Purse-Dial On The Other Side Of The World, Pay Verizon $1,800

Travel tip: If you haven’t arranged for international phone service while traveling abroad, take the battery out of your phone so you can’t accidentally turn it on and dial.

On his blog, EditWeapon, Patrick tells the tale of Rebecca, who accidentally let her phone accrue roaming data charges while traveling in Israel. The phone was in her purse and accessed the internet without her knowledge. As a result, Verizon stuck her with a bill for $1,800.

After arguing with customer service, Rebecca was able to talk Verizon into knocking the bill down to $900, but she wants Verizon to drastically drop that figure.

If something like this has ever happened to you, how much of the outrageous bill did you end up paying?

Phone accidentally turns on inside purse for 1 day in Israel, gets $1800 in roaming fees! Verizon forces payment. AYFKM? [EditWeapon]
(Thanks, Joe!)

Comments

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  1. Rebecca K-S says:

    It sucks, obviously, but why shouldn’t she pay? Cutting it down to half was pretty damn generous.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s pretty standard for phone companies to drop these types of charges (accidental roaming and overage) by half. Personal I think it’s because they know it’s a pretty shady practice to not alert customers of excessive charges, and want the money, so do it to limit outrage and lawsuits.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        I agree that it would be good customer service for the providers to try to mitigate those types of situations, but ultimately it’s not their fault or responsibility.

        • 12345678nine says:

          I would agree with you if the cost for Verizon was anywhere near $900. I really don’t know how much it actually costs them in usage.
          If it was obviously a big mistake, and not some shady way of getting something for nothing for Verizon, then Verizon should treat their customer with more respect.

          • Rebecca K-S says:

            Yeah, I totally get that. I just disagree.

          • Alter_ego says:

            I actually think the costs for verizon are pretty high, because they aren’t the provider in the other country, and the other country is charging them for the “service” of letting one of their customers onto a foreign network. Now, the costs for the foreign service provider probably aren’t that high, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read here before about how Verizon actually is getting charged a decent amount for those data packets.

            • danmac says:

              Yes, I would like to know the actual cost to Verizon. Whatever it is, I can see that getting passed on to the OP. Without transparency, however, it’s hard to know what Verizon stands to gain (or lose) by cutting the bill in half.

              • samonela says:

                Was just about to say this myself…

                If I were the OP, I would try pushing to cover Verizon’s ACTUAL costs of that data usage for that time at that location. The OP made a mistake and it is costing her, but why should Verizon be able profit off of that?

                • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

                  Because they are a business, and they are not in business to give away free shit to people all the time….everybody always expecting something for nothing.

                  • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

                    So are you in favor of price gouging?

                    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

                      Come on. Price gouging is inaccurate here. If they were the only game in town and it was an essential service, that would be one thing. But she could have easily disabled data on her phone, just like sane people do when going overseas without intending to use data; if she wanted to use data, she could have bought a temporary international data plan. This isn’t charging $20 for bottled water in a hurricane. She screwed up, used data, and they took half off the price as a courtesy.

                      And yes, it would be nice if cell phone carriers were required to warn you past a certain price limit.

      • lotussix says:

        i have a feeling that people would call it harrassment if verizon or any other phone company advised people of the overrage by calling.

        either way, rebecca k-s is right. the cost to verizon isn’t an issue, it’s what the consumer agreed to pay for if and when this type of stuff happens. it’s not verizon’s fault that the customer made a mistake.

    • danmac says:

      Half of infinity is still infinity. Or at least, I’m sure it feels that way to the OP.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Did you read that the data plan is 69.95? The facts are simple. Has she intended to use data, she could have paid 70 bucks, left her phone on, used much more data than she used, and owed nothing extra.

      Knowing this fact, trying to charge her 1.8k for 1 day of roaming is a scam. The amount is so different that she will easily win in court. I can’t fathom how anyone could side with verizon in this case. Verizon is running a scam. These cell phone companies need to get their ass sued. Phones need settings to disallow data roaming and to completely disable cellular data while leaving wifi working.

