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Woman hit with $200,000 mobile phone bill due to deaf brothers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 Oct 2011 17:01 User comments (17)

Woman hit with $200,000 mobile phone bill due to deaf brothers Celina Aarons was shocked, to say the least, when her last cellphone bill topped $200,000.
Aarons has two deaf brothers on her plan and since they cannot speak the whole family has unlimited texting and data.

Her usual plan, with T-Mobile, costs $175 per month for the three of them.

The crazy bill came after her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons was not informed she needed to switch to an international plan. Because they can not speak, her brothers sent around 2,000 texts and downloaded videos (with captions), that sometimes amounted to $2000 per video.

Because clearly no one can afford to pay such a bill, Aarons called the TV show "Help Me Howard" who explained to the carrier the situation.

T-Mobile has reduced the charge to $2500 and given Aarons six months to pay it off, interest-free.

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17 user comments

118.10.2011 17:04

I know for a FACT that this kind of thing happens all the time. My father was in Ecuador for 3 weeks and came back to a $78 bill from T-Mobile. When he asked why, they informed him that 12 people had called him, and although he didn't pick up, it was a $5 fee for each incoming call. The rest were texts, which he agreed to at $.20 per, which isn't too too bad.

How ridiculous though.


218.10.2011 19:54

isnt that so nice of the company to only charge her $2500 for the equivalent of 150mb :D

318.10.2011 21:04

its the customers responsibility to read and understand the international charges and overage charges.

418.10.2011 21:37
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Hopium:
isnt that so nice of the company to only charge her $2500 for the equivalent of 150mb :D
My thoughts exactly. It would be nice to know how much it actually costs T-mobile for the use of Canada's wireless network, and how much of the 2500 is clear profit.

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

518.10.2011 21:59

Nearly all of it is clear profit lol. I dunno the exact #s tho as when T-Mobile had a call center in Canada, we were not indulge into that information when my wife and I worked for them. Safe to say tho its pretty outrageous, and its the same being in Canada and being charged a shit load when using your phone regularly into the US.

Defining irony: T-Mobile closed the call center to bring it back to the US after Obama introduced the Buy American Bill, only to have it now fail to pass senate...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2011 @ 22:00

618.10.2011 23:02

"T-Mobile has reduced the charge to $2500 and given Aarons six months to pay it off, interest-free."

LoL...I wouldn't be on T-Mobile anymore, and they wouldn't get a dime...let them take me to court, I am sure a jury would be very sympathetic to the person paying for two def people to stay in communication.



719.10.2011 0:11

I guarantee you this whole thing costs T-Mobile under $100.

819.10.2011 0:22
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Mysttic:

Defining irony: T-Mobile closed the call center to bring it back to the US after Obama introduced the Buy American Bill, only to have it now fail to pass senate...
I would be surprised to see a corporation cut and run over the mere introduction of a bill.

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

919.10.2011 0:44

Originally posted by core2kid:
I guarantee you this whole thing costs T-Mobile under $100.
Each standard 160 character text message costs carriers $0.00021 (figure I read back in the day, don't know if it's accurate). That means all 2000 cost T-Mobile around $0.42. Not sure what the rates are for data, and not sure what kind of deals they have to sign to access international roaming but yes I agree this must have cost them under $100 when all said and done. Disgraceful.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Oct 2011 @ 0:48

1019.10.2011 1:07
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
Originally posted by core2kid:
I guarantee you this whole thing costs T-Mobile under $100.
Each standard 160 character text message costs carriers $0.00021 (figure I read back in the day, don't know if it's accurate). That means all 2000 cost T-Mobile around $0.42. Not sure what the rates are for data, and not sure what kind of deals they have to sign to access international roaming but yes I agree this must have cost them under $100 when all said and done. Disgraceful.
Kind of brings new light to the 25 dollar for unlimited texts plan huh?

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1119.10.2011 5:12

The Teco industry are a thieving scumbag bunch of ****ers. They want us think that their service is special and more costly than other forms of communication. If I was to price my ISPs email service in the same way as my mobile then the monthly bill would be 9000.0000.00000.00000.00000.00000.0000.00000. approximately.

1219.10.2011 8:43

Originally posted by cdman2005:
its the customers responsibility to read and understand the international charges and overage charges.
You're kidding right? Sure, sure, like we should all read ToS and EULA's and anything that happens because we didn't should be our fault; half of the time you can't understand what they even actually mean because they're worded specifically to f*ck us.

You just can not justify 2 weeks worth of texts/data to be $200k worth of service; it's practically extortion. I agree KB, would drop them as quick as possible and wouldn't pay a cent of it.

However, I know that my phone gives ample warnings about anything like that. Even some false ones considering international roaming when I wasn't... Spam maybe?

1319.10.2011 8:52

Being deaf does not make one mentally disabled. The brothers should have known to look at this information before committing theft.

While I don't agree with any cell phone service company's rates, I know what they are before I pay them. It's my choice to have service with XYZ, same with the deaf people.

For those that say let T-Mo take them to court... T-mo could, and would probably win due to the fact all 3 of them are intelligent human beings. 3 of them and not one of them said... "oh... maybe I should check if I'm guaranteed service internationally, BEFORE going".

As for cost of what a text message, current costs across carriers is around $0.00045, while text messages internally network cost about $0.000025.

While I don't approve of rates of text messaging... no one forcing you to use it. Now with io5, you can by pass that all together with iMessage between ios devices.


-Sean-

1419.10.2011 12:37

International roaming is a costly issue even ifyou or your phone never leaves the states here in northern maine we have Rogers wireless as a bleed over so if you get a call it could come in on their wireless and if you use bluetooth you'd never know till the bill came in t-mo isnt even in our area anymore due to issues like this I'd like to see everyone get just a flat fee for all everywhere it would make more of an intellegent plan charge everyone for a global plan issue fixed...

1519.10.2011 14:54

Originally posted by buxtahuda:
Originally posted by cdman2005:
its the customers responsibility to read and understand the international charges and overage charges.
You're kidding right? Sure, sure, like we should all read ToS and EULA's and anything that happens because we didn't should be our fault; half of the time you can't understand what they even actually mean because they're worded specifically to f*ck us.

You just can not justify 2 weeks worth of texts/data to be $200k worth of service; it's practically extortion. I agree KB, would drop them as quick as possible and wouldn't pay a cent of it.

However, I know that my phone gives ample warnings about anything like that. Even some false ones considering international roaming when I wasn't... Spam maybe?
i never said anything about the ToS and EULA's, all i said was make sure to understand the international charges and overage charges. thats really easy to find out. its probably in the paperwork, or online. or even make a call to customer service. tmobile reducing to $2500 should make them happy and they sould pay it.

1619.10.2011 15:00
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by djgizmo:
Being deaf does not make one mentally disabled. The brothers should have known to look at this information before committing theft.
Your kidding right? Where in this article did it say they had no intention to pay the $2500, or had any intention not to pay when they were using the services. The were just surprised by a phone bill that was 200 grand.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Oct 2011 @ 15:04

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1719.10.2011 15:59

According to T-Mobile's website, data rates are $10 per MB for Canada, and $15 per MB for all other countries. T-Mobile rate to make calls from Canada is $0.59 a minute, and for messaging, it is $0.20 to send or receive.


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