Can You Cancel a Cell Phone Contract Because of Poor Health? | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- George and Lori Holmes have been T-mobile cell phone customers for eight years.
"We've been happy, until now," said Lori Holmes.
Holmes recently asked her cell phone carrier to cancel service for her husband's phone because his health is failing progressively.
"He no longer can use the telephone, he cannot dial the phone," she said.
George Holmes, 82, has been diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. "Even to answer the phone, he forgets how to turn it on and off," said Holmes.
In October, Lori Holmes sent her cell phone carrier a letter from Mayo hospital confirming her husband's health condition along with a handwritten letter, but she said her appeal was rejected at the customer care level.
"They said, 'sorry, you signed the contract; you can assign the phone to someone else'," she said.
But the phone company is right: There's nothing in its cancellation clause regarding the customer's health.
The Holmes renewed their contracts this summer. Lori Holmes said if she knew her husband's condition was going to get progressively worst, she would not have done so.
The early cancellation penalty is $200, but holmes believes they have a good reason for the company to waive the fee.
"It is depressing, also frustrating," she said.
It is not fair for her husband to pay for a service he can't use, Holmes said. "George's disease is my disease. I would like for them to just let us have one phone,' said Holmes.
T-Mobile forwarded the Holmes' concerns to an executive team. Anna Friedges, a spokesperson, said the company will try its best to assist. "We always try to help, it is case by case," she said.
She said that someone will connect with the Holmes and they did. The company offered to release the Holmes from George's contract if she will return his phone to the company. She agreed.
"I'm pleased with the outcome," said Holmes.
The Utility Consumer Action Network said consumers having problems with a cell phone company can always file complaints with the FCC and the state public service commission.