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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:01 PM
Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone
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Default Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
from Consumerist by Ben Popken

After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.

In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
the megabyte.
--

The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
cellphone plan.

;>)

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:08 PM
Jim Higgins
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Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>
> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>
> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
> the megabyte.
> --
>
> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
> cellphone plan.
>
> ;>)


How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?

--
Civis Romanus Sum

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:15 PM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Jim Higgins wrote:
> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>
>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>
>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>> the megabyte.
>> --
>>
>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>> cellphone plan.
>>
>> ;>)

>
> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?


A 13 year old sees a web browser on a phone, and unless told in advance
that it's not free, proceeds to use whatever capabilities the phone has.

I once got charged for a game on my Verizon phone that I knew I didn't
order. Finally figured out that it was my 11 year old who was playing
with my phone and didn't know that those games weren't free. Fortunately
it was only a few bucks and Verizon took the charge off the bill.

He's older now, plus he's on PagePlus so the potential damage is
limited, and I told him that anything over $10/month he pays for, and he
never uses even that much.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:02 PM
Carl
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Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

SMS wrote:
> Jim Higgins wrote:
>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>
>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>
>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes
>>> of data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged
>>> them by the megabyte.
>>> --
>>>
>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>> cellphone plan.
>>>
>>> ;>)

>>
>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?

>
> A 13 year old sees a web browser on a phone, and unless told in
> advance that it's not free, proceeds to use whatever capabilities the
> phone has.
>

Yeah, let's blame the kid for what sounds like might be weak parenting.



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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:14 PM
George
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Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>
>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>
>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>> the megabyte.
>> --
>>
>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>> cellphone plan.
>>
>> ;>)

>
> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>


Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what costs
extra?"

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:22 PM
Jim Higgins
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Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

George wrote:
> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>
>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>
>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>> the megabyte.
>>> --
>>>
>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>> cellphone plan.
>>>
>>> ;>)

>>
>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>

>
> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what costs
> extra?"

Ever hear of personal responsibility?

--
Civis Romanus Sum

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:59 PM
Richard B. Gilbert
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Jim Higgins wrote:
> George wrote:
>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>
>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>
>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>> the megabyte.
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>
>>>> ;>)
>>>
>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>

>>
>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>> costs extra?"

> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>


Children are not held to the same standard as adults. I'd say that
there is plenty of blame to go around. If the kid had to "deposit 25
cents for three minutes" his usage would have been limited to his supply
of cash. I know that a lot of children have phones of their own but DO
THEY REALLY NEED THEM? I lived about 57 years with only landline phones
and somehow managed to survive. I didn't have a phone to call my own
until I got out of the army and got a job with a real pay check.

I seem to recall something about "prepay"; an arrangement where you buy
minutes as you need them. If the kid had to pay cash up front, he would
have been a bit more careful about how and how long he used the phone!

"All the other kids have one." never got me anywhere with my parents.
If they didn't think I needed something I had to do without.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:25 PM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Richard B. Gilbert wrote:

> "All the other kids have one." never got me anywhere with my parents.
> If they didn't think I needed something I had to do without.


Personally I find it very convenient for my kids to have mobile phones.
It ends a lot of waiting around when you can tell them, "call when
you're ready to come home." However if it cost me $25/month the would
not have phones. At $5 a month it's fine.

I had an idea to get around the need for cell phones which I could not
get anyone interested in funding. I would put phones in public
buildings, gas stations, restaurants, etc., and people would have to pay
a small fee in order to use one, by inserting coins or tokens or smart
cards. I guess it was a dumb idea.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:24 PM
Larry
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

"Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone" <vic.healey@gmail.com>
wrote in news:85e987c3-0ac6-41f9-9272-
bb165ee7164d@r5g2000yqb.googlegroups.com:

> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>
> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>
> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
> the megabyte.
> --
>
> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
> cellphone plan.
>
> ;>)
>


1,400,000,000 bytes is 1.4 million KB....1,400MB x $1.99/MB = $2,786.

