Airman Racks Up $16,000 In Roaming Charges In 6 Days

Usually when we write about someone racking up insanely high phone charges, it involves a trip outside the U.S. borders, but here’s a post about a member of the U.S. Air Force who found himself facing more than $16,000 in roaming charges after short visit to his family in Sacramento.

See, since the airman has been stationed in Guam, he has a smartphone plan through a telecom company based on the island. And even though Guam is a U.S. territory, that wireless plan really isn’t meant to be used by people back in the continental U.S.

But the 19-year-old airman wasn’t fully aware of this when he visited his family and friends in California. So during the course of only six days, he used up around 1.6GB of roaming data — at a cost of $.01/kilobyte.

“He said that they did go on a couple YouTubes, a couple other sites,” the airman’s father tells CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming.

The wireless carrier came to a compromise with the airman and dropped the bill from $16.098 to $4,829.

So if you’re heading outside of your area of coverage, be sure to completely turn off your phone, as some apps and services will use up data even when you’re not actively using the device.

The major U.S. wireless carriers have all agreed to implement alert systems to notify customers when they are reaching the limits on their data, voice or messaging plans; international roaming is also included.

The FCC recently launched a page that allows consumers to see how the various providers are making progress toward this goal.

Call Kurtis: Airman Gets Shock With $16,098 Phone Bill [CBS Sacramento]