Looking to Rack Up an $8,000 Phone Bill? There's an App for That

22

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Cappurnikus

I hate that the guy lost $8k but ignorance doesn't make you innocent.  You can't break a law and expect ignorance to get you out of it.

avatar

compro01

It ought to fall under unreasonable penelties.

He's being charged at more than 400 times the normal rate.

avatar

Caboose

 You don't know much about roaming charges then do you...

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

avatar

GreenTurtle

Telus let me off of a $5000 air-card bill.

avatar

Caboose

 Ok everyone. It's not Verizon mobie. It's not AT&T (or ATT as some of you spell it). It's not any US mobile provider. This is VIRGIN MOBILE CANADA (http://www.virginmobile.ca/vmc/en/home/index.html).

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

avatar

Carey

Why is this even a question? Verizon clearly shows the caveats of using data on their site. The guy didn't know, so what? He used the data, he pays for it, as detailed in Verizons' clearly written policy. Why should he get the charges dropped/reduced because he didn't read the data plan fineprint?

Thats like me getting an iPhone and saying "Sorry, I don't like how I pay a small fortune per month for this thing, I didn't know it was going to be this expensive, how abouts we cut the bill in half eh?". Sucks to be him, but Verizon's running a business. They set rules and adhere to them.

Plus, they cut him off after 3 days, he should consider himself lucky they didn't just keep letting him use the data. I thought it was common sense that roaming charges exist anyway, how can he plead ignorance?

avatar

jraktal

this is all BullSh!t, why in gods name should/would he pay 10,000 per more for the bandwidth that its actually worth.

and why the Frack did not not shut him down @ $50, $100  or even a $1000, cause they are all asshat money grabbing mofo's

 The total cost of his data was a cool $1.50, and they charge him $8000. I say sue them for piracy! 

There is no peace at the gate.

avatar

Caboose

 Uh huh...

You seem to me, like the kinda person that demands they get something for free when they feel that they've been wronged, regardless if you've been told or if the policies are posted in an easily accessable place.

He had plenty of oppertunities to check out roaming charges, and Virgin Mobile's policies on roaming, and he didn't. Plain and simple. The fact that he's trying to put the blame on Virgin mobile is very sad.

 

 "this is all BullSh!t, why in gods name should/would he pay 10,000 per
more for the bandwidth that its actually worth.
"

When you are out of your home calling area, you are using another carrier's network, and thus have to pay more to use someone elses network. Just like renting something. Doesn't matter how much the bandwidth actually costs.

 "and why the Frack did not not shut him down @ $50, $100  or even a
$1000, cause they are all asshat money grabbing mofo's
"

His bill is normally $200/mo. So why would he be shutdown at $50 over his limit? Phone carriers assume that you've read the contract and their policies in place before you use their service. Claiming ignorance of the policies in no excuse.

"The total cost of his data was a cool $1.50, and they charge him $8000. I
say sue them for piracy!
"

His data was a cool $1.50? what, per kilobyte? In any of the articles, it doesn't mention what his data plan is. Unless you've looked up Virgin Mobile's data plan charges. Besides, $1.50 per kilobyte is a huge amount of money. Even if it was per megabyte. My plan includes 1GB of data, and if I go over that 1GB, I get charged .05 cents per megabyte. Which isn't THAT bad when you think about it, and I'm with Rogers in Canada.

You do realize, that any judge will laugh that lawsuit out of court too right? It's the user's own damn fault.

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

avatar

compro01

When you are out of your home calling area, you are using another
carrier's network, and thus have to pay more to use someone elses
network

 

Certainly, but 400 times as much? That meets no definition of "reasonable" that I am aware of.

avatar

TheQuietShadow

Not only that but whats to stop them from working with Verizon, ATT, Cingular and the others and increasing the charges so that when you walk out of your quiet little town into the city next to you, that you end up with a $5K phone bill just for calling your wife to tell her that you are on your way home.

You know, they always have stipulations in their contracts that allow them to increase their charges without notifying you first, but does it mean that they should be allowed to? NO! If you (Caboose) want to pay an $8K phone bill, go ahead, but I say stop the multi-billion dollar companies from ripping money out of the pockets of the common wealth. For heavens sake, who would even want to pay $8K for a phone bill besides Paris Hilton, Virgin should have noticed the charges and stopped his service and simply asked him if he wanted to pay $8K to use the internet in Europe, instead they just go ahead and charge him because they know that the judge will say that their right for doing it, tack on attourneys fees, and send him home crying. In addition to that, they already made just about as much money from him as they would over the years that he would have otherwise been charged over 4 years anyway, why should they care if they lose him as a customer?

D@mn I hate giant companies!

Supermans father - "How many times do I have to tell you? Put you underwear on first!"

avatar

tkid124

Can we really say that the company didn’t act?  "They pulled the plug on me after the third day".  No they did act.  This would be one thing if it were something new that phone calls overseas cost more.  But this has been around since long before the cell phone.  He should have checked 3 things, he not ATT installed the application to get the translator, he could claim that he didn’t know he was getting data and just thought it was all on the phone.  However as far as the streaming radio there is no excuse there, it takes data he should pay full price for it.  When you go on a trip, you check for insurance as far as health, car, and you make sure you can phone home at a reasonable rate, just because we have a cell phone doesn’t change that.
Could the company have sent a text, hey you are showing up in France and being charged French rates if you don’t want to pay $X.XX a bit, you have used some many bits so far do you want to continue?

avatar

milkboy33

To Infinity and Beyond!

avatar

Caboose

 In a different article that I read, it said that he called Virgin customer support before he went on his trip. At that time, if the agent had 2 functioning brain cells, they'd offer him a roaming package. Virgin gets more money, and the customer doesn't look like a freaking moron. However that didn't happen.