What the hell else did sonny boy do? Does he have a girlfriend in
Tuvalu?!

The numbers don't add up..................................again.

$2,786 for 1.4GB is highway robbery...and should be punished accordingly.

================================================== =====================

Of course, had the boy been on a Page Plus plan, none of this Verizon
scam would have happened. He would have simply run the account out of
its precharged funds and the phone would have stopped working....no big
loss, no big hassle trying to talk the *******s at Verizon Wireless out
of a $22,000 (or whatever it really was) payment. No fighting in court,
no hard feelings, no losing the house to the Verizon lawyers suing him.
As soon as the account was precharged, once again, sonny boy's phone
would continue to work just fine. As the other families phones would
have been on different PAGEPLUS accounts, they wouldn't go dead when
Daddy couldn't talk Verizon Wireless out of paying the bill. They would
have been unaffected and only sonny boy's phone would have gone dead.
Family plans CAN, and do, SUCK...as this example shows. Another big
benefit to having the children on PAGEPLUS, not Verizon.

But, the ***** hounding me would never see it that way so they'll piss on
me in answer to this obvious benefit to being a PAGEPLUS customer....(c;]





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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:11 PM
George
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
> George wrote:
>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>
>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>
>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>> the megabyte.
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>
>>>> ;>)
>>>
>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>

>>
>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>> costs extra?"

> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>

Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.

When your kids were young did you explain the difference between various
phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you just assume
kids should know this stuff?

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:18 PM
Jim Higgins
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

George wrote:
> On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
>> George wrote:
>>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>>
>>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>>
>>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>>> the megabyte.
>>>>> --
>>>>>
>>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>>
>>>>> ;>)
>>>>
>>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>>> costs extra?"

>> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>>

> Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.
>
> When your kids were young did you explain the difference between various
> phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you just assume
> kids should know this stuff?


A 13 year old does NOT get a free pass. They are personally responsible
for stupid decisions.

--
Civis Romanus Sum

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:36 PM
Pegleg
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>
> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>
> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
> the megabyte.
> --
>
> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
> cellphone plan.


Lack of parental oversite! The parent should have
to pay the bill!

Brian

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:57 PM
D. Stussy
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

"Jim Higgins" <gordian238@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xb6dnfdlf_Hd-7vWnZ2dnUVZ_uRi4p2d@posted.eaglecomputertechnology ...
> George wrote:
> > On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
> >> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
> >>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
> >>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
> >>>
> >>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
> >>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
> >>>
> >>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
> >>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
> >>> the megabyte.
> >>> --
> >>>
> >>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
> >>> cellphone plan.
> >>>
> >>> ;>)
> >>
> >> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
> >>

> >
> > Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
> > parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
> > any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what

costs
> > extra?"

> Ever hear of personal responsibility?


I heard that the parent did limit both voice minutes and text messages for
the kid's phone. He probably didn't realize that the phone was even data
capable.



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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 12:02 AM
Pegleg
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

D. Stussy wrote:

> He probably didn't realize that the phone was even data
> capable.


Your point being?

The parent signed the contract, he is responsible!

Brian

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 12:56 AM
Richard B. Gilbert
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

George wrote:
> On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
>> George wrote:
>>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>>
>>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>>
>>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>>> the megabyte.
>>>>> --
>>>>>
>>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>>
>>>>> ;>)
>>>>
>>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>>> costs extra?"

>> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>>

> Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.
>
> When your kids were young did you explain the difference between various
> phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you just assume
> kids should know this stuff?


With some kids it's in one ear and out the other! I think it's possible
to find out how much time the kid is using and it's a good idea to keep
an eye on it.

It's also a good idea to make sure that the kid understands what cell
phones and service cost, that there a limited number of "minutes"
included as part of the "basic rate" for a cell phone and that
additional minutes cost $1.50 each or whatever the actual rate is!



If you hand a gun to an idiot and he kills someone with it, who is
responsible? That's right, it's you!

