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Customer says wireless company refuses to cancel plan though they’re too ill to use the phone

Jun 26, 2023, 10:35 PM | Updated: 10:45 pm

LAYTON, Utah — Cancelling a cell phone contract can be daunting even under the best of situations. When there is a terminal illness involved, you might think it would be a relatively simple task, especially when the carrier boasts it does not have contracts. Yet, Karelyn Christiansen found cancelling anything but simple.

“I just can’t get anywhere,” she told the KSL Investigators, after trying everything she could for four months to cancel her husband’s wireless service.

Her husband, Scott, has had a phone and plan from Straight Talk for about eight years. But last summer, illness incapacitated Scott and wiped much of his memory.

“They needed the PIN number for his phone and they needed a password. And I said, ‘He doesn’t know any of those. He doesn’t remember any of that stuff anymore and I don’t have it.'”

So, every month like clockwork, Straight Talk charges the Christiansens $38 — even though Karelyn says Scott cannot hold a phone, much less use it. She said all she has heard from the company is cancellation is not possible.

“’We can’t do anything. We don’t have a protocol,’” Karelyn recounted. “I said there must be extenuating circumstances that allow for someone to just, you know, cancel this thing.”

Tired of going in circles with Straight Talk, she decided to contact the KSL Investigators.

“Somebody’s had to have had this problem before!”

We looked at Straight Talk’s terms and conditions, and it said right there: “Either party may terminate this agreement at any time.”

So, why won’t they let the Christiansens out of their plan?

We took that question to Straight Talk’s communications team. They would not answer that or any question. But after several weeks of back-and-forth, we got this email: “We are happy that we were able to help Karelyn resolve her issue…”

Finally, Karelyn and Scott are free of that uncancellable phone bill

“When you’re not using the phone, why pay it?”

While Karelyn didn’t have luck initially, many carriers allow cancellations for extenuating circumstances — such as illness or relocation. Or, if you are going through hard times financially, some carriers might lower payments if they will not outright cancel or offer help in some other way. It’s worth a phone call to find out.

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Customer says wireless company refuses to cancel plan though they’re too ill to use the phone