Father destroys daughter's cellphone after $4756 texting bill

Father destroys daughter's cellphone after $4756 texting bill
When Greg Christofferson of Cheyenne Wisconsin bought cellphones for his family from Verizon Wireless, he opted for a plan that excludes texting not knowing that choosing such an option meant paying for each and every text sent and received. So when the carrier called to discuss the monthly bill, Christofferson was stunned. His 13 year old daughter Dena had sent and received nearly 20,000 text messages for the month, which works out to about 700 a day. The bottom line? A bill of $4,756.25 that was followed by a call from Dina's principal telling her parents that the teenager was getting 5 "F's" on her report card. Mr. Christofferson happened to own a tool that he knew would prevent such a bill from coming again-his hammer. The phone was smashed to little bits and his daughter was grounded. But there is a happy ending to the story. Since losing her phone, Dena has seen her grades rise.

source: CNN

FEATURED VIDEO

38 Comments

1. T-Money3000 unregistered

im sure this happens more than u know.

2. att_agent

Posts: 96; Member since: Feb 26, 2009

wow grounded ...lucky her i would have had my ass beat with a 1 by 6 with a cut handel, not pleasant all i can say is lucky her

13. drewsky

Posts: 147; Member since: Jan 04, 2009

LOL me too When I was growing up I would been beat with a switch or stick, the phone wouldn't have been the only thing to be beat

17. stuntz

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

note to parents please beat your kids.

3. ToddD00

Posts: 38; Member since: Mar 30, 2009

Prime example of parents punishing kids for their own stupidity. He fails to add a 30$ option and it costs him. 4700$ will buy unlimted text for 13 years for the whole family. Don't get me wrong, I believe in punishment. It just needs to be addressed to the correct party. In this case the dad. An on the case of the grades if they had been slipping, the phone should have been taken away earlier this eliminating the high overages. It's a lose- lose situation for this dad.

19. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I agree 100% with you Todd. Accountability needs to be taken by the dad, who in the first place, should have either put a text restriction on the account, or paid the extra fee for texting. Amazing... its a 13 year old girl, of course she is going to text. All her friends do.

28. bong_water unregistered

adding unlimited text would only solve part of the problem. regardless of the 4k bill. the fact that the kid was failing all of her classes due to obviously not doing anything but texting in school would have had my head under the hammer still. sending that many text messages is crazy. i do nothing but text and only manage not even half that amount per month. we use to get a lot of upset mothers and fathers in the store before we offered unlimited text plan. back when the max was 5000 text per month and some teenagers would double that.

4. Howtoodo?

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 19, 2009

yea, i woulda had a heavy ashtray throwen at my head for this one lmao.

30. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

haha. That's a funny image.

5. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Also failure on the sales associate who sold him the phone(s), assuming he bought them from a live agent and not the internet. I NEVER sell a phone to a teenager without either a text plan or a block. Someone wasn't looking out for their customer.

6. Slayor721

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 27, 2008

yea. i agree with u. that sales person is a dumbass. and now everyone can see that Verizon sux. :p

7. Fan_of_Fanboys

Posts: 101; Member since: Nov 13, 2008

Or the dad declined it even after the sales rep offered it. See that happened a lot.

9. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Right. No other carrier has stupid customers or stupid sales people.

11. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i wonder what phone it was

15. VZWEMP

Posts: 158; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

it was an env2. i saw the story on cnn

20. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Hell, I don't blame the Sales associate at all. That man was being a cheap-ass, and it screws the sales associate's quota/averages. Hell, I'd let the guy drown too. Sounds cold, but com'on.

23. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

oh thats too bad, the env2 is a good phone...haha lol who keeps giving me negative 1's on all my posts!!!??

