Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Your Cell Phone Has Been Stolen...

If your cell phone is stolen, the first step is to suspend your account so people cannot make expensive calls or texts to others using your phone. Depending upon the type of service you use, you may either need to call the service or use their Internet reporting service to stop the line from working.

Most believe that this should be done as soon as possible, since people can immediately begin to make expensive calls from your phone. Failure to report promptly if your cell phone is stolen could mean you are responsible for some of the calls made by the thief.

Many cell phone companies also sell additional insurance that can help one cover these costs if your cell phone is stolen. Some cell phone insurance also can cover the cost of replacing the phone. If you purchased your phone and contracted with a service at the same time, you may have to spend significantly more to replace the phone.

Cell phone companies often offer excellent deals to new customers, but for established customers, a brand new cell phone can come at a high price, especially if is replacing an elaborate or expensive phone.

Cell phone insurance may also be purchased from private companies and help to protect call costs and materials if your cell phone is stolen. However, be certain not to pay for double insurance. For example, some home and renter’s insurance, and some auto insurance may cover replacement of a cell phone.

If your cell phone is stolen from your vehicle or home, you may be eligible for replacement under one of these plans. However, if your cell phone is stolen when you are outside, you may not have coverage under these plans.

If your cell phone is stolen and is a prepaid phone, you can still request that service be stopped to the phone. However, your cell phone will stop working the moment the thief runs out of pre-purchased minutes. In these cases, you might want to risk the minutes for a day or two, to see if anyone has merely found your cell phone and wishes to return it to you.

It’s a good idea to keep your home number listed in your call list, so that someone who finds a lost phone has the chance to return it to you.

With many prepaid services, replacing the cellphone is less expensive, provided the model you use is fairly simple. It may not be worth it to purchase cell phone insurance. More expensive phone models may make insurance well worth the cost.

The cost of replacing your phone may not be worth the insurance expense if your cell phone is stolen. However, you should still report the theft to both your cell phone service provider and your local police department if your cell phone is stolen, at least within a few days, since the company can then make it impossible for someone to have your number, receive your calls, and purchase new minutes on the phone.

About one in four cell phones are lost, damaged or stolen. Cell phone insurance often covers you not only if your cell phone is stolen, but also if it is lost or damaged. You should treat a lost phone as if your cell phone is stolen. Report the loss and hope for the best. It is often possible to reinstate the line if your phone is returned to you, or if you find it on your own.

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