Skip to comments.Family disputes Verizon's $18,000 bill
Posted on 05/05/2010 2:34:16 AM PDT by South40
It's hard not to feel the pain of both Bob St. Germain and Verizon in a dispute that has been going on since the Bush administration.
It seems that four years ago, St. Germain's then 22-year-old son, Bryan, picked up his Verizon cell phone, marveled at its ingenuity, and connected to the Web. This is understandable behavior. The Boston Globe does not record how long Bryan surfed the Web on the phone, but it does record the bill of more than $12,000 that Dad received. And the additional bill of almost $6,000 that made his life slightly less amusing.
It seems that Bryan St. Germain had gotten into the habit of tethering his cell phone to his laptop because the connection was a little more speedy than his parents' dial-up. Sadly, on receiving the first bill, Bob St. Germain called Verizon and discovered that the two-year promotional period, which neatly allowed free downloads, had expired. He was now being charged per kilobyte. And Bryan St. Germain had bitten off some 816,000 of those. Oh, and another 375,000, which were to be added to the next bill.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...
Several years ago in Germany...an Army NCO came to discover his newly arrived wife, after only three months in country...had been calling her mom twice a day for two or three hour phone chats. I think the first month’s shock was around $7k, and the second month’s shock was in the $4k range. The phone company was nice about it...and did offer to break it up into twelve payments...but that really didn’t help much when you consider Army pay. The wife I believe...ended up moving back home to Mom’s house.
Off topic...but I always wondered how a man could stand to be married to a woman who needed to talk to her mom several times a day.
What is not clear in Verizon’s phone plan info is the limits on data. Unlimited really means about a 5MB cap. You have to research the details in their fine print.
Something of this same thing happened to me also, with ATT.
Needless to say, since my contract expired, ATT went off my list and despite all their entreaties I’ve never done business with them again.
Verizon messed my billing up so badly I will never deal with them again either. Now they probably send about $18000 of FIOS ads to my house a month, which would help these people out nicely.
It’s hard to believe a 22 year old can be so stupid and easy to believe a phone company can be so predatory.
Ouch indeed. Wonder why dad is still letting his adult son leach off of him.
Im thinkin that's more like 5 gigs, at least in my Verizon two year contract...which will happily expire next week...
I currently use Hughesnet for internet access precisely because of those policies.
I'd do completely away with cells if my wife and kids would let me.
1,191,000 kilobytes is nothing.
Seems to me I’ve heard of several similar cases in which the phone company either dropped the charges altogether or drastically reduced them. It’s easy enough to make a mistake, especially with a new account. Last fall when I was replacing my cell phone, the Verizon personnel alerted me that one of our teenage sons had exceeded his texting limit. I made some adjustments to our plan to increase his allowance, and the Verizon rep adjusted the bill. Apparently the local reps have a bit of discretion, and the good sense to value customer satisfaction. Our son wasn’t being outrageous in his usage, but going over the allowance really gets expensive.
you used the service, you should pay for it. if you have a problem with the fees, get another service, or don’t use it.
i don’t have any sympathy for people who run up huge bills, then whine because they don’t want to pay for what they used.
Verizon sucks. I got a phone for my girlfriend and the first bill was like $400. It was a clone or a billing error, but they didn’t care. So I left them holding the bag of Not My Manure.
Tethering is great if you set it up in advance as part of your contract. I used it on vacation and a week of it was about $5.00, pro-rated with a 5GB limit.
Verizon is too big, and like any bloated bureaucracy it screws up.
Under our Verizon contract, the company must send us a physical paper bill monthly. Haven’t seen a bill since Oct., 2009. Calls to Verizon were futile, as were letters. So we sent them checks monthly.
A bill finally arrived loaded with past due charges and late fees because Verizon had jacked up the service fees without telling us. The checks we sent didn’t cover the increased costs. Now we demanded that they either cancel the charges or we sue. I don’t have time for this crap.
Verizon is run by clods.
Yeah, and that nothing cost only $11,000.
And they just took over my old provider, Alltel, who seemed to be doing OK by me. Prices went up, of course.
$11,000 -> $18,000.