Columbia family stiffed with $6,000 worth of calls they didn't make - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia family stiffed with $6,000 worth of calls they didn't make

By Jody Barr - | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Columbia family is stuck with a $6,000 cell phone bill after they say someone stole their special-needs son's cell phone last month.

On top of that, the company has also cut off the phone's service.

One week before Christmas, Virginia Currie dropped her son, Zeb, off at a Forest Acres church for a special needs Christmas party.

It's also the place Currie told Forest Acres police someone stole her son's cell phone, and made the first call a half-hour later.

"The first call was made right then, on that same day. There's an obvious pattern with the calls. If you look at the bills, 'It's mom, can I have a Diet Coke?' 'Dad, when are you coming home?' Talks to his sister and all of a sudden Honduras, Honduras, Honduras," said Currie.

In the span of 10 days, the Currie's T-Mobile cell phone records show 53 texts, 4,386 international cell minutes used, all billed at $6,000. All the calls came from Columbia to a phone number in Honduras.

"I pretty much said I don't know anybody in Honduras, that can't possibly be me," said Currie.

Then Currie says, T-Mobile terminated the family's three cell phones. They say the company offered to cut their bill from $6,000 to $1,500, and left them with no other option.
     
"I was like, 'Oh my God, this is the only phone we have!' Zeb's home a lot of the time because they cut the job coach program, so he doesn't have a job. Hoke is downtown, but I'm all the way out in Blythewood. If he needs somebody, he needs a phone. We don't have a landline anymore because we can't afford it," said Currie.

However, even in the face of owing a debt Currie says she can't pay, her family is handling it.

We called T-Mobile's vice president's office today and spoke with Jay Vandalaya, who said he could not answer our questions.

We were then given T-Mobile's media relations office where we left a message for the company's side of this story. We still have not heard back.

The Curries say they're stuck with a pre-paid phone until they can hopefully sort this all out.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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