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:57 AM
The Ghost of General Lee
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On Mon, 14 Dec 2009 19:56:09 -0500, "Richard B. Gilbert"
<rgilbert88@comcast.net> wrote:

>George wrote:
>> On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>> George wrote:
>>>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>>>
>>>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>>>> the megabyte.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ;>)
>>>>>
>>>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>>>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>>>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>>>> costs extra?"
>>> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>>>

>> Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.
>>
>> When your kids were young did you explain the difference between various
>> phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you just assume
>> kids should know this stuff?

>
>With some kids it's in one ear and out the other! I think it's possible
>to find out how much time the kid is using and it's a good idea to keep
>an eye on it.
>
>It's also a good idea to make sure that the kid understands what cell
>phones and service cost, that there a limited number of "minutes"
>included as part of the "basic rate" for a cell phone and that
>additional minutes cost $1.50 each or whatever the actual rate is!
>
>
>
>If you hand a gun to an idiot and he kills someone with it, who is
>responsible? That's right, it's you!


And to go along with that statement, I feel that there is a level of
culpability on VZW's part in this case. Considering past stories of
this nature, I feel VZW has some responsibility to cut off access to a
LOS (or at least attempt to notify the responsible party on the
account) when charges grossly exceed the historical average amount for
the account. I view it no differently than a credit card issuer
declining a charge when you've reached your credit limit. VZW cannot
reasonably expect that a personal cellular bill of $22,000/mo. is
normal, or that there won't be problems in trying to collect it. Sure,
the parents bear the greatest share of responsibility here, but VZW
appears to have done absolutely nothing to protect their vested
interest in the matter. The end result for them is an uncollectable
balance (which they often must write off) and bad press for allowing
it to happen.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 02:50 AM
Todd Allcock
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

At 14 Dec 2009 20:57:31 -0500 The Ghost of General Lee wrote:


> And to go along with that statement, I feel that there is a level of
> culpability on VZW's part in this case. Considering past stories of
> this nature, I feel VZW has some responsibility to cut off access to a
> LOS (or at least attempt to notify the responsible party on the
> account) when charges grossly exceed the historical average amount for
> the account. I view it no differently than a credit card issuer
> declining a charge when you've reached your credit limit. VZW cannot
> reasonably expect that a personal cellular bill of $22,000/mo. is
> normal, or that there won't be problems in trying to collect it. Sure,
> the parents bear the greatest share of responsibility here, but VZW
> appears to have done absolutely nothing to protect their vested
> interest in the matter. The end result for them is an uncollectable
> balance (which they often must write off) and bad press for allowing
> it to happen.




I agree. In addition, I have a problem with the ridiculous amount of the
charge. If "unlimted" data is $30, they have a hard time justifying such
overage charges. Are they really "writing off" $22,000, when any number
of their customers use that much data month after month for $30?

(I have more sympathy for wireless carriers when customers rack up huge
international roaming bills, since the "home" carrier is being billed by
the int'l carrier. In this case, however, the teen's usage didn't "cost"
Verizon nearly what they charge for it.)


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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:03 AM
Dennis Ferguson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On 2009-12-14, Larry <noone@home.com> wrote:
> "Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone" <vic.healey@gmail.com>
> wrote in news:85e987c3-0ac6-41f9-9272-
> bb165ee7164d@r5g2000yqb.googlegroups.com:
>
>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>
>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>
>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>> the megabyte.
>> --
>>
>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>> cellphone plan.
>>
>> ;>)
>>

>
> 1,400,000,000 bytes is 1.4 million KB....1,400MB x $1.99/MB = $2,786.
>
> What the hell else did sonny boy do? Does he have a girlfriend in
> Tuvalu?!
>
> The numbers don't add up..................................again.


You need to read all the fine print in the calling plan information:

Important: On select smartphone devices, if you do not subscribe
to a Data Plan or Data Feature, data usage will be billed at 1.5¢
per KB ($15.36 per M, unless you add a data block or subscribe
to a Wireless Email Feature. Other smartphone devices and all
BlackBerry® devices require a Data Plan or a Data Feature.

