Retiree wins 31K fight over cell-phone bill

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- A 77-year-old retiree has won a two-month battle with a cell phone company over bills for about 31,000 in calls from Nicaragua he says he never made.
Oliver DeSofi's Cingular Wireless bill from November listed more than 21,420 in roaming charges for more than 4,000 calls made from his phone from Nicaragua. When he contacted Cingular about the charges, DeSofi learned there were already 9,554 in similar charges on his next bill.
The former bank executive said his bill was normally about 150 -- he has never been to Nicaragua.
"I told them this is impossible," DeSofi said.
DeSofi complained of fraud, but Cingular disagreed and tried to collect the money, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Saturday.
Cingular canceled DeSofi's account, saying its fraud department did not find any problems with the account. The company reversed its decision after a Herald-Tribune inquiry Thursday.
"We are researching how it was handled from beginning to end," Cingular spokeswoman Kelly Starling said.
A company representative told DeSofi that his bill had been credited the full amount and with an additional 120, which he could use if he wanted to resume service.
DeSofi said he did not plan to return to Cingular.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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