UPDATE: After Consumerist put Art in touch with T-Mobile, it was discovered that there was still — in spite of what he’d originally been told — a small balance on his account. They came to an agreement where Art pays for the service that he should have been billed for when he closed his account, while T-Mobile waives all other remaining charges and fees. The company says it will also notify the credit bureaus to undo the damage from having his account sent to collections.
When a Michigan man’s traveling parents called him collect from a payphone a couple hours away, he expected to see a couple bucks on his next bill for the call he says was anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds in duration. But he definitely wasn’t expecting to be hit with a charge for $37.66.
Like everyone who was conscious and watching television during the ’90s, Casey and his wife have the brand of 1-800-COLLECT seared into their brains. Vacationing at a ski resort where cell coverage was spotty to nonexistent, they made a few collect calls, and that was the service that came to mind. They made a few brief calls, totaling… about as much as their monthly mobile phone bill.
Mike’s mom is one of the fifteen people in the U.S. who doesn’t have a cell phone, so she called him collect from a pay phone in California. Mike and his mom didn’t know it at the time, but they fell into the sarlacc pit that is Custom TeleConnect, a creature that hides in payphones and charges $20 fees for less than half a minute of talking.