Skip to comments.AOL Connection Leads to $2,500 Phone Bill
Posted on 03/30/2004 7:19:14 AM PST by martin_fierro
AOL Connection Leads to $2,500 Phone Bill
DENVER - When Mark Walters received a $2,500 bill from his long-distance carrier, Denver-based Qwest, he figured it had to be a mistake. It was, and it was his daughter's boo-boo.
Elissa Walters, 18, had gone home to Springfield, N.J., for Christmas break, turned on a new computer and called an America Online number in the 973 area code the Walters' home area.
Figuring it was a free local call carried by their local carrier, Verizon Communications, she left the computer on. And on. And on.
But just because the area code was the same, it didn't mean the call was local.
"The bottom line is it's a toll call," said Qwest spokesman Skip Thurman. The usual way to tell is if you have to punch "1" before the area code, although that isn't always the case in some East Coast service areas, Thurman said.
Mark Walters learned all of this when his bill arrived six weeks ago.
He begged for a break, saying even $500 would be fair enough to teach Elissa a lesson without bankrupting her, but said a representative named Bob told him last week that wouldn't happen.
"He said he denied the request for reduction because the calls emanated from our home," Walters said. "I said, 'Bob, it took you guys six weeks to come up with that? I'm not denying that. I'm not saying a stranger made the calls. It's a mistake.' He said, 'Well, sir, that's your responsibility."'
On Monday, however, Thurman said the situation had been resolved and Walters is being charged just $375.
"We work on unique issues like this from time to time and when we do, we stay on them until the customer is satisfied," he said.
Serves 'em right.
Make sure that you:
Otherwise, they just keep charging your credit card.
AOL = Aholes on Line
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