Mid-Missouri Woman Settles Dispute with T-Mobile

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SHELBINA - Shelbina resident Teresa Fleming is 46 and a single mom who's unemployed.She's also adopted two kids, who are spending the summer in Michigan.

"Them not being here for the summer is almost a blessing, as much as I miss them because they don't have to go through not having any money," Fleming said.

Fleming said she didn't have money because her cell phone company, T-Mobile, didn't return a deposit she expected.  

"I don't deserve this," Fleming said. "I don't deserve to be broke. I have nothing right now."

Fleming signed up for T-Mobile in May because she planned to move to Arizona with her boyfriend at the time. 

"He blew up. He attacked me in my front door. I had to call 911 and we ended up getting a restraining order against him," Fleming said.

So Fleming cancelled the account and said she should have received a refund of her $120 deposit. But when Fleming called T-Mobile regarding the refund, the phone company said it had already refunded the money.

The problem was T-Mobile had refunded the money to her ex-boyfriend's bank account, since he was the last one to make a payment on the account. Fleming said T-Mobile admitted the mistake and apologized, but said it couldn't return her money. 

"One hundred and twenty dollars is a lot to me. Some people think that's just a pair of jeans. For me, that's survival," Fleming said. 

Fleming said the dispute has been "heartbreaking and aggravating." 

"They're a multi-million dollar national company and they can't give me my $120? Really?," Fleming said.

So KOMU 8 News requested an interview with T-Mobile about Fleming's case. Scott Goldberg, T-Mobile's senior communications manager, said he needed Fleming's account information. With Fleming's permission, KOMU 8 News gave Goldberg the information. He said the company would look into it. Within a few days, Fleming received a call from someone who she said was the T-Mobile president's secretary.

"They were very sorry for what had happened and that I was right. And just that they made a mistake, I shouldn't have to pay for it," Fleming said. 

Fleming got her $120 plus an extra $80. Fleming said she's very thankful and believes T-Mobile finally refunded her money because the company didn't want bad press.

"If they hear bad stuff like what they did to me, then nobody is going to want to use it. I really think you guys helped a lot," Fleming said.

T-Mobile refused to be interviewed for the story, but issued this statement: "Our Customer Relations Department contacted Ms. Fleming. T-Mobile believes that we have resolved her issue to her satisfaction."