      These companies purposely make it impossible to turn this shit off and then charge outrageous fees to customers when the customer would have disabled data if they had the option to.

      • danmac says:

        People will point out that phones do have the option to disable date (they’ve made that point already in the thread), but I do agree that the companies seem to be colluding to keep data roaming rates inordinately high.

        Also, several people have made the point that it’s the consumers’ fault for agreeing to pay that rate when signing a contract. I would argue that companies are not explicit enough about how much roaming data costs; many consumers are not tech savvy enough to know how much their bill will be if they’re paying $.20/kbyte to browse the internet abroad. 20 cents doesn’t sound like that much, and I’m sure that’s the whole point.

      • Rebecca K-S says:

        No, I didn’t get into the article. That’s a pretty fair way of looking at it.

      • Griking says:

        Actually it looks like the outrageous fees are due to roaming fees and not really the amount of data. Either way as much as it sucks her phone did make the call and she agreed to their roaming and data charges when she signed her phone contract

      • barty says:

        I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, but what would someone sue for?

        Those pesky contracts spell out what the charges are if you use the service, intentionally or unintentionally, and by agreeing to the contract you’re obligated to pay. So I guess they should sue Verizon for holding them to their end of the deal.

        FWIW, all the phones I’ve had capable of voice or data roaming have a way of turning it off. It is one of the first things I do when I buy a phone because unless you’re travelling abroad there’s no sense in having it on in the first place.

        All that said, I do agree that there should be some kind of cap on roaming charges unless you have purchased the international roaming plan of course. If someone needs it in an emergency, make a way to easily override it, but you shouldn’t be able to rack up hundreds in charges from accidentally bumping the phone in your pocket.

        • JiminyChristmas says:

          One could sue on the grounds that the charges are unconscionable and therefore legally void. Regardless of what anyone signs, one can’t put anything in a contract and have the terms be binding.

          If there were terms buried in the fine print that said the charge in this case would be $180,000 I think almost everyone would agree that a Verizon customer shouldn’t be obligated to pay that. Therefore, there’s a line past which most people would say, and a court would agree, “that’s too much.” People could disagree on where the line is but I think one could make a good faith argument that $1,800 is over it.

    • P41 says:

      I think there should be a law that every cell account capable of incurring additional charges (almost everything) should be required to have a customer-selected dollar limit above which the provider must either contact the person or cut off service until contacted by the person. There’s no excuse for the phone companys’ mentalities of, gee how were we to know someone with a $60 phone wasn’t fully expecting a $1000, 10000, $50000 or whatever phone bill?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        How would that work when roaming internationally?

      • P41 says:

        About five minutes into the streaming movie you’re watching on your phone
        on what you thought was an unlimited data plan wherever you went, (ha ha,
        college kids. It’s called international roaming) when you hit the $1000
        limit you jokingly put so high even though you knew you would never ever
        possibly even use half of that, your phone company does whatever you told
        them to do. Either they phone you (the phone does have service after all)
        with a recording that says press 1 to bump your limit up to $10k, or if
        you selected cutoff then all additional charges (ie use of international
        roaming or whatever) stop working until you call in from a dozen other ways
        to phone places and get it turned back on.

        Of course, anyone who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced when their bill
        is going up like an Apollo rocket can just add a few zeros when they set
        their spending limit.

    • YokoOhNo says:

      Sucks for whom? You must not be a shareholder or a bribed congressperson…this shit isn’t so bad for them.

  2. Southern says:

    I wonder if it was a Droid.. Some apps are notorious for accessing the Internet all the time.

    You can bet if I ever go overseas, I’m definitely keeping my Droid either (a) at home or (b) the battery pulled.. There’s just no way to turn off the data connection on these things. :(

    • gianspi says:

      There is a very easy way to turn off data on your Droid:

      Settings >> Wireless >> Mobile Networks >> Disable Data

      You can even use the power widget to turn it on and off on the fly.

      I am a Droid user on a pre-paid plan. I limit my data by turning off 3G and using WiFi at work, school, and at my home.

