$28,000 Phone Bill Shocks Telstra Customer Rayden Crawley

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | December 6, 2012 10:46 AM EST

When Telstra customer Rayden Crawley lost his mobile phone, he immediately told the telecommunications network to terminate his account. However, Crawley needed to grab hold of something when he was informed about a deducted $28,000 worth of phone bill from his credit card for calls that he did not make.

Rayden Crawley recalled he lost his mobile phone in September at Barcelona, Spain. He reported the incident to the Spanish police then called and emailed Telstra to request the immediate blocking of the lost phone. When Crawley returned to Melbourne, the news shocked him after Telstra's delayed response to his request.

"I rang Telstra because I hadn't received the bill and I nearly fell over when they told me it was a $28,000 bill," Crawley shared. The amount was automatically deducted from his American Express credit card for the phone calls made after losing his mobile phone.

For months, Rayden Crawley attempted to get a refund. Finally, Telstra gave back his money on Wednesday after sharing his unfortunate experience earlier that day to the radio station 3AW. "It wasn't chopped off for some reason until 36 hours later, despite it being confirmed by the Telstra centre in Melbourne East that they would have it barred," Crawley revealed to 3AW.

Rayden Crawley also revealed that he has been following-up his money refund issue to Telstra for the past two months. Crawley further revealed that whenever he calls Telstra, the complaints officer he spoke to said that "she was still looking into it." After some time, his calls were transferred to voicemail. "I tried 20 times to get back to her to find out what was going on and there was no reply, just a recorded message. There was no correspondence back from Telstra whatsoever," Crawley said.

After Rayden Crawley's appearance on the talkback radio on Wednesday morning, the refund came through. Jonathan Rose, Telstra spokesman, confirmed to Fairfax Media that all of the bill would be refunded. "We have contacted Mr. Crawley to apologize and advise that we will waive all charges on the account," Rose stated.

"We are most concerned about his experience and will review the case including determining why the payment was debited while the matter was still under investigation and a credit was in the process of being approved," Rose further added.

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