The rate changes with the type of phone. 1400 MB at $15.36 per comes
out pretty close to $22,000.

Dennis Ferguson

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:07 AM
Bill Sanderson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

It is also not so easy for the child to see the usage levels. We went
through this with my 14 year-old daughter and texting--and there is still no
really simple way for her to see her text usage. It isn't too hard to see
on the web site, but I don't want her to have credentials to something that
allows adding services that cost $.


"The Ghost of General Lee" <ghost@general.lee> wrote in message
news:8eqdi5de58i04p9svdm9koo5471kj59ihi@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 14 Dec 2009 19:56:09 -0500, "Richard B. Gilbert"
> <rgilbert88@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>>George wrote:
>>> On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>> George wrote:
>>>>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>>>>> the megabyte.
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ;>)
>>>>>>
>>>>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>>>>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>>>>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>>>>> costs extra?"
>>>> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>>>>
>>> Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.
>>>
>>> When your kids were young did you explain the difference between various
>>> phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you just assume
>>> kids should know this stuff?

>>
>>With some kids it's in one ear and out the other! I think it's possible
>>to find out how much time the kid is using and it's a good idea to keep
>>an eye on it.
>>
>>It's also a good idea to make sure that the kid understands what cell
>>phones and service cost, that there a limited number of "minutes"
>>included as part of the "basic rate" for a cell phone and that
>>additional minutes cost $1.50 each or whatever the actual rate is!
>>
>>
>>
>>If you hand a gun to an idiot and he kills someone with it, who is
>>responsible? That's right, it's you!

>
> And to go along with that statement, I feel that there is a level of
> culpability on VZW's part in this case. Considering past stories of
> this nature, I feel VZW has some responsibility to cut off access to a
> LOS (or at least attempt to notify the responsible party on the
> account) when charges grossly exceed the historical average amount for
> the account. I view it no differently than a credit card issuer
> declining a charge when you've reached your credit limit. VZW cannot
> reasonably expect that a personal cellular bill of $22,000/mo. is
> normal, or that there won't be problems in trying to collect it. Sure,
> the parents bear the greatest share of responsibility here, but VZW
> appears to have done absolutely nothing to protect their vested
> interest in the matter. The end result for them is an uncollectable
> balance (which they often must write off) and bad press for allowing
> it to happen.



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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:32 AM
D. Stussy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

"Pegleg" <brian.pegleg.jones@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:hg6jrc$qll$1@news.eternal-september.org...
> D. Stussy wrote:
>
> > He probably didn't realize that the phone was even data
> > capable.

>
> Your point being?
>
> The parent signed the contract, he is responsible!


I'm not saying that the parents aren't responsible. I am saying that they
didn't know what the phone was capable of (while VZW does), and when they
placed the limits on the child's phone, the VZ CSR should have inquired
about the data service they were unaware of (thus making them aware).



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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:32 PM
Jim Higgins
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
> George wrote:
>> On 12/14/2009 11:22, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>> George wrote:
>>>> On 12/14/2009 10:08, Jim Higgins wrote:
>>>>> Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone wrote:
>>>>>> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
>>>>>> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>>>>>>
>>>>>> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
>>>>>> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
>>>>>> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
>>>>>> the megabyte.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
>>>>>> cellphone plan.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ;>)
>>>>>
>>>>> How about downsizing the family and firing the 13 year old idiot?
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Which one? Why exactly would the 13 year old son be an idiot when the
>>>> parent (who presumably is over the age of majority and responsible for
>>>> any contract in his name) didn't ask "so what is included and what
>>>> costs extra?"
>>> Ever hear of personal responsibility?
>>>

>> Sure, possibly you missed that a 13 year old was involved.
>>
>> When your kids were young did you explain the difference between
>> various phone calls and why some cost extra for example or did you
>> just assume kids should know this stuff?

