Losing your phone is painful enough, but losing a phone that’s on contract makes things even worse!
What should you do when you find yourself in this situation?
Well, it depends.
Welcome to our Concise Guide on What To Do If You Lose Your Phone On Contract– where we’ll take you through everything you need to do if you’ve misplaced your mobile phone!
First of all, you need to know that the terms of the agreement remain the same whether or not you have lost your phone. This applies to both postpaid and monthly contracts.
However, if you have insured the device, it’s possible that you will be able to utilize your insurance and get a replacement for a small fee.
Of course for this to occur, you’ll have to take a look at the terms and conditions attached to insurance policies and how often you can use the insurance plan.
If you don’t have an insurance plan, unfortunately you’ll have no choice but to buy a replacement.
What Could Happen If You Lose Your Phone On Contract
It’s always a painful experience when we lose our phones. In most cases, you’ll still need to pay the outstanding amount if you bought the phone through a contract. Your next steps will depend on the type of contract you enter.
If the clauses of your contract state that you need to return the phone at the end of the contract, you’ll have to pay the sellers outright for the phone.
You’ll likely pay a prorated rate rather than the total cost in this situation.
There’ll be no difference if your contract states that you assume full ownership of the phone once the contract is over.
In this case, you’ll have to continue making the monthly payments until the end of the contract.
If you don’t want to keep paying for a phone you no longer have, you can pay an Early Termination Fee and end the contract.
If you have already paid for the phone and only have monthly fees left, it’s best to end the month-to-month contract.
You have two options available to you if you decide to keep the contract (and don’t have an obligation to return the phone at the end of the contract).
The first option involves buying a new device. Some vendors sell refurbished phones, and it may be a good idea to buy a new or refurbished one from them and then use it as a replacement for your lost phone.
It’s important to note that since you are buying outright without a contract, you won’t have discounts or prorated deals.
Due to the lack of discounts, purchasing a used or on-sale device is likely to be more affordable than buying new at full market value.
In addition, make sure not to cancel your direct debit card or any other payment method that you registered with. A collection agency will, in most cases, be enlisted to collect any debt and report it to your credit bureaus.
What To Do If You Lose Your Phone On Contract (A Step-By-Step Guide)
Step One: Report The Phone To Your Network Provider
As soon as you’ve realized that you’ve lost your phone, the first thing to do is to report it to your network provider so that it can be blocked immediately.
If you don’t stop it immediately, you might end up paying for unauthorized phone calls!
If you eventually find the phone, you can simply ask your network provider to reactivate it.
Step Two: Request Your Phone’s IMEI
The next step is to ask your carrier to provide you with the phone’s identification number (IMEI).
This number will help you to track the phone. You can also get your IMEI number from the package that the phone came in originally (if you’ve still held onto it).
Step Three: Report To The Police
Call the police as soon as possible or visit your nearest police station.
The police will ask for the phone’s identification number (IMEI), so make sure it is already available.
If the phone is insured and you plan to make a claim, note the crime reference number; it’ll definitely come in handy with your claim.
Reach out to your insurance provider and inquire about what your insurance policy covers and how you can utilize it.
Paying For Unauthorized Calls
If your phone has been stolen and used to accumulate massive bills, you’ll have to pay for the cost until you report to your network provider that the phone is missing.
Once the theft has occurred and you report it within 24 hours, you may be fortunate not to have to pay more than a certain amount- irrespective of how much has actually been accumulated.
This concession typically only applies if you’re on a monthly contract. If you’re on a pay-as-you-go contract, unfortunately you are not likely to get a refund for the charges.
If it turns out that your network provider has charged you the total amount for calls made before you’ve had a chance to lay a complaint, call them and ask for a reduction.
In this situation it wholly comes down to your luck and the generosity of the carrier, but remember that they’re not obliged to reduce the bill in this situation.
However, if they try to charge you for bills accumulated after you have reported the phone missing, you definitely have the right to dispute the account.
Finally, if your phone is insured, there may be coverage available to you for the cost of unauthorized calls made between the time you lose your phone and report it missing. Check with your insurance provider to see exactly what’s covered!
If You Have A Contract And Lose Your Phone, Can You Get Out Of The Contract?
It’s almost impossible to get out of a contract, even in the circumstances of a lost or stolen device.
If it was too easy, many unscrupulous people would deliberately lose their phones to get out of paying for it!
Therefore, if your phone gets stolen, you’ll most likely still have to pay out the contract one way or the other.
However, if you have an insurance package in place you may be able to avoid having to pay. In these situations, the most probable option is to pay out the contract and move on.
Getting a New SIM Card
Your phone won’t be replaced free of charge if you lose it, and you’ll have to continue paying your monthly phone bill until the end of your deal.
When you get a new phone, your network provider will be able to provide you with a replacement SIM card for free; however, they may charge for administration.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you decide to buy a new phone to replace the missing or stolen phone- in most cases you’ll still be bound to continue paying the contract for its remaining duration by law!
If you don’t have phone insurance, you’ll be required to finish paying the contract yourself.
You’ll either need to get a new phone on contract while you pay out the old contract, or buy a new phone and either pay up the old contract or cancel it.
Whichever option you decide to go with, you’ll need to pay for the phone from your contract in its entirety.
Hopefully after reading this article, you’ll have gained a clearer understanding of exactly what to do if you lose your phone on contract and how to get those processes underway!
Do you know how to stay safe on your smartphone? Keep yourself protected with our Comprehensive A-Z Of Smartphone Security right HERE!