      • Southern says:

        Well now don’t I look foolish. ;-)

        Thanks you two, I didn’t even know that was there. Guess I should poke around the settings menu and see what else I might be missing.

        I’d still take the battery out or just leave my phone at home though. Better safe than $900 sorry. :-)

      • Firethorn says:

        My phone doesn’t have the option to disable data there, but it does have ‘data roaming’, with a default of off.

        I like this better than the other options, because otherwise I can get hit with charges simply by turning my phone on.

    • Nidoking says:

      Other than going into the settings menu and turning it off, you mean?

    • framitz says:

      Hmmm, I turn on airplane mode and all communication stops.

  3. Ocyrus says:

    Learn how to lock the keypad, and you won’t have to worry about this.

    • Southern says:

      Keypad locks won’t work for phones that access Data whenever they want too, like Droids do. As long as the application is running, it can potentially access Data, such as backing up your Contact list to GMail once a day (or whatever you set it to), applications that check for updates every 15 minutes, Google locator, etc.. So even if the phone is locked, it is still accessing Data.

    • common_sense84 says:

      On top of that, locks don’t survive powering down.

      It is a problem I have with my phone. If I want to turn it off, it can’t be locked. Thus a simple button push can cause it to turn on in my pocket as the buttons are not guarded when it is not locked.

    • sven.kirk says:

      My EnV2 keypad-lock sucks. I made several calls to random numbers, internet, and 411.
      I never EVER have used 411 intentionally. Tried to fight it.
      Their response, put keypad-lock on.
      Would LOVE to erase 411 from the phone but it will not let me and Verizon will not assist me with out charging me $5 a month to do so.
      So I am going elsewhere with my business ASAP when my contract is up.

  4. Bsamm09 says:

    Why take your phone overseas? Do you have to play Angry Birds that bad? Or put it in Airplane mode.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I take my phone overseas because I need it when I get back into the country. We very, very rarely park at the airport, so we can’t leave it in the car. We usually take a cab, use public transportation, or have friends drop us off.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      For emergencies? I assume people could still call her on it if necessary and it’s easier than trying to track down what hotel someone is in.

    • nopirates says:

      i have an iPhone. data roaming is turned off by default. even so, i double check that every time i cross a border. never had an issue.

      • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

        I have a Droid…data roaming is also automatically turned off. Not sure if that’s a Motorola thing or a Verizon thing, but yeah, every smartphone I’ve owned (two!) has had this off by default.

        Making the OP even less sympathetic.

        Also, I got curious when I was in China and used Google Maps without an international data plan. I got charged, but it wasn’t enough to matter. Seriously, what was this person’s phone doing? Facebook app x1000?

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Yeah no kidding. I mean every fricking party store in the United States sells foreign phone cards for cheap. For $50.00 she could have called back home all she wanted.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i used my cheap camera phone in europe to take [poor quality] sneaky photos of things i wasn’t supposed to photograph. for example, inside the anne frank house. camera would have been obvious but the phone wasn’t.
      and yes i know it’s rude to sneak photos of things that they sell pictures of, but they don’t sell pictures of the stuff i wanted to photograph so taking my own picture wasn’t costing the gift shop/foundation any money.

    • katarzyna says:

      When I’m overseas, I use my cell phone to call home. Of course, I have AT&T, and their international rates are reasonable. I also have an app that turns off 3g so I wouldn’t get hit with roaming data charges.

    • e065702 says:

      Yes I do have to play Angry Birds that bad

  5. Xin says:

    I wish her the best of luck in getting that knocked down. If she has never been late with a payment and such I don’t see where this can’t be a one time accommodation. I know most are going to say “well that’s common sense to take the battery out”, but when you are using your phone on a day to day deal (which most people do) – you just simply don’t think of it.

    on a funnier note: my boyfriend did butt-dial me once and left me a lovely farting voicemail.

  6. dmx11523 says:

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    • skylar.sutton says:

      Seriously! You should have read the d*mn contract before signing up for a phone. This is like going after a car dealership for your fuel bill when you left the engine running. “Oh, I didn’t know that uses gas… they owe me something.”

