SF Woman Gets Stranded in China After AT&T Mistakes Her Phone as Stolen

AT&T

A woman was stranded during her trip to China after AT&T mistakenly reported her device as stolen.

Brenda Chinn, of San Francisco, was overseas when AT&T cut her connection to everyone back home except for her daughter, according to ABC7.

Screenshot via ABC7

“I couldn’t call out, I couldn’t receive calls. I couldn’t check my email either,” she told the network.

“Every time I tried to make a phone call, it would say this device has been blocked,” she said.

The only person she could contact outside the country was her daughter.

Screenshot via ABC7

She had a fully paid phone line and perfectly good phone service, but she still couldn’t contact her family in the United States. It turned out that AT&T had blacklisted her phone when someone accidentally entered the wrong ID number into the database of stolen devices.

“I said, I still have it in my hand all the time I was in China,” she said.

Fortunately, she was traveling with a group and the people were happy to share their phones with her.

AT&T
Screenshot via ABC7

When she came home, Chinn contacted her service provider and was asked to prove that she was the owner of the device.

“I was suspect until then I guess…” Chinn said.

ABC7’s “7 On Your Side” reached out to AT&T and discovered that a phone was reported to the company as stolen and the ID of that device was incorrectly typed into the database with Chinn’s phone ID.

Chinn’s phone service was later restored, and although she had to deal with the hassle overseas, she said it was still a relief.

AT&T
screenshot via ABC7

Showing AT&T that she is the rightful owner of her own phone was difficult, but Chinn kept the original box of her phone. Keeping the box as well as the receipt of the purchase can save you from mistakenly getting blacklisted.

Feature Image Screenshot via ABC7

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