My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: NY
My 17 year old son apparently misplaced his cell phone on 4/16/11 and didn't tell me. 5/3/11 I get a phone bill from my cell phone provider for the amount of $2348 all from calls made to foreign countries from my son's line. First I contact my son and find out that the phone was lost but he thought it was in the house (this has happened a couple of times over the years) Immediately I call the company to tell them what happened. They tell me in addition to the 2348 they already billed me for there was an additional 1500 in calls. I explained what happened and had them shut off the phone. I have a few problems. First I was never told I even HAD international calling and know in the past I didn't because I was unable to make a call to China. Second: They told me they could reduce the billing rate on the 1500 dollar calls to 29 cents a minute instead of 1.99 per minute but could NOT change the ones they already billed me for, why not? My third problem is that even though I didn't make the calls and didn't know the phone was lost AND reported it the second I was aware, the only offer they would give me to resolve the bill was to make 4 payments 1 every two weeks to pay off the total. I explained that I would never charge over 3000 in calls to my cell phone in 3 weeks and I didn't have the cash to pay in four weeks. I offered to cancel my cell phone and make regular 150 dollar payments until it was paid off and they said that if I did not pay it off in the 4 payments the account would go into collections and that is their final offer.
Currently I have 25 years of excellent credit, never paid a single bill late in my life. 1) I don't think I should have to pay 3000+ in calls I didn't make but I will if I can in a reasonable payment plan 2) I don't know what to do to stop my hard earned credit rating from being ruined.
Do I have any legal standing to fight this? If so what type of lawyer should I contact. Personally I rather give the $$ to a lawyer then them.
Thanks for any advice you can give me.