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Except that cars don’t turn on on their own if you touch it the wrong way and start burning jet fuel that costs 20 cents per teaspoon.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          …Yeah, but if you knew there was a button on your car that did just that, shouldn’t you be careful not to press it?

  7. sufreak says:

    Knowing your possessions in foreign countries is part of being a responsible traveler. I know my standard plugs won’t work in Europe, so I bring adapters. If I plug my device into a jack somehow without an adapter and it breaks, its my fault.

    Same thing applies with phones. You have a nationwide plan, not an international plan. Verizon was kind to cut the bill in half, but they have no obligation.

    The only thing this does support is provider notification of high bandwidth use.

    I do recall a company (T-Mobile?) which would bump into the next plan for the month if you went over, rather than dinging you for the minute fees. Not sure if its still around.

    • sqlrob says:

      There’s an easy way to fix this, one that I WOULD place on Verizon’s feet.

      You say she has a national plan, not an international one. So why does the phone even work internationally except on explicit request?

      • Eviile says:

        An explicit request, like dialing a phone number or accessing a web page?

        • sqlrob says:

          No, that’s implicit, trying to access the data. You take the same actions no matter where you are.

          Explicit in calling a customer service rep saying “I’m going to be out of the country, I want roaming”

      • Hoot says:

        The answer is obvious – though I hope you’re asking from a consumer point of view, rather than a company’s point of view.

        They want more people being dumb like Rebecca and paying (what I am sure are) exorbitant rates that they make a killing on. And some people do change their plans when they go overseas so there is nothing to switch over for the company or customer except a payment plan. Also, what about the lawsuits when someone couldn’t call the local 911 number even though they got a signal and presumed they had that for emergencies? Clearing 911 wouldn’t work because it’s not the same everywhere.

        I don’t see why Verizon has any responsibility to cater to the random stupid person when they’re making a hefty profit on it. It’ll teach her for next time!

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        Every time I roam with my iPhone, I get a text message that tells me what the international data roaming rate will be when I arrive in a new country. Very transparent.

  8. edosan says:

    Travel tip: If you haven’t arranged for international phone service while traveling abroad, take your phone out of your backpack and leave it at home.

    There, fixed it for you.

    • misterfuss says:

      Hi edosan,

      OK, now you are at the US airport getting ready to board your international flight and it’s delayed or canceled and you reach for your phone to update family. Oh wait, the phone is at home.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Airports typically have pay phones.

        • JiminyChristmas says:

          Airport pay phones are probably the one ripoff bigger than the roaming charge ripoff.

          Word to the wise: if you ever use an airport pay phone buy a calling card first and use that to make the call. Otherwise, next thing you know you will find a $9 charge on your credit card for a two minute phone call.

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I usually have a lot of sympathy for people who get into these kinds of accidental situations, but she comes off as being really annoying. She says she shouldn’t have to pay because she didn’t use her phone…but I feel as if anyone who is traveling overseas and has a smart phone (or any phone) should be aware of the potential for roaming. It should be common sense.

    And her argument that because Verizon sold her a phone with a power button on the case, it’s Verizon’s fault? That’s just silly. If she’s trying to blame someone else, how about blaming HTC for including a function that has been standard on electronics for a few decades.

    While a $900 bill (which is after the 50% reduction) is still ridiculous, I can’t see how the OP is helping her own case. She wasn’t knowledgeable about what could happen, and didn’t take steps to modify her behavior. When I go overseas and have to take my phone (for when I return and can use it), I keep it in the hotel safe or if it’s not a safe place to keep it there, I keep it in a dedicated pocket and check it whenever I can.

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      Agreed. Whenever I’ve gone overseas I always suspended my service and gone into vacation mode with my provider. Now this method isn’t really best for someone going on a short trip and usually requires at least a month in time for the phone to be off, but if you are planning on traveling for that length of time, this is the best way to avoid a situation like this one and save a month’s cost of my service plan (paying $5 versus $81). While I sympathize with the OP for the mistake and would have hoped for Verizon to be a bit more sympathetic, I understand where they stand as a company to take advantage of the contractual agreement the OP locked into when she signed up for her service plan and to avoid other customers using this same excuse in the future as a means to pull a fast one on Verizon. As others mentioned, I am highly curious of the actual operational costs Verizon is faced with due to her roaming. If this was an honest mistake, I’d at least make her pay the amount more closer to that price. Lesson learned for all cell phone users with data plans.

