Woman who has never used a cell phone stuck with $2,221 bill for iPhones she never ordered

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 24, 2023, 9:41 AM
Woman who has never used a cell phone stuck with $2,221 bill for iPhones she never ordered

Debby Setzer-Ortelt called Better Call Behnken for help after her mother, Donna Ortelt, ended up with a gigantic cell phone bill—even though she’s never even used a cell phone.

“My mother has never had a cell phone, nor does she want one,” Setzer-Ortelt told KTLA sister station WFLA.

Setzer-Ortelt says this mess started in July when with the delivery of a cell phone with no paperwork. Weeks later, two more iPhones arrived.

Then a mysterious letter came, explaining it was a mistake and asking her to send the phones to an address in Texas. What the women say happened mirrors a known phone scheme, previously reported by Better Call Behnken, to steal phones and stick victims with the bill.

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Spectrum accepted one phone and erased the bill, and Setzer-Ortlet says she dropped off the T-Mobile phones at a company store, but her calls to the company to figure out the bill went nowhere.

“I would try calling them but because I didn’t have the pin, they wouldn’t talk to me. Well, no kidding. I don’t have the pin. I didn’t set this up,” she said. “Manager called me yesterday and said, “You need to start making the minimum monthly payment. Otherwise, we’re coming after her for collections.”

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After calls from Behnken, a company spokesperson sent an email indicating this would be resolved. Better Call Behnken will stay on this until the bill is wiped clean.

Meanwhile, this is a warning to be on guard for this type of scheme and alert elderly loved ones. Just two days ago, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced it is looking for a man they believe ordered an iPhone in someone else’s name and picked up the phone at their house. The sheriff’s office has video of the man.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.

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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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