Los Angeles

Man Disputes Extra Phone Line on Bill

A Sierra Madre man says he's been billed for a cellphone he doesn't have. When he couldn't get his money back he called the I-Team's Randy Mac.

Tom Brady admits he should have checked the bill on his family's plan. He didn't do that. Now he's wondering when there's a mistake on your bill, how long do you have to get your money back?

Running his own company, Brady is using his phone almost 24 hours a day.

"This virtually has replaced the desktop, computer, camera," he said.

A Sprint customer for 13 years, he's never had a complaint, until he realized he's been paying for an extra phone line almost half that time — going back six years — a Blackberry on his bill at $79 a month.

"We're an iPhone family," he said. "We don't even have a Blackberry in our possession."

It added up to more than $5,000 he never should have paid.

"I was a little embarrassed to know that it was there," he said.

He admits he missed it because he's signed up for autopay and all he gets in his email is this notice which doesn't itemize the bill.

But for weeks he said Sprint would only offer to refund him the last 60 days.

"I've been completely neglected," he said. "All my letters have been neglected; all my calls have been neglected."

So if there's a mistake on your bill, how long do you have to fix it? We reached out to all four carriers. Verizon gives customers 180 days to dispute a charge on their bill. AT&T gives you 100 days. But for T-Mobile and Sprint, you have just 60 days to dispute.

"Most people don't read their bills that carefully," consumer attorney Stu Talley said. "They should, but they don't."

Talley said that under California's unfair competition law customers have up to four years from a billing error to get their money back.

"Charging somebody for a line that they don't have, uh that would be unfair business practice whether they do it or not."

Sprint did not tell the I-Team how the Blackberry ended up on Brady's bill, but the company agreed to cut him a check for $3,500., finally some satisfaction for Brady who has a message for Sprint.

"I would say you need to take a very close look at how you treat your customers."

If your cellphone company refuses to refund you for charges you know are unfair you can file a claim in small claims court for the difference.

More information about filing a claim in small claims court in Los Angeles County

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