  10. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Best way to have a cell phone overseas in many places is to get a prepaid phone in the country you’re visiting. $35 got us a cheap phone and enough text and talk for 2 weeks.

    If you’re addicted to fancy cell phones and data, this may not work for you.

    • semidazed says:

      That said, avoid Muvistar…. they had a wretched per euro rate (1.29/minute- OUCH!). We got it without asking the right questions (we asked “How many minutes on the phone?” rather than “How many Euro per minute?”) and then consoled ourselves by considering it a nostalgic watch and primitive gaming device once we (quickly) ran out of free minutes.

      Still, it worked quite well for the purpose. My only miff against the company was that I couldn’t find any kind of recycling program for the phone once I was done with it… but that may have been a language barrier thing.

  11. Red Cat Linux says:

    There is a setting to stop data when you are roaming. I have that set on mine.

    Otherwise, there is nothing that pops up saying “Hey! You are about to get charged a buttload of money! Unless you are trapped under a large heavy object and attempting to call for rescue, turn back now!”

  12. knidukdev says:

    Verizon actually has a very generous data package, especially compared to AT&T. Unlimited use email and web browsing. Calls are reduced.

    I actually pocket dialed when I was abroad and was wracked up an additional $40 in calling charges. I called to get that fee waived, but they wouldn’t budge.

    Whenever I go abroad, I upgrade my domestic data to the international data plan and revert back to the domestic plan when I get back. They pro-rate it, so it’s usually only $10 to $15 more.

    $1,800 is pretty crazy…most of Verizon’s phones aren’t even international.

  13. mblitch says:

    Take out the SIM card. I’ve hit 15 countries or so in as many months and before I even leave my country’s airport I remove the SIM. Why even take the chance even if you have an airplane mode?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Verizon doesn’t use SIM cards.

      • knidukdev says:

        Verizon world phones do have SIM cards. You need to call them to activate the cards, however.

        I’m fairly certain, however, that her phone (HTC Incredible) does not have a SIM, but the network in Israel uses CDMA technology (the same as Verizon), so that’s why her phone got reception.

  14. TheGreySpectre says:

    I always put my phone in airplane mode when I go out of the country, I would just rather not risk accruing charges unless I really need my phone.

    Also, at least on my phone you can still access 802.11 networks while it is in airplane mode.

  15. Dragon Tiger says:

    Just read the article…. my, we seem to have become a society with a sense of entitlement. Yes, the charges are excessive. No, it’s not Verizon’s fault they were incurred.

    • Mom says:

      Not Verizon’s fault, except for the fact that the charges were excessive in the first place. It isn’t like she was downloading porn inside her purse. Her droid was downloading emails. How much are they charging? $1 per byte?

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Aww no. they’re not excessive. They’re what they charge, period. Excessive is an objective excuse when you use in lieu of doing stupid things or act like you’re not responsible and feel life should be lukewarm just to appease you.

        Verizon did her a service by cutting the bill. They’re not obligated to do this.

        But maybe you’re the mom of Rebecca so your post would make sense. lol.

        • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

          Please differentiate this from price gouging.

          • SMP says:

            Verizon didn’t temporarily raise their prices during an emergency or natural disaster. This is simply the price that they offered and Rebecca agreed to pay when she signed her contract. Every company has a markup. It could be 1% or 1,000%. If you don’t like it then don’t do business with them.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      Did Verizon sell her the device in question?

      Then yes, it is Verizon’s fault.

      They intentionally put her in this position. Assuming anything else is giving corporations far too much credit.

      Corporations engineer failure situations like this specifically because it profits them to do so and they continue to be let off the hook by people that whine about “entitlement mentality”.

