What to expect if you cant pay the bill?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Gmcube, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Gmcube macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #1
    I hate to start this with a bummer but my mom just died two days ago in her sleep. My iphone is currently on her plan along with my grandmother's. Both are/were dumb phones.

    I relied on her completely financially, and money was tight as it is. So I guess my first question is how long before they cut my phone off if I can't get anyone to help me out? I think the bill is already due, but I don't handle that stuff myself so I'm pretty oblivious to all that. And if/when I do get cut off it essentially becomes an ipod touch, is that right? Will I still have access to my texts from her? Or is that stored on AT&T side?

    I'm not really sure where to go from there. I guess it wont be worth it anymore to keep my unlimited plan I'm grandfathered into with only two phones, does that sound right?

    Are there any other precautions I can take to keep as much of this as I can? An easy way to grab all the texts?
     
  2. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    Hamburg, NY
    #2
    Anything on your phone will stay on your phone. AT&T can't do anything about that.
    Basically I would call them and cancel if you can't pay. That would be a lot easier than the negative things that will happen without paying.
     
  3. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

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    #3
    Its ok. You can just delete a plan and see if you can pay the one plan.
     
  4. mhdena macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #4
    My condolences.

    After the funeral go get a job!
     
  5. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #5
    Furthermore you'll still be able to get into the content on your phone (texts, apps, music, etc) but won't be able to place or receive calls, or use data (unless you're on Wi-Fi). So don't worry about the phone itself; it'll be fine. You might want to see whether you can change to a cheaper plan, although I'm not sure how that works in the US.
     
  6. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #6
  7. Gmcube thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #7
    Thanks.

    As for the job, if only it were that easy for me. I've never had a real one, and I'm 27 which looks terrible to anyone hiring (completely understandable). Never been to college, barely graduated high school. I also haven't had a working car in over a year now. So transportation has been a real issue for a while.
     
  8. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    Southern Cal
    #8
    My condolences for your lost. Yeah u need to find a job to keep you afloat in this world.
     
  9. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

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    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #9
    My condolences… I'm really sorry to hear this. Unless you can take over the account, I would call ATT to cancel, otherwise you may end having to fulfill the contract since you're keeping it active. As long as your name is not on the contract, you won't have any obligation.

    Can you be added to another relative or siblings account? Father?
     
  10. wolfaaron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    #10
    If the phones or service was just under your mothers name then you have no legal responsibility to pay anything. They'll just cut off the phone and if they are not paid off then they will blacklist the phone. At that point it's as useful as an iPod touch. You can sell it if you want.

    Also, it sounds like you have your priorities wrong. You probably relied on her to feed you and keep a roof over your head. You shouldn't be worrying about a phone and should instead start sending in job applications to start building a resume and to avoid ending up in the streets. Life is really going to kick you down if you don't start now.

    My condolences but I wanted to warn you before life gives you a kick straight to the face. Good luck man. Work hard.
     
  11. Wackadoo macrumors newbie

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    Jan 20, 2015
    #11
    AT&T does NOT blacklist phones for non payment.
     
  12. Vundu macrumors 65816

    Vundu

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    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
    Sorry about your loss. Those sound like excuses. I used to work at the unemployment office and people worse got jobs, it all about attitude and just doing whatever you can get to start to put food on the table.
     
  13. 617aircav Suspended

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  14. andyx3x macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2011
    #14
    Sorry for your loss. But seriously, go get a job. You'll have to start with a minimum wage or slightly higher pay job. But you can get one. Good luck.
     
  15. Newtons Apple, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #15
    I am also sorry for your loss.

    You need to get a lawyer or legal advise. Do you remember you Mom talking about a will? There could also be a life insurance policy that pays the last bills. Lots of thing to consider here. Did she own the house or renting?

    There are certain things that need to be accomplished when one dies and if you are the only family member you will have to deal with them. Lost my Mom about 2 years ago and it took almost two years to get everything done and she had a detailed will to probate.

    You might want to contact your local government and ask about legal aid. If you can not pay the ATT bill I suggest you get a prepaid phone just to be able to keep in touch with everyone as ATT will cut the service after the bill becomes more than 30 days late.
     
  16. Calebtt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    #16
    Wow, the real bummer here, is it sounds like you cared more about your iPhone and your mother’s money.
     
