Can anyone help get my phone off the “blacklist”?

mobile, phone, smartphone, app, call, talk, talking, text, texting

After Emily Kenner’s phone is stolen and recovered, it is “blacklisted” by Cricket Wireless. Can our advocates get Kenner off the blacklist?

Question: I’m asking for your help. I found your site while researching the proper contacts for a company I’ve been battling for nearly a month. In short — Cricket Wireless LLC is holding my phone “hostage.”

In October of 2014 I decided, for the first time, to indulge myself with a flagship device — the Samsung Galaxy S6. It was approximately $650 at the time, and Cricket’s plans were exactly the right fit. I thoroughly enjoyed that phone, up until the point it was stolen from me on January 22, 2017.

I filed a claim with Asurion Insurance the next day and they sent me a replacement device. But the same day I initiated the claim, I was able to utilize Samsung’s tracking service to recover my phone. Now in possession of my original phone, I canceled the claim with Asurion Insurance, returned their replacement phone, which I never used, and considered the matter closed. That is, until I discovered my original phone (now in my possession) had been blacklisted.

Over the next three weeks, via literally hours of online chats and phone calls, being provided with inconsistent information each time, and at one point even being accused of fraud, I have been fighting with Cricket Wireless to have my phone removed from the blacklist. Initially there appeared to be some confusion [about] exactly which company was responsible for removing the phone from the blacklist — Cricket Wireless or Asurion Insurance. It took a conference call between myself, Cricket Wireless, and Asurion Insurance to confirm the removal must come from Cricket. Yet not only do they still refuse to remove the phone, but because of all the back and forth conversations and temporary restores to my account (so that I could make the calls in the first place), my account is now suspended. I discovered yesterday they will not remove the suspension unless I upgrade my device.

I completely understand placing a stolen phone on a blacklist, and even advocate such a move. Yet there appears to be no precedent or policy addressing situations where a stolen phone is returned to its rightful owner. It is truly a traumatic experience to have one’s phone stolen, a situation made infinitely worse by the treatment I’m receiving from Cricket Wireless.

Can you please help me get my phone permanently off the blacklist or a $650 refund on my now-useless phone? — Emily Kenner, Houston

Answer: I know how scary it is to have your phone stolen. Mine was stolen while I was traveling in Cambodia, and I remember the concern over the potential compromise of personal information, as well as the general feeling of insecurity that probably comes with the theft of any personal object.

My phone was never recovered, but I can imagine how relieved you were to learn that yours was on its way back to its rightful owner. But to have that relief shattered by the issues with Cricket Wireless and be accused of fraud must be especially frustrating.

You reported the phone stolen immediately, which is required by the Cricket Wireless Terms and Conditions of Service, and requested a replacement. Then you activated tracking services and found and retrieved the phone. While you commented to us that it might have been better to wait 24 to 48 hours before reporting your stolen phone, I disagree. In addition to the terms and conditions mentioned above, waiting gives the thief time to steal not only your phone but your personal information as well.

From this incident you learned one thing that we tell readers daily: Immediately start a paper trail. You admit that you should have started one as soon as the problem began. You also pointed out that a lot of different options for tracking devices and activity logs exist. You learned that software exists to force a stolen or lost phone to ring at full volume, even when the device is turned off or set to silent. These options seemed to help you recover your device.

After recovering your device, you returned the new phone that was sent as a replacement and called to get service reinstated on your recovered phone. As you mentioned in your initial email to us, Cricket told you to contact the insurance company that provided the replacement phone. The insurance company told you Cricket was responsible. In a conference call that you initiated, the insurance company confirmed that Cricket was responsible, and Cricket promised to reinstate your service.

But it didn’t reinstate your service, so you decided to try the online chat on the Cricket website.

During your first online chat with Cricket Wireless, the representative promised to unblock your phone and call back within 48 hours. Because your phone was blocked and could not receive calls you provided an alternate phone number, which the representative acknowledged when she provided a case number.

You didn’t hear back from Cricket within the 48-hour window and initiated another online chat. The representative online with you this time informed you that Cricket had tried to reach you, but the case was closed when there was no answer to its calls. Ironically, Cricket was calling you on the phone number that it had blocked and made inoperable, rather than the alternate number you provided.

That’s when you requested to speak with a manager. The next message from the representative claimed to be from a “floor manager,” who repeated the same promises, although the manager added that unblocking a phone has to be done by the “back office,” and someone from that office would call you within 24 hours. When you asked for a phone number to reach the back office if no one called you, the manager said there was no number — you would have to wait for a call back.

You noted that you had heard these promises before, and the manager’s response was that you’ve never heard it from a manager, and she asked you to have faith in her. Turns out that faith would have been misplaced since after 72 hours your phone was still on the blacklist.

When the phone still wouldn’t work, you could have used our contacts to escalate your case with the executives at Cricket Wireless. But you reached out to our advocates instead and we contacted Cricket on your behalf.

Two hours after our advocate reached out to Cricket Wireless, your phone was unlocked, you paid your bill, and your phone seems to be working normally. You noted that you found your phone’s serial number on the internet still listed as “blacklisted,” but Cricket assured you it would be removed within 24 hours. I hope that’s the case.

I’m glad we could help solve your problems with Cricket.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend