Florida Woman Amasses $200,000 Phone Bill

Dennis Faas's picture

A Florida woman got the shock of a lifetime this week when she opened her cellphone bill only to find the total roughly equal to the price of a slick Ferrari sports car. Even more surprising, the bill wasn't a mistake on the part of T-Mobile, meaning the woman was on the hook for the full charge.

Celina Aarons, a resident of southern Florida, was recently charged $201,000 for a single month of charges to a cellphone registered in her name. Aarons was stunned to find that charge because she hadn't made any phone calls over seas, and immediately contacted her cellphone provider.

Phone Bill Charge Skyrockets in a Month

"I was freaking out," Aarons said. "I was shaking, crying. I couldn't even talk that much on the phone. I was like, my life is over!" (Source: nydailynews.com)

It was then that she pieced together the shocking truth: the phone, which was being used by her legally deaf brother Shamir, had been left on during Shamir's recent trip to Canada. Because the Great White North is far outside her plan's service region, the charges just kept coming and coming. It didn't help that Shamir also texted and used Internet-streaming services while in Canada.

Aarons says that, in a normal month, she usually pays about $175 for the cellphones used under her name. She says she was upset that there was no warning when the charges passed $10,000, $50,000 or $150,000.

Indeed, one would think a cellphone company would see such a disparity as a red alert and, in an effort to maintain customer satisfaction, consult them to find out what was going on. (Source: msnbc.com)

Media Intervention Saves the Day

In an effort to find help with this gargantuan financial conundrum, Aarons turned to the media. She contacted the local Miami TV station, WSVN-TV, and told them about the problem. Those at WSVN sympathized with Aarons' situation and attempted to negotiate with T-Mobile on her behalf.

Luckily, WSVN's intervention paid off, big time. The cellphone provider agreed to drastically lower Aarons' charge to just $2,500 and gave her six months to pay off the fee.

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