Florida Woman Hit with Staggering $200,000 Cell Phone Bill
If you think your cell phone bill is high, you haven’t met Celina Aarons.
The Florida woman added a cell phone to her account for her mute and hearing-impaired brother, who didn’t know to turn off his data roaming when he was recently in Canada. Since his only form of communication with the phone is via text messages, those international data rates added up quickly — to the tune of over $200,000 in one month.
Celina says she was never warned by her carrier, T-Mobile, that the bill was soaring that month. T-Mobile says it sent five separate texts to her brother’s phone, but she feels that since the account was in her name, she should’ve been the one to get those texts.
Consumer reporter Patrick Fraser from her local Fox affiliate, WSVN, contacted T-Mobile on Celina’s behalf, and the company was gracious enough to lower the bill from $201,000 to $2,500, and to allow six months for it to be paid.
“Bill shock,” the common term for unexpected charges on a cell phone bill, may occur less frequently after next year. That’s when a recently-reached agreement between the FCC and wireless carriers goes into effect — it states wireless companies will alert consumers when they are approaching their monthly limits for voice, data and text messages, or when they are about to incur international roaming charges.