Soldier Cell Phone
Help Me Hank: Soldier Cell Phone
Sheila Cossette watches the news of the war in Iraq with the worry reserved only for the mother of a marine.
"You're on pins and needles every time the phone rings."
And while son Brian is away protecting the country, she is at home in Lakeville protecting his finances.
"We take care of his car payment, his insurance, his excise tax."
As if there wasn't enough for a military mom to worry about, Sheila started getting calls from Brian's cell phone provider asking for Brian.
"It was frustrating and aggravating."
Turns out Brian's cell phone was at his military base in Virginia and that's where the phone company had been sending Brian's now past due bills. To Sheila a solution seemed easy.
"So we asked if perhaps they could send the bill to us."
But no. To do that, the company said Brian would have to come to the phone company's office and show ID.
"I’m like, ‘O.K. are you listening to me? He really is in Iraq!’"
Finally, after a desperate e-mail from his mom, Brian managed to pay his phone bill online from the front lines. But bills were still being sent to the base where Brian couldn't get them. Sheila thought that was such a bad call, she made a call of her own.
"Channel 7, Help Me Hank."
We wondered if Sargeant Cossette, on duty in Iraq, should have to pay a bill for a phone he clearly can't use.
And we wondered whether there might be some way to put the payments on hold.
After that when the Cossette’s telephone rang again, it was good news.
"It was wonderful."
Not only were Brian's bills and contract being put on hold.
"They were putting Brian's account on military suspension."
Brian's wartime payments would also be refunded.
"And his balance would be zero."
Now, as Sheila counts the days until her son comes home, she's passing along her phone bill findings to her fellow military families."
"These kids are providing a service to the country and the last thing they have to worry about is a phone bill for a phone they're not even using."
Many companies offer similar plans for soldiers on active duty. But you won't get them automatically -- you'll have to ask.
If you're fighting a consumer battle maybe I can help.