  16. absherlock says:

    She sounds like a self-absorbed snot unwilling to take responsibility for her mistake. I hope Verizon rescinds their 50% offer and sues her for the entire amount, using her as the example to every other Verizon customer to take responsibilty for their phones.

  17. smirkette says:

    This is exactly why I never take my iPhone when traveling overseas. I know I could manually turn off the data or keep it in airplane mode, but better safe than a $900-$1800 phone bill.

  18. evilpete says:

    Android has a setting to automatically turn off data while roaming internationaly

  19. beer4me says:

    Here is a tip:
    As soon as you leave the US, put your phone on airplane mode! You can still turn on the wifi when you are at a hot spot, but this will make sure you don’t make any phone calls or roam

  20. beer4me says:

    Here is a tip:
    As soon as you leave the US, put your phone on airplane mode! You can still turn on the wifi when you are at a hot spot, but this will make sure you don’t make any phone calls or roam

  21. SG-Cleve says:

    Here is a tip:
    Don’t hit the back button when you post a message.

  22. The_Fuzz_53 says:

    I know Blackberry’s have an option that disables data service while roaming.

  23. GMurnane says:

    While the cost of providing the OP with roaming service is significantly less than $900 and it would be nice of Verizon to be less greedy, they wouldn’t be doing anything wrong charging her the full amount, yet they have graciously cut the bill in half. Unless there was some tricky language in the lady’s contract with Verizon and/or confusing information on Verizon’s website, there is no excuse for not knowing the consequences of having your phone be used overseas. Anyone traveling overseas should be aware (and most importantly TAKE RESPONSIBILITY) of: basic phrases (if you don’t speak the language), basic customs, local currency, etc. If you are traveling overseas and somehow, because of your lack of knowledge/preparedness, end up in some kind of disaster or financial problem, I’ll feel bad for you–but its still you own damn fault. Learn for your mistakes and others and always be prepared: my life lessons

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      This is the kind of corporate stupidity that just floors me. Billing $100/hour in accidentally-incurred data roaming charges in unconscionable. A fair resolution for both parties would be billing Verizon’s actual costs or the $69.95 for the data plan that would have covered the usage.

      Does Verizon not see what happened to the credit card companies in the recent past? The CC companies had free rein to charge lucrative fees as well as interest rates that in the past were literally usurious. Sadly, that just wasn’t enough money for them and they abused their customers enough that it eventually brought the attention of Congress and now those companies get to live with a whole new set of federal laws for their business.

      If Verizon is going to take the position that they are justified in charging $1800 for a partial day’s worth of roaming data charges, to me that is a written invitation for Congress or regulators to get all up in their business or for a State AG to sue them.

  24. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    What? Her HTC Android is a smart phone that is (damn near) always connected to the internet?

    Come on, pay the bill and live down the mistake of being stupider than your phone.

  25. Bella_dilo17 says:

    Once, even though I requested my internet be locked, my phone accessed the web and by the time I noticed, it was online for $30 worth of Google.

    We got the charge off, because we were told my web service was blocked.

  26. Putaro says:

    Why do phones allow you unlimited credit? I can’t run up a $50,000 bill on one of my credit cards, why is it possible to do so on a phone? You should be able to set the maximum you’re willing to pay for your phone and once you hit that limit it stops, except for emergencies and calls to increase your limit.

  27. PsiCop says:

    And people thought I was nuts to have removed the battery from my cell phone when I went on my cruise, a year ago. I didn’t want the thing to turn on, somehow, and start using the ship’s onboard cellular service (brutally expensive) or the cellular service on any of the islands we docked at (even more brutally expensive).

  28. Clyde Barrow says:

    Tough it out Rebecca.
    It sucks but you frucked up big time.
    Why should you not have to pay?
    Lesson learned.

  29. edrebber says:

    Most people wouldn’t intentionally use their cell phone and accrue an $1800 bill. I would bet that most of these types of bills are disputed. Verizon should allow customers to put a limit on how high their phone bill can go. The customer can call in to verizon to have it raised if they really meant to spend $1800 to use the internet.

