Back in 2006, Bryan St. Germain was under the impression that the family's cellphone account with Verizon still featured a promotion allowing free web access. The free web access had been available for two years and Bryan did not know it had expired when his Dad renewed the account. The son had been tethering his cellphone to a laptop computer for an internet connection, and, well, you can figure out what happened. An $18,000 bill from Verizon was sent out and a long, time-consuming struggle began. Bob St. Germain, Bran's dad, complained and Big Red says it cut the bill in half. Eventually, the $9,000 charge ended up in collections and Verizon now considers the balance uncollectible and the matter closed. Thanks to this situation and others like it, the FCC is now taking
a hard look at cellphone "bill shock". Joel Kelsey,a telecommunications analyst for Consumers Union says that bills from carriers are getting more and more complex and says phone users need more control over how the are billed. "It’s outside the realm of consumer expectation that six weeks of wireless service should be the financial equivalent of a down payment on a house," Kelsey said.