Woman Hit With $9,100 Verizon Wireless Bill For Data She Says She Didn’t Use

Image courtesy of Cleveland.com

A Florida woman who says she barely ever uses her monthly allotment of data recently received a bill from Verizon Wireless for $9,153, claiming she had used 569 GB of data in the span of about 10 days.

Every month since February, when she started using Verizon Wireless, the Tampa-area woman says she’s paid $118 for a package that includes 4 GB of data, The Plain Dealer reports. She says she’s never gone over her data allotment, which she uses to listen to Pandora and for work-related activities that don’t use more than 0.5 GB.

Everything changed in July when she went out of town for a wedding. She had plenty of unused data, so even if there was on WiFi while she was gone, she figured it’d be fine.

On July 21 Verizon sent her a text warning her that she’d used almost all of her 4 GB, so she paid $20 to get another 4 GB, considering she still had almost two weeks before the end of the month. An hour later, she got another text saying she had only 10% left on the data she had just purchased. Again, she chose to play it safe and upgraded her plan to 8 GB a month for another $20.

Over the next few hours, she says she received anywhere from 40 to 50 texts telling her she had to buy more data. She turned notifications off because she thought it was a glitch, something she says she now regrets. She should have contacted the company at that time, she admits, but didn’t want to get stuck on hold with customer service.

When it came time to pay her bill, she found she owed $6,480 for using 490 GB of data. A tech support employee told her her phone had pinged at Amazon.com more than 400 times in a span of days. On Aug. 1, a customer service representative told her she’d used 490 GB just since July 21. The next day, her phone was turned off and she was told her data usage had gone up to 569 GB — and her bill was now $8,535.

“I told them that there was no way that I could have gone from 490 to 560 in a day,” she said. “The person said, ‘Yes there is.'”

That was enough, and she left the carrier for T-Mobile — earning a $600 fee from Verizon in the process, which she says she will gladly pay.

As for the rest of that bill, she doesn’t have answers yet from Verizon Wireless, and says will fight the charges, even if it goes to collections and damages her credit. She’s also planning to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.

“I understand that it is a big company and it cannot call everyone who appears to be going over his or her usage,” she says. “But I had never gone over my amount of 4 gigs. And then to get a bill that high makes you wonder.”

We’ve reached out to Verizon Wireless for comment, as well as information on how such an excessive use of data could happen in such a short span of time. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

Want more stories from Consumerist? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! <a href="http://con.st/V

Verizon data overages, other charges hit Florida mom for $9,100 [The Plain Dealer]