  30. semidazed says:

    I took my phone overseas this last month to Spain. Once we got on the plane in JFK, I opened my blackberry and pulled the SIM card. Still had some of the phone usage but my phone was essentially off of the Verizon network. I thought it was paranoid at the time but now I’m absolutely convinced that I did the right thing.

  31. homehome says:

    Sorry, her situation sucks, but she did it. Accident or not, it happened, and you don’t get to $1,800 by just going to one or five web pages. And I’m almost sure she didn’t have a lock on her phone, which to me makes it more irresponsible of her. And like someone said before, she agreed to the contract. So when she messes up, she can’t just expect it to get ripped up just cause she thinks she’s special. Every phone has a way to turn off voice and data services, no matter the carrier, name brand or OS. And if you don’t know how to, just take the battery out. People talking bad about Verizon, that’s the terms of the contract that you signed. If you didn’t want to deal with then you shouldn’t have agreed to the contract. Be responsible, that’s how the real world is, you make a mistake, you deal with the repercussions.

    And for someone who said before why do phones not have credit limits, they actually do. You can ask for a limit to be put on your account so when it reaches a certain threshold it will shut you down. But I don’t understand, people claim they want all these freedoms, but yet they always asking for all these restrictions. The people in this country need to make up their mind, do you want the freedom to make your own mistakes or do you want to have your hand held and babysat?

  32. deniseb says:

    They wouldn’t be doing anything wrong by charging her the full amount? – or they wouldn’t be doing anything illegal? Do you think these are the same thing?

    We’ve become so accustomed to companies extorting money from us that we don’t even expect them to behave honorably any more.

    Did she receive something of value from sitting on her phone? No. Did it cost Verizon $900 for her to do it? No. If companies behaved like businesspeople of good character trying to provide value to their customers, they would charge a nominal amount in a case like this.

    Sure, it’s legal. That doesn’t make it right.

    • homehome says:

      If you don’t like the terms of the contract don’t agree to them. You are a grown person, not a five year old. It’s like a woman marrying a wife beater, then she’s surprised when she gets beat up or a guy marrying a well-known slut, then being surprised she stepped out on him.

  33. Jerkamie says:

    My locking the keypad on my keybo 2, to unlock you just press the “ok” button once. Bam unlocked. I stopped using my phone because of this.

  34. Beeker26 says:

    Both are at fault here. The OP for not ensuring her phone was off and Verizon for allowing such ridiculous billing. In situations like this the customer shouldn’t have to pay any more than the cost of a plan that covers the charges in question.

    Of course Verizon and other carriers are against the new proposed regulations forcing them to inform customers when they approach their limits — I can’t even imagine how much money they make every month from this scam. I’m betting it’s a ton of cash they’re not going to easily agree to part with.

  35. buzz86us says:

    cellphone companies are a scam plain and simple a technology over 30 years old that companies justify charging $60+ a month for unlimited data that get this ISN’T UNLIMITED. At this point if there really was a fair marketplace it should either be charged like a landline (none of this incoming calls being charged as part of your bill bullshit, a set charge per month ie less than $20 for unlimited free local calls and a certain amount per minute for long distance) or be at about $20-30 a month for true unlimited calls to the US and Canada.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Yeah, because the $20BN/year that AT&T and Verizon are spending on upgrading their networks is provided by the capex fairy.

  36. YokoOhNo says:

    Why won’t anyone think of the PROFITS!??! What about the PROFITS?!?!

    The OP must really hate America is she’s attacking our corporate overlords over a measly $1,800 and reducing shareholder value by up to .00000009%…next she’ll probably suggest that child labor laws are good (in fact, they deprive hardworking shareholders of their full value with no monetary benefit)!!!

  37. OutPastPluto says:

    From the point of view of just the pure numbers, this sounds like a fraud situation. This sounds like the sort of situation where a credit issuer (like AMEX) should call a halt on things because it’s just too darn peculiar and it is obviously so.

    • homehome says:

      How is it fraud if it’s in the contract in plain English and Spanish. You’re acting like they hide these charges. Anybody with a 2nd grade education could figure out cellphone contracts. They’re on their website in plain view. Stop calling something fraud because you’re too lazy to read.