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Bug Cellphones

Bug Sends Lost-Phone Seekers To Same Wrong Address 298

netbuzz writes "A mysterious GPS-tracking glitch has brought a parade of lost-phone seekers — and police officers — to the front door of a single beleaguered homeowner in Las Vegas. Each of the unexpected visitors – Sprint customers all — has arrived absolutely convinced that the man has their phone. Not so, police confirm. The same thing happened in New Orleans in 2011 and Sprint got sued. Says the Las Vegas man: 'It's very difficult to say, 'I don't have your phone,' in any other way other than, 'I don't have your phone.''"
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Bug Sends Lost-Phone Seekers To Same Wrong Address

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  • i would sue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:52PM (#42592767)

    it has been over a year and sprint can't fix the problem

    a nice letter to their legal department may move things along

  • Re:Sucks to be him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @01:20PM (#42593269) Homepage Journal

    Probably less want and more man power issue.
    and the vast amount of 'stolen phones' are lost phones.
    You see this same thing with wallets as well.
    Interesting story: in 1989 there was a string of pickpockets in Reno. So the police started keeping certain areas under surveillance.
    There were no pickpockets. There where people leaving the casino, literally through their wallet away and often injuring there face in some manner.
    Upon questioning these people, it turned out they didn't want to tell their spouse they lost all their money in the casino.

  • Re:Sucks to be him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pauls2272 ( 580109 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @01:31PM (#42593483)

    No. Your wrong. The max you can get is controlled by the FTC. The max is quite small - like $500. Then Good Luck ever collecting that even after you "win".

    This is assuming you can get them to 1. Identify themselves, 2. Give you a real address (not a PO box) so you can spend $50+ on a server to serve them after you file suit in small claims court. Most would hang up once I asked for them to identify themselves and give me a real address.

    Then there are the larger companies that not only spoof the caller id but use a record-a-call wanting you to call back and give a incident number to. When you do that, the debt collector will claim they are no longer bound by the FDCPA ( Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) because THEY didn't call you, you called THEM.

    I had the exact situation the OP had. I moved, got a new number and was then inundated with phone calls from collectors. Even telling them that this was my new number didn't really help. Debt Collection was a "growth industry" in the 90s. There are lists of deadbeats that are produced monthly that you can buy and start calling in your own "startup collection" business. So I was constantly getting new collection agencies calling me about the deadbeat.

    The only way I got them to stop, was when I switch phone providers (I went from Cox to AT&T), I LISTED my number. Now my number was published and no longer appearing as the deadbeats number in the newest Deadbeat lists. The number of collection calls I received dramatically dropped. From getting 2-3 per week, I've got maybe 2 all last year.

    Oh, I also filed a large number of complaints with the FTC - I'm sure this did nothing as I never heard 1 thing from the FTC about any of my complaints.

  • Re:i would sue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:10PM (#42594089)


    i read this somewhere else yesterday and its actually the fault of Clark County. Seems they made a mistake and gave the cell phone tower his address in their records.

    still sprint's fault for not putting a some kind of fix in

  • Re:Sucks to be him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BattleApple ( 956701 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:16PM (#42594179)

    Once someone came into the parking lot where I work, smashed my window and took my gps unit. I didn't have insurance either. I was pretty impressed with the response from the police though. They even sent a detective to collect a blood sample where the guy cut himself when he broke the window. While we were at my car, they got a call from the police in the next town, about 5 miles away, and they had caught some guys going through another car in a Walmart parking lot and they had a bag full of GPS units.
    I identified my unit at the police station, then they had to hold it for evidence.. for 3 and a half @#$&% YEARS!! Court systems sucks.. the cops were pretty cool though

  • Re:Sucks to be him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:24PM (#42594323)

    I went on a police ride-along once. Pretty fun job IMO, I would have done it if I didn't have eyesight issues. Anyways, some of the BS they have to put up with is just that: BS.

    One incident we went to was some lady who had some Italian man profess his love to her, and they got engaged two days later. He couldn't afford a ring, so she bought the ring, an expensive one too. He says he needs to take it to a jeweler to do some sort of adjustment, and then disappears with it for good. She doesn't know his real name, only what he told her what it was, and a vague description of what he looks like. Not a whole lot of information to go after, but her and the rest of the public expect the police to actually be able to do something about it.

    Another incident was an alarm on somebody's home security system. The officer told me that 99% of the time they are false alarms. Nonetheless, him and a few other officers had to go through the regular routine of pistols drawn, slicing the pie, and all of that jazz (since the owner wasn't home - also ever since columbine, regular cops now have to go through at least some SWAT training and engage a potential hostile situation accordingly, whereas before they would dispatch special officers to do that.) Huge waste of time, but it is obligatory anyways.

    Resources are finite, and the police are constantly busy. They can't be arsed to take every little issue seriously. Some people wonder why the police will take a long time to show up at the scene of an accident when there is no injury involved, but will show up quickly if there is fighting or if somebody is injured. If it is an emergency, they'll drop something else they are doing (which is every bit as deserving of their attention) to handle the emergency instead.

    Here's what I mean by that: Any one incident that the police officer has to deal with that requires any formal documentation requires about an hour worth of paperwork to do, even if the incident itself only lasted about a few minutes. Paperwork being figurative, because it is all done on a computer they have in their car; so you can imagine just how much stuff they have to write and detail. Take that false alarm for example. I used to think that a police car parked at the side of the road was just a cop watching for people speeding. Not so. That is typically a cop sitting there doing his paperwork. You could fly past at 60 and he wouldn't notice you.

    I've been pulled over all of four times in my life, and all four times the officers had a perfectly valid reason to give me a ticket but didn't because they really didn't want to deal with the hassle of doing so.

    One time I got pulled over for passing over three lanes while making a right turn when I got off work. The officer pulled me over because he thought I might have been robbing the store, until he saw me wearing the uniform (he had this "oh" look on his face when he saw that.) He asked me for my license and registration, and I didn't have my registration (another ticket there.) He told me not to worry about it and sent me on my way. Easily something the state could have made a $300 profit on, but he didn't want to bother. And it's pretty obvious why: when I pulled out, there was no traffic for miles, so it wasn't exactly an unsafe maneuver that he was prepared to split hairs over.

    Another officer pulled me over for one of my headlights not working. Again, easy ticket, but chose not to write it up. I told him I was aware of it and was waiting for one of the headlights to arrive via mail (which was true.) He just wanted to make sure I was aware of it and that it was being dealt with.

    I had an expired plate and was driving to get something to eat on new years evening. Cop pulled me over and asked where I was going. I gave him my license and registration, he said my plates were invalid (huge fine for that) but let me go because he was looking for drunk drivers, and didn't want to spend the time writing paperwork on me when he could have been looking for drunk drivers. He just told me to

  • Re:i would sue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:28PM (#42594401)

    I forget the legal term, but there is a legal precedent for compelling an entity to purchase a property at full market value (as if it didn't have the problem) if the entity did something that significantly diminished the value of the home. A friend of mine, for example, lived in a neighborhood where the city engineers screwed up the design of the sewer system. The city happily paid for the cleanup each time it backed up into their home (yuck!) but they were able to compel the city to buy the home at full market value since nobody in their right mind would want to live there with a history of such a problem (even after the city fixed the issue).

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.