7 On Your Side:$7,400 Phone Bill Resolved - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

3/19/07-Tyler

7 On Your Side:$7,400 Phone Bill Resolved

Christa Campbell has been a Sprint customer for almost seven years.  And what happened to her required us asking some personal questions.

"Do you know anybody in Mexico?," asks KLTV 7 Reporter Christine Nelson. "No," Christa replies.

Christine asks, "Have you ever called Mexico? Been near Mexico?"

"No," says Christa.

For the last four months, thousands of minutes worth of calls were made to Monterrey, Mexico using her phone number. Her bill reached more than $7,400.

She immediately called Sprint's fraud department who said her phone was cloned.

"It means someone reduplicated the same phone number. When you pull the battery off, they recreated those same phone numbers some type of way," says Christa.

Suspicions also grew when she noticed her billing address was changed to a New York address.  And making a call wasn't as simple as 1-2-3.

"Say for example I dial 5 to call Christine Nelson. Instead of getting you or your voicemail message you get a Spanish speaking operator and you don't know what they're saying and you can't make a call," explains Christa.

She couldn't use her phone, but Christa says Sprint terminated her service three times for non-payment of the fraudulent charges.

"Even up until last week my husband wasn't able to use his phone. I can't use my phone it's off again. It's like frustration after frustration," says Christa.

She took her frustrations to 7 On Your Side. Our calls to Sprint were immediately dealt with and in a matter of hours sprint had this resolution.

"We credited the entire $7,439.67 and deactivated the rogue phone," says Sprint reply to 7 On Your Side. "Our fraud department did not immediately discontinue service to the rogue phone. We apologize to the customer for any inconvenience or stress this cause her."

Now Christa can rest assured the next bill she sees will be the right one.

"Just add up the calls that I've made, the taxes that I owe, that's the bill I want to see," Christa says.

Christa was also contacted by Sprint on the matter. She says they also waived her from any penalty if she chooses to terminate her contract.

Sprint tells us it's highly uncommon for their phones to be cloned. That with a digital signal it's typically very difficult.

Christine Nelson Reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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