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Lost Cell Phones and Forgotten PINs

Updated on July 18, 2016

The Lost Cell Phone

I had just returned home after a long day at work when my significant other informed me that she lost her cell phone. This in itself was not a big surprise, Kelli is one of those people who can lose anything if given the oppurtunity. In fact, this was the fifth lost cell phone in our four years together, so I was used to the whole process.

I knew the routine all to well, place a call to the phone provider and have the lost phone shut off. Make sure whoever finds the phone is not using the phone and running up charges on my bill. Simple enough, I thought. Then I called customer service.

The conversation with customer service started out routine enough. They pulled up my account information and asked how they could help me. When I said that I lost my cell phone and wanted to have it shut off, they asked for my pin number. When I mentioned that I could not remember the pin and was not even sure that I had ever had a pin number to begin with, they proceeded to ask for the answer to my security question. This certainly sounded simple enough.

"What was the name of your first pet" the voice on the other end asked. Easy enough, I have used this security question before and provided the answer.

How many childhood pets can you remember?

So there I was, on the phone for an hour trying to name every pet that I had as a child. Dogs, cats, hamsters and birds, I named them all. Still no match. Impossible, I thought. I found myself wondering if I had ever answered this security question to begin with.

"There has got to be another way to access my account", I told the girl on the line. I could not believe that I was locked out of my acount due to not remembering a pin or security question that I did not even recall having set to begin with. "There has to be something I can do" I was almost shouting at this point.

"We can text the pin to your phone" the nice girl on the other end said. Now we were getting somewhere, I thought.

I told the girl which number to send the information to and she replied that they "could only send the text to the primary number on the account". Now we have a problem, I thought. The primary phone happens to be the one that was lost. It seemed we had managed to return to the start with this situation.

I know what to do...

I knew what to do to solve this problem. I would head to my neighborhood Radioshack and buy a cheap cell phone that I could activate on the line. That would effectively shut off the lost phone and I would then be able to have the pin number texted to the new phone for future reference. Now I felt that I was onto something. Until I went to Radioshack.

Now, if you are thinking that I needed a pin in order to put a new phone on the line, you would be correct. It seems the phone provider had changed their policy and the pin was now needed in order to make a change to the account. Now do not get me wrong, I understand the need for security when it comes to accounts. Still it seems to me there would be an easier way to prove I am the account holder.

So there I was at the local offices of the phone provider. I went there in person so that I could show two forms of ID and prove who I was. I was then able to reset my pin and security question and you had better believe that I put the information in a secure place. The next time my significant other loses her phone I will be able to right the ship with a simple phone call, unless they change the rules again!


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