  17. cousintim macrumors 6502

    cousintim

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    Jan 14, 2015
    #17
    Some of the replies offer a lot of off-topic judgment. I hope that those folks are tightly saddled on their high horses.
     
  18. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #18
    Agreed. There is no way we can make proper judgements about this person. But then this is the iPhone Forum.:confused:
     
  19. scaredpoet, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #19
    Sorry to hear about your loss, and your current situation. I lost my dad a year ago, and it was (and continues to be) a tough process dealing with all the red tape on top of the emotional loss. I've been living on my own for a long time though, so I can't even imagine that additional cloud looming over your head in terms of where to go from here.

    Everything said so far about AT&T is spot on. AT&T cannot lock down or disable your phone's apps, texts or any info your have on there, but they will after a time shut off the service. What you need to do is get several (at least 10) certified copies of your mom's death certificate. AT&T, and every company she held an account with, will want to see one.

    Once they see the certificate, AT&T should nullfy the contract and close the account, or give you an opportunity to transfer one or more lines to your name if you are able to pay for your service. If you can't, ask nicely to have your iPhone (and hers if she had one) SIM-unlocked. This will allow you to take the phone to a different, cheaper carrier, like T-Mobile, or even a prepaid service like Straight Talk. If you're willing to part with your mom's phone, unlocking hers will allow you to sell it, getting you at least a little bit of cash if it's in good condition. Make sure you've saved all her photos and such off the phone (if you can get into her phone, that is) before you part with it though.

    While I realize the phone should be the least of your worries, keep in mind that having some way for people to contact you is essential for trying to get a job, even a basic one, or to get government assistance or deal with your mother's affairs. If you absolutely, positively can't afford cell service on your own, there are "lifeline" cell services that people with low or no income can apply to, so you might want to see what's available in your state.

    Whatever happens though, don't let AT&T, or any other company, bully you over your mom's bills. My dad had cell service on Sprint, and they were absolutely horrible to deal with. They tried to tack on ETFs, then late fees, managed somehow to balloon a sub-$100 balance into something in the thousands, and then threatened collections, even though they were promptly sent a death certificate (and later ignored a cease-and-desist). I'm hoping AT&T isn't as nasty, but if they do, jsut remmeber: No matter how nasty they get, no one can hold you personally responsible for your mother's outstanding debts. Don't let them bully or guilt you into anything.

    I really hope things work out for you.
     
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
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    #20
    Be aware that when the creditors confirm a person death their legal department will try to lien any property held by that customer. Debtors do have rights to collect but not from the OP.
     
  21. TPadden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #21
    ..... at least they have their own transportation. :cool:

    With the information posted it's really unreasonable to not expect judgement, which really isn't off topic. The title asks the question; the answer just isn't pretty.
     
  22. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    Hamburg, NY
    #22

    This is the iPhone forum. Where people post questions about iPhone. He doesn't need to give his life story here. He's already given enough information relative to the topic for people to be able to help him out.
     
  23. cymolia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Location:
    Orange County, FL
    #23
    Sell the phone and pay off the bill and any etf charges. You can always purchase a phone on ebay or cl and go the prepaid route. gl
     
  24. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #24
    You may be able to use att prepaid with that iPhone and save some money. Or just open up your own account. Cancel the old lines.
     
  25. Gmcube, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    Gmcube thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #25
    Please don't tell me where my priorities are. I cared more about her than anyone in the world and it had nothing to do with money. She just graduated 3 days ago to become a teacher and I couldn't be more proud of her. I care about the texts for sentimental reasons, and everyone needs a phone, even if it turns out to be a bare bones thing. I'm posting about this here because this is an iphone forum and that's what I have. For now.

    I'm aware I've brought my situation on myself. I know I need to help myself, I just haven't figured out how yet. People make resume building sound like a routine thing but for me its not. About a week before she unexpectedly died (sounds like it was a brain aneurysm by the way) I had finally agreed to seek assistance, maybe see if I'm on the aspergers spectrum or something and qualify for job placement. Make some kind of progress.

    I do have family doing what they can about the actual funeral plans and other things. There was no will, no life insurance. we were living month to month this past year at least.

    Anyway, Ive been very busy lately as you guys can imagine making arrangements with family, so I cant respond to everyone right now, but I'm still reading everything. Thanks again to those of you who are trying to be a little more understanding. I know I don't post here nearly enough to have build a more personal connection with you guys so I didn't want to just ramble like this. Not here anyway.
     

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