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Anonymous
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Stolen Mobile abroad - £4200 bill

Hi,

I hope someone out there can help me...

My 19 year old niece had her phone stolen whilst abroad. She only reported it to O2 5 days later when she returned to the UK. However by that stage, the thief had run up a bill of >£4200. I've read similar stories on this forum, and completely understand that she is liable for the bill. O2 have so far offered her a payment plan over 6 months, but she does voluntary work, and cannot afford either the £4200 bill, or the £700 per month is would take to pay it off. I've read similar posts on this forum where people have suggested that O2 are usually prepared to offer some sort of goodwill gesture reduction in the bill - some mention 50%. However, so far, O2 are just telling me the full amount is owing. I've taken on board the advise on the posts on this forum to work with O2, and am doing so. However, so far, it is not proving productive. Can anyone who has previously had a good will gesture reduction in the amount tell me how they obtained it?

My niece is sick with worry, so any advice will be really appreciated.
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Posts: 27,019
Topics: 247
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Registered: ‎29-07-2008

Stolen Mobile abroad - £4200 bill

Wise words from sheepdog, this is doubly sad for someone doing voluntary work.

Sometimes all this can be avoided by using the locks provided on the handset.

Unlocked contract phones are as good as a suitcase full of money, even at home.

As you now know theft must be reported immediately, to reduce any losses, the main problem from O2's point of view is the 5 day delay.

If necessary I would take out a loan to pay this off.

Good luck.
To support Disasters Emergency Committee: http://www.dec.org.uk/appeals text Nepal to 70000 to send £5

Sky Unlimited Broadband - Windows 10 - Nexus 4 Android 5.1.1
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Anonymous
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Stolen Mobile abroad - £4200 bill

[ Edited ]
I agree with the comments above, and send my sympathies to you and your niece.

All I can really add is complete puzzlement at any absence of a security control to identify this activity and block the account. I know that the billing data from roaming can take a few days to reach O2 (so they therefore cannot detect immediately), but I really would have hoped that they would have picked up *something* within five days.

It may be worth having a discussion with your local Citizens Advice Bureau and see if there is a way to argue that O2 were negligent in the operation of your account in their continued provision of service desipte obvious fraud, BUT as I'm sure you've gathered from reading other threads, you're not the first person to have this problem, and I haven't heard of anyone having success with this route.

If it's any help, the terms and conditions of new(ish) contracts explicitly state that O2 will monitor for fraud: "We will monitor usage of the Service via your account for the purpose of controlling our credit risk and your exposure to fraudulent usage." (http://www.o2.co.uk/assets/O2HybridNav/ ... _JAN09.pdf). In your case, O2 seem to have failed to honour that part of your contract.

I'm not a legal expert, but given the money at stake, I'd say it's at least worth asking your local CAB and getting their (free & informed) viewpoint.
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Anonymous
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Stolen Mobile abroad - £4200 bill

My sympathies are with you, but when my wife had her mobile phone stolen from her in Spain fairly recently, we immediately telephoned o2 before even reporting it to the local police.
There was a shiny new sim card waiting for us at home, along with her account balace still in tact.
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Anonymous
Posts: 0

Stolen Mobile abroad - £4200 bill

Unfortunately I think the fact that the phone wasn't reported stolen and wasn't pin protected will count against the phone owner. Roaming costs will take a while to come through, and and I'm not sure if they trickle or are batched up by the roaming network. Either way it will take a while as it would be days for even the first day of abuse to register.