Just who should be paying the bill?

This story from the weekend was about a girl who had her phone go missing. The person who had it said they would arrange to return it to her. Between then and her realising that the person had been lying, the thief racked up more than $2000 on her account. Now she has to repay Vodafone directly, while the thief pays her back in small weekly installments.

Most people say it’s her fault for not alerting the company to the fact that her phone was stolen earlier. And fair enough. But the thing is, she truly believed that person was honest and intended to return it to her.

I’m a pretty trusting person, even though T has had the exact same thing happen to him (on Christmas Day, nonetheless) yet never ended up getting his phone back. And if it had been me, I would have probably taken that person’s word too, and gotten slammed with that massive bill.

And that is just another reason to be glad that I use prepay. It may not be a very ‘adult’ thing to do, but it’s cheap and keeps me safe.

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Head over to Money Relationship to check out this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance; Adam kindly included my post on how I essentially scored myself a payrise.

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7 thoughts on “Just who should be paying the bill?

  • Reply Sense May 26, 2010 at 17:17

    yeah…I would have believed the person, too. how long did it take the person to rack up $2K in charges, though?! (I should read the story behind the link, huh?)

    prepay is the only way to go in NZ! the plans are so expensive for so very little. Skype is the only way i really talk to anyone now. everyone in NZ gets texts–$10/month is all vodafone gets out of me. 🙂

  • Reply eemusings May 26, 2010 at 17:38

    About a week or so. Although you could do it in a lot less..

    I once took part in a focus group at Vodafone for prepay peeps – they were trying to figure out how to get us to spend more, or to get us on account. Short of dramatically slashing prices, it just ain’t gonna happen.

    I spend $20 a month, and BF $30. It would probably be better for him to go on the cheapest $30/month contract, but he has a terrible track record with phones, and although he says it would be good in that he’ll have to keep track of his usage throughout the month, it would be way too easy to blow out.

  • Reply Veronica May 26, 2010 at 18:10

    I would have called the phone company and said my phone was stolen but it should be returned, can you put it on hold until I call you and tell you I’ve gotten it back.

    It’s sad that someone would rack up that much debt and leave it for someone else to cover.

  • Reply Maggie May 27, 2010 at 00:27

    I would have immediately alerted Vodafone and then told them I got it returned.

    In reply to Veronica, yes you can put your mobile number/account on hold until you get it back.

    I actually did have my phone stolen a few months back and I immediately alerted the security and later that day Vodafone. I think you should immediately notify VF.

    Although I don’t agree that she should pay, I do sort of agree with VF too.. so really sitting on the fence >_<

    I also do want to go on plan but I'm too poor to do so

  • Reply fabulouslybroke May 27, 2010 at 01:51

    It’s why I think my next phone will either be a prepay or a smartphone

    If I don’t get the latter, prepay is the best

    I would have definitely reported my phone stolen ASAP

  • Reply Fig May 27, 2010 at 19:08

    That’s crazy!! I’m grateful that I’ve never had my phone stolen.

  • Reply unknowntheartist May 30, 2010 at 12:34

    I’m with you EE, all the way with prepay! I rarely use the phone though, I prefer to talk face to face or a quick email does the trick.

    As for the lady in the story, I’m of the school of thought that losing your phone is as bad as losing your credit cards and wallet. Anyone has access to your friends and family members’ numbers and it’s up to the phone owner to keep such things discreet for the safety of all.

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