And now he's going to play the ignorance card and hope he gets away with it. Personally, I think he should pay the full bill. You can't travel outside of your home country (by home country, I mean the country in which your phone number is located) and expect to not pay extra. He obviously didn't do any sort of reading of his contract. And besides, a $200 phone bill is normal for this guy? FFS I wish I had his paycheque to afford a $200 phone bill every month (not to mention the Apple tax).

Just like all those other morons who over-use their data or voice plans, then bitch and complain that "they didn't know!!" and expect something for nothing. If I go over my data limit, I pay the full charge.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

avatar

weakerthans4

Virgin might come down a little bit on the charges, but I doubt it will be much. The fact that I could find all of the information I needed about international roaming, on their website and in under two minutes means that this guy did zero research on his own.

Yes, you can blame carriers for all sorts of things, but at some point the consumer needs to take responsiblity for their actions or inactions. In this case, it is a very expensive inaction. 

I'm not out to throw this guy under the bus, but I'm tired of people blaming everyone else just because they didn't ask someone or do the research. And even if the sales person didn't mention it, like he claims, he should have asked. How hard is to ask, "Will my phone work overseas and will it cost extra?"  The worst the salesperson could have said is, "I don't know. Let's look that up on our website, it'll only take a couple minutes."

Here's the link:  http://www.virginmobile.ca/vmc/en/plans/longdistance.html

And here's what I found on their website:

  • When you're making any calls while
    you're outside of Canada and the US the rates all depend on which
    country you're calling from. Check out our international calling rates
    to see the charges.
  • Sending texts is 60¢/each and data is 5¢/KB on all phones
  • Receiving texts is free.

Check out our Travellers’ bundles and save when traveling abroad.

 

avatar

Havok

 Virgin was probably doing everything they could to make a quick buck at sale, most likely mindlessly answering 'Yes' to every one of his questions just so he would buy the damn phone. 

Then, on the flip-side, This guy should have known that using your phone continuously in a foreign country would eventually bite him back with a huge phone bill.

I think both parties should meet half-ways. This guy should pay his full regular bill (about 200 Canadian he said) plus an extra bit more. Then, Virgin should either wave the rest of the bill or foot it themselves. They have the means to do so, and the customer service rep that sold him the phone probably misled him just so he'd buy it. 

 

 

YES! This post made it through the Spam Filter!

avatar

Cy-Kill

We always hear about this happening in the US, I think this is the first time I've ever read about this happening to a fellow Canadian.

Cy-Kill

avatar

Havok

 http://bit.ly/ahfu6E

This aired almost a year ago it seems...  Other ridiculous Canadian phone bills, and look! Virgin mobile is on that list as well...

 

 

YES! This post made it through the Spam Filter!

avatar

Cy-Kill

Let me point out four keywords in my post, then you can look for them:

...first time I have...

Cy-Kill

avatar

SuperiorBeing

Phone companies really need to have some way of informing people when this stuff happens. A simple notification when the bill exceeds, say, $300 would do much to alleviate the problem.

avatar

stradric

I agree, but you have to look at it from the profit-motivated perspective of the company.  Why should they invest in developing the infrastructure necessary to configure such an alert if it's only going to cost them money all around?  Most of these providers have an easy way to check your balance anyway.  On Verizon, I can dial some airtime free code and it will tell me my remaining balance.  If you have an iPhone, I'm sure you can do that through some kind of GUI.  And there may already be an app that will have those alerts.

As much as I think the telecoms prey on customers, we are still in a buyer beware society and it is your job to police and monitor your consumption of everything -- especially pricey data plans on your phone.

You also have to figure that people are basically lining up to give their money to the telecoms for rip-off data and txt plans.  If people actually used their buying power to resist these overpriced plans and the allure of a shiny android or iPhone device, we'd all be better off.  But people are generally crappy consumers. 

avatar

tri8gman

You do mention this "easily check your balance" function - why, then, would it be terribly complicated and costly to give the customer the option to enable "Automated Balance Alerts?" It would be an excellent selling point at first, too.

Of course, so much is to coddle to the less thoughtful among us - Apple does really well at making money from people who can't be bothered with file management. Likewise, PC sales have a good chunk of their business to thank for from people who don't understand the point at which their files are actually gone and their computer dead. Companies have to protect themselves from these people just as much as they coddle to them - I recently asked my friend how his gf's laptop was doing: she spilled water on it, unplugged the cable, left the battery in, and used a hair dryer. It doesn't work anymore.

I think I lost my point... ah well.

avatar

Fecal Face

Exactly. It can't be hard for a phone company to have an automated notification type of thing, that sends you an email or an SMS when your bill reaches a certain point.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

|Intel Corei7 920|BFG Tech GTX295|ASUS 9600GT|Corsair XMS3 6GB RAM|Caviar Black 1TB|Lexa Blackline Red|Razer Mamba + Carcharias + Moray + Destructor|Logitech G15 + X-540|

Zune HD = Happiness

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.