Brandon couple upset with $2,500 in extra cellphone charges

Virgin Mobile says it's investigating concerns by a Brandon, Man., couple that they've been billed $2,500 in extra charges for calls they did not make.

Juan Avila says 2 extra phones were added to his account after he signed new contract

Juan Avila says soon after he signed a new Virgin Mobile contract in March for an upgraded phone, his bill -- which was usually $75 a month -- jumped to $1,800. (CBC News)

Virgin Mobile says it's investigating concerns by a Brandon, Man., couple that they've been billed $2,500 in extra charges for calls they did not make.

Juan Avila says soon after he signed a new contract in March for an upgraded phone, his bill — which was usually $75 a month — jumped to $1,800.

Avila said the mobile provider told him two extra phones had been opened under his account and they are making calls from Winnipeg to the Northwest Territories.

But he said neither he nor his common-law wife, Janneth Guatavita, knows anyone in the N.W.T., and they don't come to Winnipeg often because they work full-time in Brandon.

Avila said he was advised by the company to contact Brandon police, as he could be dealing with a case of identity theft.

However, he said Virgin Mobile then cut off his account because he had not paid the bill, which by then totalled $2,500.

Guatavita said it has been difficult to be disconnected from family members in Colombia.

"It's very uncomfortable because we can't talk with our family because we don't have, right now, we don't have [a] cellphone. We don't have service," she said.

"We are upset. If something happened in our country, how [can] our family … call us?"

Guatavita said she and Avila are stressed out by the situation, which is compounded by a language barrier. Both speak English but have difficulty understanding conversations that are spoken quickly.

A representative with Virgin Mobile told CBC News it is investigating the matter.

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