Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Sunday, 12.21.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 11  12  13  14  15  16  17
 18  19  20  21  22  23  24
 25  26  27  28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Mar 16,2007
The Elderlaw Forum: Arizona man trying to escape ‘cell hell’
by Professor Michael Myers

“Cell Hell” is a condition described by the Consumers Union in its “Escape Cell Hell.org” web site.

“Don’t get burned by bad cell phone service,” says the union, asking: “Do you ever feel you are in a cell hell of dead zones, billing errors, and unexpected fees and charges?”  A 74-year-old Arizona man who called the USD senior legal helpline does.

He is being sued by a Minnesota collection agency named the “Bureau of Collection Recovery, Inc.,” on behalf of Cellular One, a company the caller says deliberately frustrated his efforts to terminate a 12-month cell phone contract.

He said the contract contains an automatic renewal provision that extends the contract unless the company receives notice of termination before a specified date.  “I went to the same Cellular One store that signed me up.  They said they would not accept my notice of termination; that I had to call a remote corporate office.”

He said he made several unsuccessful attempts to reach a human voice through the number provided.  “They make it easy to enter into a contract, but make it very difficult to end it.  They do it deliberately.  They are dishonest people,” said the caller.

“Now some collection agency in Minnesota is suing me for $516 for a bill I don’t owe.  It’s fraud.  It’s downright thievery!”

He may be right; it may be thievery.  But often it is “legal thievery,” facilitated by contracts written by company lawyers, sanctioned by an on-the-take Congress, and enforced by the courts. Nearly 100 million Americans own, carry, and use cell phones, and each one is governed by a contract.

The public is generally unhappy with the cell phone industry, according to the Consumers Union.  Cellular One has received its share of complaints.  “Cellular One, a deceptive company!  Ripoff!” reads a web site posting by a “Matt,” who now lives in western Montana.  When he moved to Montana from Wisconsin, where he signed the contract, the Montana Cellular One provider would not honor the Wisconsin contract.

I sent an objection on behalf of the Arizona caller to the collection agency and copied the Minnesota Attorney General, who in 2004 sued Cellular One, alleging it overcharged customers.  My advice: Sign cell phone contacts with caution. 

Pro bono legal information and advice is available to persons 55 and older through the USD Senior Legal Helpline, 1-800-747-1895; mmyers@usd.eduOpinions herein are solely those of Professor Myers and not the University of South Dakota.

1584 times read

Related news
Help with Auto Repairs Is a Cell Phone Call Away by NewsUSA posted on Mar 15,2006

The Elderlaw Forum: Clinic denies care because of unpaid bill by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Apr 27,2007

The Elderlaw Forum: Social Security avoids ‘unilateral mistake’ rule by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Jun 15,2007

The Elderlaw Forum: Avoid signing nursing home agreement! by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on May 18,2007

The Elderlaw Forum: Physician ignores ruptured appendix complaint by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Aug 31,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 29 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?