What Would You Do With A $22000 Cellphone Bill?

It's the talk that every parent hates to even consider having. No, we're not referring to "that talk," referring to "this talk." It's the talk that goes something like this: "Son, did you utilize your cellphone's data connection to download gobs of data from Internet last month?" "Yeah, um, I think I did dad--I thought no one would notice or care." "Well, turns out that [insert carrier here] cares, and they're demanding every dime that I was saving for your future education. Hopefully you can nab yourself a student loan or two."

Needless to say, that's a pretty awful conversation to have, but we're guessing that a father/son tandem in California had a similar discussion after a 13-year old ran up a cellphone bill of nearly $22000. No need to adjust your eyes--we just said $22k. The comical part is that the dad was actually expecting his most recent bill to be somewhat higher after he added his son to the plan, but he was probably thinking between $20 and $30 more, not a new-car-more.

You can probably guess the mistake. The dad added the boy's line to his Verizon Wireless plan, but he didn't pony up for an unlimited data plan. The boy figured out the Internet connection still worked, so he was charged per kilobyte while he surfed away aimlessly, probably looking up goofy high school jokes and the latest from I Can Haz Cheezburger. Thankfully, VZW decided to not actually charge the man for what he owed, and the pop did the right thing by suspending his son's account. We're hearing that the boy is now picking up a side job mowing lawns in order to pay for own account, this time with a proper data plan (just kidding, but it's probable!).
Via:  AP
kid007 5 years ago

$22k D@MN,

Speechless... screw verizon...

3vi1 5 years ago

Just goes to show how out of line their per-k charges are with the actual services they provide.

acarzt 5 years ago

At least verizon was decent enough to acknowledge how RIDICULOUS that bill was and didn't charge him.

dbb10001 5 years ago

Shawn, like many of us, I've been hearing about this story again and again and personally, it's so hard to imagine how Estarija felt upon receiving that $21,000-plus Verizon Wireless bill. It's such a nightmare of epic proportions, only augmented by the fact that he is apparently recently out of work. And the human factor continues here with Estarija’s son, who apparently is taking the predicament very hard. But from a practical perspective, I wanted to respond with a strategy for eliminating those large bills before they even happen by effectively "right sizing" your plan. I work in the consumer advocacy division of the Houston-based company Validas, where we electronically audit and subsequently reduce the average cell bill by 22% through our website, http://www.fixmycellbill.com.

Check us out in the media, most recently on Fox News at http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/consumer/conlaw/lower_cell_phone_bills_072409 . By ensuring that Americans' wireless plans are optimally compatible with their wireless usage, we can work together to prevent situations like Estarija's from reoccurring.


Consumer Advocacy, fixmycellbill.com

ClemSnide 5 years ago

Huh, maybe you're doing your Friday DDoS attack against the wrong company!

realneil 5 years ago

They didn't charge the guy,...so that's good. I like an unlimited plan myself. Knowing what the cost is every month and being able to plan for it without surprises is a definite plus for me.

Paying somebody else (Validas) to monitor my phone usage and sending them my bill and all of my data/call records every month is something I would never consider.

The right plan for you is just a simple thought process (of your own) away.

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