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Phone thief to cost me thousands- advice please!


Guest stenik01
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Guest stenik01

Well here are the basic facts: What are my chances of putting up a fight?

Arrived in Barcelona 20/08/2010

Blackberry stolen Sat 21/08/2010 @ 02.30am

BT were contacted by my family in the UK Sat 21/08/2010 @ 1pm - told by BT" that they could not block the phone until Monday 23/08/2010 because it was a business contract -not private. That department only opens Mon-Fri."

Police report filed 22/08/2010 @12.30pm.

Arrived back in UK 22/08/2010 @20.30pm

BT business section contacted by my employers 22/08/2010 @09.00am.

Told by BT that several thousand pounds worth of calls were made to the Middle East after 2.30am.

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I think they have me on the T&C's as being responsible for all calls until reported to/blocked by BT.

No PIN block.

______________________________________________________________________________

I think I have to focus on the fact that the BT customer support team failed to direct the caller on my behalf to a department that could actually block the phone 24/7 or at least supply them with an emergency number.

 

I think that as the BT rep gave incorrect information which ultimately allowed the bill to soar further. If I had of contacted the same BT rep at 02.31 just after the theft - I would have received the same wrong advice!

 

We can prove that the call took place but I'm not sure we prove what was said - unless they actually do record the calls- in which case how can I get that recording?

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I know all about how silly I am, and that the BT has rights, and that there are people who will try to screw them. I'm not trying to screw them - I'm just looking for a bit of help!

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Guest stenik01

Correction on the facts listed in original post:

BT business section contacted by my employers 23/08/2010 @09.00am.

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Hi, Some quick questions to help you with this:

 

1. What evidence do you have that BT were contacted on the Saturday by your family?

2. When did you/someone contact your employer to notify the loss? If this wasn't on 21st, why not?

 

SV

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Guest stenik01

Thanks for the response.To answer your questions:

1.The phone call will show up on the next itemised bill - it should also show an international call prior to that.The call was also made on speaker phone in front of 3 other people who heard the conversation.They (BT) must also have a record of the call as they checked for my account/phone number details.

2.The company I work for are only open Mon-Friday.

 

Regards and thanks.

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This seems an incredible mistake on behald of BT. It is true the 'business' departments only operate Monday to Friday. HOWEVER, their fraud/loss & stolen departmant is 24x7. Therefore the company had the ability to refer the matter to Vodafone security (your 'real' network operator) and for them, to arrange the barring of the handset. Knowing BT as I do, I can see how this situation would arise, and am surprised it was not addressed earlier. I would expect that the original operator provided incorrect information, and as such they will be liable, BUT you need to prove this rejection took place. If they assert there was no call it becomes difficut for you to prove blame.

 

A second issue is if this was a company phone, they (quite rightly) can only take instructions from the bill payer (the company). Without authorisation, they will not block a handset simply on the say-so of a 'user' for obvious reasons. One to watch out for.

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Guest stenik01

Thanks for that busby.

We are contacting the other phone company to get a written confirmation that the call took place- it was a very long call. Bt records must show this too.

 

BTW - Does anyone know if the calls are recorded as standard proceedure??

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Even if they were, glitches can cause gaps in the record so not reliable as it is not mandated. Even so, a customer would have no right to avail themselves of it unless volunteered by the company, and this rarely happens. A record of the call on a bill or other receipt and it's duration is probably enough to prove the event took place.

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Whenever anyone accesses somebodies account, it leaves a "footprint" so they will have a record of them accessing your account. Deal with this in writing so you have a paper trail. Hopefully someone competent will look at your account and sort it without too much hassle.

If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

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My view accords with Buzbys -- BT have been irresponsible/negligent and should ultimately be responsible for failing to action the request to bar the handset.

 

HOWEVER, my view is also that this was a company phone, thus it would be the company who is liable to BT. If the company did not have internal procedures in place to deal with out of hours situations such as this, and you had no ability to contact someone senior for advice/assistance/instruction, I don't see how they could seek to hold you responsible personally for the bill; especially since you appear to have taken reasonable steps yourself.

 

My advice would be to seek written witness statements from the person who you called in the UK, and who then contacted BT, and from anyone else who actually heard these conversations, whilst it is still reasonably fresh in their minds, giving as much detail as possible. This will be valuable if/when you need to start arguing about the bill, and if/when disciplinary proceedings are intimated against you (which I'd think is a possibility).

 

Did you have company consent to take the device abroad?

 

SV

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Guest stenik01

Hi SV,

Think you are right about the account holder and I think that they are responsible for the bill,but I'd rather not cause them any grief especially since I'm in the job all of 11mths.

This is a new contract set up by the co. and it contains 15-25 mobiles, so you would think that future business would be worth more to BT.

 

I would back the co. agaist BT for sure, regardless of what procedures are in place. But we will see how things develop.

Let the digging and writing begin.

 

I'll keep you informed,

Thanks again.

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