>
> With some kids it's in one ear and out the other! I think it's possible
> to find out how much time the kid is using and it's a good idea to keep
> an eye on it.
>
> It's also a good idea to make sure that the kid understands what cell
> phones and service cost, that there a limited number of "minutes"
> included as part of the "basic rate" for a cell phone and that
> additional minutes cost $1.50 each or whatever the actual rate is!
>
>
>
> If you hand a gun to an idiot and he kills someone with it, who is
> responsible? That's right, it's you!


1/2 right, the kid also gets strapped to the table for the last shot he
will ever need. Even the idiot IS personally accountable.

--
Civis Romanus Sum

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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:36 PM
George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On 12/15/2009 04:32, D. Stussy wrote:
> "Pegleg"<brian.pegleg.jones@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:hg6jrc$qll$1@news.eternal-september.org...
>> D. Stussy wrote:
>>
>>> He probably didn't realize that the phone was even data
>>> capable.

>>
>> Your point being?
>>
>> The parent signed the contract, he is responsible!

>
> I'm not saying that the parents aren't responsible. I am saying that they
> didn't know what the phone was capable of (while VZW does), and when they
> placed the limits on the child's phone, the VZ CSR should have inquired
> about the data service they were unaware of (thus making them aware).
>
>

I don't believe it is really that difficult for someone to ask: "so what
is included and what costs extra?"


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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:54 PM
George
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

On 12/15/2009 07:38, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:
> In article<Xns9CE19CB967775noonehomecom@74.209.131.13 >,
> Larry<noone@home.com> wrote:
>
>> Of course, had the boy been on a Page Plus plan, none of this Verizon
>> scam would have happened. He would have simply run the account out of
>> its precharged funds and the phone would have stopped working....no big
>> loss, no big hassle trying to talk the *******s at Verizon Wireless out
>> of a $22,000 (or whatever it really was) payment. No fighting in court,
>> no hard feelings, no losing the house to the Verizon lawyers suing him.
>> As soon as the account was precharged, once again, sonny boy's phone
>> would continue to work just fine. As the other families phones would
>> have been on different PAGEPLUS accounts, they wouldn't go dead when
>> Daddy couldn't talk Verizon Wireless out of paying the bill. They would
>> have been unaffected and only sonny boy's phone would have gone dead.
>> Family plans CAN, and do, SUCK...as this example shows. Another big
>> benefit to having the children on PAGEPLUS, not Verizon.

>
> I have to agree with Larry 100% on this one.
>
> If the kid wants something like a cell phone, in this day and age he can
> go prepaid do it all on his own--and grasp the concept early on. He can
> buy the phone, he can buy the minutes, he can learn to budget himself
> and decide what's important in his life. If it's unlimited talking and
> texting, let him learn what $40/month really means. He doesn't get that
> kind of thing simply because he exists. He has to work for it himself.
>
> And if he chooses unwisely, there are no complicated consequences. You
> bought so much product; when it's gone, it's gone. Go buy some more.
> Or not; figure out what you want out of life.
>
> Of course, the phone goes onto MY account section of PagePlus, so that I
> can see what he's doing...and ultimately I have authority over how he
> uses it (not taking it to school, not using it inappropriately at home
> or in restaurants or whatever) and teaching him the etiquette. That's
> all part of being a parent.
>
> We do that now with Club Penguin and Runescape and the like. He gets
> birthday money and whatnot; he chooses how to spend it, and some of it
> goes to game cards he can buy at Target. I will NOT blindly throw MY
> credit card (!) at subscription web games, to be debited monthly
> automatically. That's ridiculous.
>
> We also don't have a video game console in the house. The non-Nintendo
> units are primarily aimed at lazy teen/early 20s who want to do nothing
> but extremely violent shoot-em-up games, and ALL of them are nothing but
> expensive crack pipes that require even more expensive crack (games) to
> keep going.
>
> If MY kids think I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars a month on cell
> phones and subscription entertainment for them, they're crazy.
>
> I also don't have digital cable; cheap ($40/month) analog cable feeding
> my paid-for ReplayTV units is all I need. $200/month for cable? People
> are crazy. Again, I'm trying to raise my children NOT to think that
> life is nothing more than an endless monthly subscription of paying big
> bucks to other people.


