situations.
In cases like these the following tips may be of some at least to minimize
the potential problems you may run into.
1 - You should take care of your cell phone (telefone celular) as if it were
your personal wallet. The best way to avoid being liable with fraudulent
charges is to do whatever you can within your means to avoid unauthorized
calls in the first place. Check the user guide that comes with your phone
set and start using the lock or password feature to potentially prevent a
theft from making unauthorized phone calls. There are ways to get around
passwords, but you will probably be buying yourself some time until you realize
the loss of your cell phone and call your service phone provider.
2 - Call your cell phone (telefone celular) service provider as soon as you
discover the loss. Report your missing/stolen device and be sure to keep
records of the date and time you called your phone carrier, the name of the
person to whom you spoke to, and what you have been informed. Also take note
of the state and the region of their call center, plus their telephone extension
number. Finally ask for confirmation in writing that your device has been
disabled. Some companies can even email this to you.
3 - File a police report. It may not be much of a help in getting your cell
phone (telefone celular) back, but it should provide an official record of
the missing/stolen cell phone. Keep the police report number available while
reporting the loss to the phone carrier. Also you may open an investigation
with your carrier if necessary. If you are not getting an immediate response
by working directly with your cell phone (telefone celular) company, do not
waste any more time. Contact your phone carrier and request an immediate
investigation. Usually a formal request for an investigation will prevent
formal collections filed by the phone carrier, not to mention that might
delay reporting to any credit bureaus against the phone user.
4 - When requesting an investigation, let your phone carrier know that you
will be filling a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC),
your state attorney general`s office, and your state`s public utility commission
(PUC). After taking these steps, the phone carriers will most likely pay
closer attention to you, once they become aware that you are an informed
consumer. According to a 2006 AARP/ROPER cell phone survey, half of all cell
phone users between the age of 18 and over, report not knowing who to call
to in the event their cell phone carrier is unable to resolve a billing/service
problem to the user satisfaction. Beware that FCC is going to forward your
complaint to your phone service provider, requiring a return from them within
5 - Contact your attorney general`s office. According to their website, state
attorney general offices handles complaints about cell phone frauds and contract
disputes. This office has lawsuits against phone companies based on phone
user complaints, resulting sometimes in refunds to consumers and new agreements
made by cell phone (telefone celular) service providers on behalf of their
cell phone users. Also contact your state`s PUC. Each state has a government
agency, usually called utility commission, which handles consumer problems
with telephone companies.
A missing or stolen cell phone (telefone celular) may become a big problem
if the user does not take immediate actions. Filing a formal missing/stolen
report together the with cell phone service carrier and government agencies
are the necessary steps one should take to make sure he will not have any
more losses. Get to know your rights as a consumer and make sure the any
loss you are going to have, in the event of a missing/stolen cell phone (telefone
celular), will be the cell phone itself.
About the Author
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article
section of page PoloMercantil Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for www.PoloMercantil.com.br
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