Mobile shock: customer floored by $200,000 bill [telecom]

Mobile shock: customer floored by $200,000 bill October 19, 2011

A higher than usual phone bill can leave anyone stunned. And when Celina Aarons got a jaw-dropper for more than $US200,000 ($195,417), it was no mistake.

The US woman has a plan that usually costs her $US175 ($171) a month. She includes two of her brothers on it, who are deaf and mute, and use smartphones extensively for texting and communicating more easily.

"He's a sweetheart, and he goes to college and I would do anything for him," she told WSVN television of her brother Shamir.

The problem was that Shamir went to Canada on vacation, and did not turn off his data roaming.

The bad news for big sister, who lives in Florida: a bill for $US201,005.44.

"I was freaking out. I was shaking, crying, I couldn't even talk that much on the phone. I was like my life is over!" she told WSVN.

She said she thought "it's never going to get paid... I can't pay that. That's like paying a nice house right now based on what houses are going for".

Though T-Mobile did not have to reduce her bill, it wrote down her charges to $US2500.

"The case of Ms Aarons was extraordinary, even if the amount was correct. T-Mobile cut her bill to $US2500 [$2442] and gave her six months to pay," a T-Mobile spokeswoman said.


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David Clayton
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