Not necessarily, if the family has a family plan it makes more sense to
include the kid on the plan. That doesn't stop the parent from being a
parent. They can certainly define an obligation that the kid must
fulfill to keep the phone operating.

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:22 PM
SMS
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

<snip>

> Of course, the phone goes onto MY account section of PagePlus, so that I
> can see what he's doing...and ultimately I have authority over how he
> uses it (not taking it to school, not using it inappropriately at home
> or in restaurants or whatever) and teaching him the etiquette. That's
> all part of being a parent.


I looked into putting my kids on a family plan on Verizon with SWMBO and
myself, versus PagePlus. PagePlus made more sense. It's less expensive
than a Verizon family plan, and there's also less risk. As they get
older and need more minutes I'll re-evaluate it, but most likely I'd
move them onto the 1200/1200/50MB plan on PagePlus rather than onto a
Verizon family plan. By the time you add all the fees, taxes, data, and
texting plans to Verizon's plans they become ridiculously expensive.

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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:21 PM
DevilsPGD
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

In message <elmop-A95285.09404715122009@nothing.attdns.com> "Elmo P.
Shagnasty" <elmop@nastydesigns.com> was claimed to have wrote:

>In article <hg84dq$6bt$1@news.eternal-september.org>,
> George <george@nospam.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Not necessarily, if the family has a family plan it makes more sense to
>> include the kid on the plan.

>
>Financial sense in the short term, maybe.
>
>But if your goal is to prepare the child for the real world, not so much.


We put our kids on family plans, each month they get their pages out of
the bill and pay their bill. We've gone as far as to set them up with
the ability to pay the mobile provider directly, the only thing they
don't get is the carryover from previous months (since that's done
across the entire plan, not per line) but I provide that by hand.

This creates a real world experience of having a cell phone contract
without the limitations of prepaid, and it also gives them better rates
and a larger buffer (since minutes are pooled, and I was able to
negotiate a better rate for five phones on one plan than I could on
individual lines) which is a nice bonus.

We pay the base line charge, the kids pay everything else themselves.

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:33 PM
stevev
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill


"Talk and Surf at the same time with AT&T iPhone" <vic.healey@gmail.com>
wrote in message
news:85e987c3-0ac6-41f9-9272-bb165ee7164d@r5g2000yqb.googlegroups.com...
> Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill
> from Consumerist by Ben Popken
>
> After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his
> cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000.
>
> In a month's time, the boy downloaded almost 1.4 million kilobytes of
> data. The family didn't have a data plan, so Verizon charged them by
> the megabyte.
> --
>
> The father said he would be removing his son from his Verizon
> cellphone plan.
>
> ;>)


I take a different view (I'm told I often do). How about Verizon, or any
cell company, not being allowed to charge more than the rate that they would
have charged had that person had a data plan? Even a 2 year plan wouldn't
have cost this much. Instead of charging the exorbitant rates they charge
for extra minutes, extra txt messages, or even extra data, why not kick the
user into the appropriate "plan" that covers the useage? In "fairness" to
Verizon perhaps their contract could read that you are stuck with the new
plan for the balance of your existing contract. Tony Soprano's vig wouldn't
have been this high. Where's RICO when you need it?


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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:57 PM
DevilsPGD
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

In message <hg8ha4$17ra$1@adenine.netfront.net> "stevev"
<stevev@addlebrain.com> was claimed to have wrote:

>I take a different view (I'm told I often do). How about Verizon, or any
>cell company, not being allowed to charge more than the rate that they would
>have charged had that person had a data plan?


How does that make sense? You normally get a discount for agreeing to
make a purchase in bulk since overhead tends to be less. Why would
anyone agree to any term or bulk purchase price if it's no lower than
the one-off solution.