24. jonky876

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 08, 2009

this dad is a complete idiot. if the 13 year old girl had an envy 2 WTH was he doing not blocking or putting a text plan on there. what does he think the full keyboard is for? going on the internet? checking email? all things he wasnt going to pay for since he didnt do text. it serves him right for not paying attention. and unless we know that the service rep did not offer texting ( which i doubt because they want commission off of it) then it leaves it all on the dad . he got her a texting phone and expects her not to text? idiot

38. BlameGame unregistered

Not only that but I have been with Verizon for 12 years so I know for a fact that EVERY time I change my plan or upgrade to a new phone I have to either listen to a recording with all of the info for my plan or sign paperwork letting me know what is covered or not covered in the plan AND I am told EVERY time how much it costs per minute if I go over and my minutes and how much it costs to send and receive each text message (although I am on unlimited data now so that doesn't apply). If this guy really "didn't know" I would be totally shocked. Total lack of responsibility on behalf of the father. Of COURSE a teenager is going to text! We don't know EVERY detail but did he tell her she couldn't? Grades are another issue obviously, but how can you not know when your child is failing 5 classes!? Someone is not very in touch with their child.

8. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Tell me VZW did not really charge them for all of those? At least let the guy add unlimited and make it retroactive since it looks like this was his first bill. This is why all carriesr should have the ability to block incomming and outgoing text if the customer wishes to do so.

14. Fan_of_Fanboys

Posts: 101; Member since: Nov 13, 2008

VZW does have that ability. In fact the customer can sign up at the store, over the phone, or themselves on the website

10. xmguy

Posts: 38; Member since: Feb 12, 2009

How someone can REALLY send 700 texts in ONE DAY is beyond me. I have VZW I have their 250 plan I rarely go over the limit. WOW! If I had a kid and they charged a bill that high They'd never have a phone again until they knew the word CONTROL!

31. Dood

Posts: 269; Member since: Mar 23, 2009

I could have my math horribly wrong, but I think this would be a text every 7 minutes or so, factoring in about 8 hours of sleep. That gives plenty of time to eat in between texts and a very wet phone if she showers too long...

12. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i would give her back her phone but block texting. what happens if she had an emergency and needed a cell??

16. andrew_espana

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 13, 2009

if you have a teenage girl then you might as well get unlimited texting, either that or no phone at all

18. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Parents too cheap to spring for Unlimited Texting? Ever parent should know by now, if you have teenager on the family plan, get unlimited text!

21. bellboy08

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

Well, if the girl was txting almost 700 txts a day... The Parents would have seen her! They should have done something about it!

22. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

hahah lol..700 texts a day is ridiculous, there is no need for it

25. brikz4real

Posts: 173; Member since: Dec 24, 2008

I've seen something like this happen before ( on a VZW aircard ). A girl got charged close to $6,000 for usage on her aircard even though the 5 GB limit was disclosed to her. She decided to download full tv episodes on the service...which she was throroughly warned about. You cannot, and I mean, CANNOT, predict what people will do. Why didn't the father add the text package? Cheapness ( if that's a word ). When you tell people about a text plan, all they see is the CHARGE ...not the BENEFIT. He probably saw the extra $30 as a bogus charge to get his money, but did not realize that the threat of text overages would never see the light of day. She's a teenager, and that's all they do ... TEXT. Not only does $30 keep this kind of thing from happening but if all they do is text, then they are not making calls..... which means you can afford to be on the lowest plan "minute-wise". A win-win situation. But once again, all he saw was the charge. Simply put, $33.99 per month could eliminated both a high ass bill and bad grades at the same time. If you are wondering where the extra $3.99 comes from, it's to have Usage Controls added to her phone line ( via your account online ). He then could have easily set her to NOT have texting ability during school hours ( this also could have been the fault of the rep for not disclosing that little tidbit either ). I read about this story via Yahoo's home page ( which linked the story to an onlne newspaper out of Colorado ). For all those who think Verizon is all about the money, the article clearly stated that VZW was willing to bring the bill down to a very "respectable" amount. The father smashing the phone (enV2) was hilarious. Useless....but hilarious. Again, cheapness rules. Save a little now, to get burned by a lot later.

37. metalpoet unregistered

i agree with you! i use only about 450 mintues a month but i do about 3000 texts a month. i once had to pay an extra 20 bux just to have 5000 text a month but a verizon rep informed me of the select plan which is awesome!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.