Did you know: the highest cellular service bill ever unpaid in the U.S. was $201k

Did you know: the highest cellular service bill ever unpaid in the U.S. was $201k

Ever had a surprise bill blow up in your inbox at the end of a vacation? There, there, no need to cringe! No matter how bad you had it, you surely didn't have it as bad as Celina Aarons! Celina is a woman from South Florida that must have experienced the king and queen of bill shocks when she got a $201,000 invoice. It only got worse when it turned out that T-Mobile was completely serious about expecting her to pay up.

How did it get to this? See, Celina has two brothers who are born deaf and have no means of verbal communication. The younger one, Shamir, was in college and didn't have a job at the time. Celina is close to him and uses texting to communicate. With her monthly data plan, the bill came at about $175 on average, which is reasonable given the challenging situation. But when Shamir went for a two-week holiday in Canada, it didn't occur to anyone to get him an international plan. Uh-oh! As Celina and her brother went on to send video files and over 2000 texts between each other over the course of 14 days, occasionally racking up $2000 in data charges for downloading a single vid. Shamir was billed approximately $10 per megabyte.

Needless to say, Celina was extremely upset by the development, adding that the bill is "like paying for a nice house right now." She also argued that T-Mo didn't communicate the astronomically rising charges in time to either of the parties, although the carrier claimed Shamir was sent at least five texts as the dollars piled up. Still, the considerate Magenta-painted telecom agreed to shave off some $198,500 off the bill and gave Celina six months to pay the new $2500 liability. The story happened way back in 2011 and it must have provoked changes in the telecom industry, for no such outrageous cases have occured since then.

via DailyMail

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14 Comments

1. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3935; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I would have cried, just sayin. Not that I would ever get myself in such a situation anyway.

2. djcody

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

I would say someone was very stupid, so you think that time travel around the world will not bring up any extra charges for using cell phone, just like cards you can use them anywhere they accept them just make sure you be able to pay extra fees :)

3. djcody

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Mean credit cards ( BTW can't see edit button)

4. tabVision

Posts: 26; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

good to know because mine was "only" 200K

5. kishore3k

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 11, 2016

Mine is rs.300($4-5)

6. ..Z..

Posts: 85; Member since: Apr 16, 2016

So her credit on her phone contract had a unlimited credit?

7. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

What would be interesting to know is how they managed to reduce the debt so much. They either had really good arguments or a really good lawyer, perhaps both.

8. theo14461 unregistered

My bank sometimes declines certain charges I try to make, based on my spending habits. There is a definite flaw in T Mobile's billing system, if they're allowing someone's bill to even get to even a few hundred dollars! Unless you're Donald Trump. In reality, it doesn't cost T Mobile much to allow a few thousand texts to go through, does it? I can't believe that they're asking for the reduced balance.

9. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

This is why stupid peopel don't need phones. He's send you texts, he's out the country and he sent videos too, and you have no idea it was going over your data plan? LIAR! You just wanted to get away with it. I would have let the bill stayed as is and let it ruin your credit. If you are stupid, then you can pay to be so.

11. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Is she liar because she want a debt? How stupid can you be?

10. GreenMan

Posts: 2688; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Americans at their finest...! Even my simple peasant father knew that you get charged extra (And by extra I mean EXTRA!!!) while your phone in on international roaming... Are Yankees really that dumb? Or do they just pretend to be such just so they can annoy the hell out of us??? Figures...

13. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Some are seriously dumb ( Donald Trump ) and some are acting dumb (don't really know an example for this one). Acting dumb really helps to get away in some situations

12. MyJobSux

Posts: 106; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

I cant believe they had no clue that they didn't need to make some account change to get service in Canada. Even though its connected to the US its still a different country. I also don't see why it matters that her brother is deaf. Get your brother a tablet next time to take with him when he goes outside the country. As far as the bill, that's a ridiculous amount and Tmo should know that the customer wouldn't pay that. Even the $2500 bill is too much. They should have done more to intervene. Id say once the phone went outside of the country something should have happened. Maybe the exiting phone could be restricted to only calling Tmo (yeah, the guys deaf, i'm sure he had accessibility features enabled which would indicate he was possibly hearing impaired and perhaps carriers should recognize that and create a texting option to communicate with the CO. The main acct holder could have been called, not just texted. I will say I get junk texts from time to time and just delete them since malware can come from text messaging. Resolution? I dont have a good one but Tmo could bill her her regular monthly fee plus termination fees and let her go find another carrier. I disagree with Tmo letting the bill stack up like that but seriously, its obvious that using your phone outside the country is going to rack up some serious fees. There has been too many stories about this for these people to play stupid.

14. Shauk

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 29, 2016

well it' s funny now because Domestic coverage on T-Mobile includes Canada and Mexico for no extra charge now.

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