In the case of term contracts, it doesn't make sense for most consumers
to triple their monthly usage/consumption just to negotiate a lower
per-unit price, so instead a company will offer a customer a lower price
if they agree to spend a certain amount of money over a period of time
rather than immediately.

While I wouldn't mind seeing contracts (and with them, phone subsidies)
go away entirely, and I think the industry would ultimately be stronger
(and potentially even more profitable) for it, this is a "worst of each
option" approach.

>Even a 2 year plan wouldn't
>have cost this much. Instead of charging the exorbitant rates they charge
>for extra minutes, extra txt messages, or even extra data, why not kick the
>user into the appropriate "plan" that covers the useage?


That seems like a reasonable approach. My carrier offers a small number
of "sliding" plans, where you pay a minimum plan plus a per-unit overage
charge, but once the per-unit overage charge exceeds the cost to bump
you to the next level, you're automatically bumped up.

Unfortunately this confuses the hell out of the "just bill me for what I
used, don't create tiers and other ********" type customers. The retail
sales guys don't even try to offer these plans because they're flat out
too confusing for most users.

On the flip side, the problem with the "just bill me for what I used"
approach is that it makes negotiating rates down for high volume
customers far more difficult.

So we're left with companies offering just enough options to appease
some people, not too many so as to confuse others, and users ending up
on the wrong plan and with huge bills.

There really isn't a solution that will work for everyone, all of the
time.

>In "fairness" to
>Verizon perhaps their contract could read that you are stuck with the new
>plan for the balance of your existing contract. Tony Soprano's vig wouldn't
>have been this high. Where's RICO when you need it?


A better approach might be to regulate the amount of debt a customer can
accrue at any given time, similar to how banks are regulated. For
typical mobile phone user this might be $200-$400 over their expected
monthly charges, after which point the user would need to make alternate
arrangements to continue using their service.

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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 06:57 PM
DevilsPGD
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

In message <elmop-EE3845.12570915122009@nothing.attdns.com> "Elmo P.
Shagnasty" <elmop@nastydesigns.com> was claimed to have wrote:

>In article <lngfi5duomsjj13gc4il2rlbadlamagrhf@4ax.com>,
> DevilsPGD <DeathToSpam@crazyhat.net> wrote:
>
>> This creates a real world experience of having a cell phone contract
>> without the limitations of prepaid,

>
>What limitations does prepaid have?


Well, around here, significantly higher per-minute charges, no minute
pooling/sharing (between accounts), no unlimited incoming, no MY5,
higher costs for flat rate text messaging, and substantially higher data
rates without flat packages available (no 6GB for $30 option, for
example), and I certainly can't negotiate discounts on hardware or
monthly service plans by purchasing in bulk.

>And how do they stack up against sitting down every month and parsing
>the bill to figure out who owes what?


No "sitting down", my bills have "overview" page showing the previous
bill total, any payments, total new charges, etc.

After that it's like 5 individual bills attached to each other, each
person gets their own bill.

>Real world is, you pay money for what you buy. You don't pay promises,
>and you don't take promises. That's what got the country into the
>financial mess it's in right now.


Wow, that's an overly simplistic view the world. You've never rented or
purchased a residence? Bought anything with a warranty? Booked a
flight more then a day in advance? Used a credit card?

What got "the country" (which country?) into trouble isn't promises,
it's people making promises they couldn't keep. Individuals, banks,
insurance companies, across the board no group gets off without some
blame here.

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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 07:44 PM
stevev
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill


"DevilsPGD" <DeathToSpam@crazyhat.net> wrote in message
news:r9mfi5houn3uvu8j4lgcq2uvhct3280bqe@4ax.com...
> In message <hg8ha4$17ra$1@adenine.netfront.net> "stevev"
> <stevev@addlebrain.com> was claimed to have wrote:
>
>>I take a different view (I'm told I often do). How about Verizon, or any
>>cell company, not being allowed to charge more than the rate that they
>>would
>>have charged had that person had a data plan?

>
> How does that make sense? You normally get a discount for agreeing to
> make a purchase in bulk since overhead tends to be less. Why would
> anyone agree to any term or bulk purchase price if it's no lower than
> the one-off solution.


I don't know about overhead being any less. What the long-term contract
does do is allow Verizon to forcast, budget, and borrow money against those
contracts. Although history might tell them to expect some over-useage,
they can't very well use this ghost income in any of those.

>
> In the case of term contracts, it doesn't make sense for most consumers
> to triple their monthly usage/consumption just to negotiate a lower
> per-unit price, so instead a company will offer a customer a lower price
> if they agree to spend a certain amount of money over a period of time
> rather than immediately.
>
> While I wouldn't mind seeing contracts (and with them, phone subsidies)
> go away entirely, and I think the industry would ultimately be stronger
> (and potentially even more profitable) for it, this is a "worst of each
> option" approach.


Contract can go away...along with subsidies. Just don't sign a new contract
and you automatically become a month to month user, and pay full price for a
new phone should you choose to get one from your phone company. Or you
could try eBay or other sources for a discounted phone.

>
>>Even a 2 year plan wouldn't
>>have cost this much. Instead of charging the exorbitant rates they charge
>>for extra minutes, extra txt messages, or even extra data, why not kick
>>the
>>user into the appropriate "plan" that covers the useage?

>
> That seems like a reasonable approach. My carrier offers a small number
> of "sliding" plans, where you pay a minimum plan plus a per-unit overage
> charge, but once the per-unit overage charge exceeds the cost to bump
> you to the next level, you're automatically bumped up.
>
> Unfortunately this confuses the hell out of the "just bill me for what I
> used, don't create tiers and other ********" type customers. The retail
> sales guys don't even try to offer these plans because they're flat out
> too confusing for most users.


Plans help Verizon estimate the demands on their network among other things,
but clearly they are able to handle the overload, as was the case here.
Remember the old phone card days. You knew how much you used and then were
cut off when time expired or asked to pay for additional time BEFORE
accruing the additional time. Cell companies do allow you to see your usage
but there is no built-in safeguard for exceeding your allowable time. This
would be an easy fix if they wanted to IMO.
>
> On the flip side, the problem with the "just bill me for what I used"
> approach is that it makes negotiating rates down for high volume
> customers far more difficult.
>
> So we're left with companies offering just enough options to appease
> some people, not too many so as to confuse others, and users ending up
> on the wrong plan and with huge bills.
>
> There really isn't a solution that will work for everyone, all of the
> time.
>
>>In "fairness" to
>>Verizon perhaps their contract could read that you are stuck with the new
>>plan for the balance of your existing contract. Tony Soprano's vig
>>wouldn't
>>have been this high. Where's RICO when you need it?

>
> A better approach might be to regulate the amount of debt a customer can
> accrue at any given time, similar to how banks are regulated. For
> typical mobile phone user this might be $200-$400 over their expected
> monthly charges, after which point the user would need to make alternate
> arrangements to continue using their service.


Yes, that was more or less my point. The "over-use" fees are so much higher
than the same fees offered under a higher monthly plan. It is usurious.
They do it because they are allowed to.


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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:06 PM
Larry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Teen Runs Up $22,000 Verizon Bill

Dennis Ferguson <dcferguson@pacbell.net> wrote in
news:slrnhie9l4.fj.dcferguson@akit-ferguson.com:

> You need to read all the fine print in the calling plan information:
>
> Important: On select smartphone devices, if you do not subscribe
> to a Data Plan or Data Feature, data usage will be billed at 1.5
> per KB ($15.36 per M, unless you add a data block or subscribe
> to a Wireless Email Feature. Other smartphone devices and all
> BlackBerry devices require a Data Plan or a Data Feature.
>
> The rate changes with the type of phone. 1400 MB at $15.36 per comes
> out pretty close to $22,000.
>
> Dennis Ferguson
>
>


Ouch!

PagePlus keeps making more and more sense.....

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