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Verizon Wireless Dismisses $18K Cell Phone Bill

Article Comments  79  

May 17, 2010, 11:46 PM   by Philip Berne
updated May 17, 2010, 11:47 PM

Bob St. Germain, the Verizon Wireless account holder whose son ran up an $18,000 cell phone bill, has told the Boston Globe that Verizon Wireless has stopped trying to collect on his debt. St. Germain's son used his Verizon Wireless phone as a tethered modem, and data fees helped him incur the massive charge. Verizon Wireless' action comes on the heels of the FCC considering a "bill shock" warning system that would alert customers before monthly fees climb out of control. Verizon Wireless cut St. Germain's bill in half at first, sending a $9,000 debt to collection. According to a Verizon statement to the Globe, the carrier has called off the collection agency, deeming the debt "uncollectable."

more info at Boston Globe »
more info at Gizmodo »




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This forum is closed.


May 18, 2010, 12:05 AM

Verizon CEO Seidelberg.....

Verizon CEO Seidelberg's nose shrunk Sad
Laughing Laughing Laughing !!!

Too bad BoA's CEO doesn't listen to congress like Vzn's CEO does!
Like this bill was ever going to be collected in the first place.

Hope his credit isn't ruined for the next 7 years.

May 18, 2010, 6:36 AM

So little sympathy...

Now, I may be jaded because I've worked in the wireless industry for 3 years now, but I am so tired of people not taking responsibility for things they are solely responsible for. I watch people walk in everyday to my AT&T store with a broken iPhone or a phone that was stolen and expect us (their service provider, not a phone manufacturer) to replace it for them at new customer pricing. And when all is explained, they cop an attitude when I can't give them a new iPhone.


People seem to be so lazy nowadays that they don't even bother to learn the parameters of their own plan. And I'm sorry, I've seen parents outright tell their kids never to even touch the internet. Most parents do that without me...
I agree! The son in this case was GROWN! It's not like the son was 6 or 7! It goes to show that if whine long enough and loud enough that you don't have to be responsible. Where does parenting come in at? Why didn't the dad make the son get a job and ...

May 18, 2010, 8:03 PM


I'm afraid this is an all too familiar pattern in the U.S. This feeling of "entitlement". This kid stole from a company. Pure and simple. It's sort of like a mature looking 17 or 18 year old walking into a bar and loading up on drinks, then leaving without paying. You could make a nice argument that he shouldn't have been allowed in. But he was in... and while there, he consumed product. And he doesnt pay for a cent of it. Dad gets mad... refuses to pay... company eats the cost. Welcome to America.

May 18, 2010, 9:12 AM

He should have been with T-Mobile

Or Sprint (WiMax only).
T-Mobile is the only carrier does not charge overage, just slow you down after a certain amount, on tethering and datacard (mine does show 10GB cap instead of 5 :p )
i love tethering on t-mobile with my jail broken G1
And He didn't have a Tethering plan, that was the issue.

What would Tmobile do if someone bought a phone from you, basic voice only, and stuck it into a computer to tether?

And again, it was 2006! Do you have any idea how much has changed sinc...

May 18, 2010, 10:01 AM

Bad Precedent

All this is basical say is that anybody can go out rack up a bunch of charges on your phone and not have to pay for it becasue this guy didn't have to. He should have to pay like every other wireless customer he signed a contract stating he understood the terms of his contract and for whatever reason he gets a mulligan, thats BS.
Because if you get them high enough, suddenly the company becomes evil and you just a innocent victim.

I hate our media.

And this wouldn't happen in a country that required their citizen's to use their Gray matter to get a job.
Joey Esquire

May 18, 2010, 11:04 AM

Still goes on his credit file if it went to collections

... should have been using 4g
Not if everything is dropped from the Collection agency.
Trolling has to at least be relevant to make a point. Go back to the sprint forums.

(For the record, most tethering back then WAS unlimited. he was trying to tether WITHOUT PAYING A CENT for it. and he got caught)

May 18, 2010, 11:19 AM

I Wish

my medical bills will be considered uncollectable and just disappear.....lol it would be nice..wishful thinking... Smile Mad

May 18, 2010, 7:46 AM

HE'S NOT A KID!!!! HE WAS 22!!!!!!!!!!!!

Probably lives in Mom's basement with a fridge full of Hotpockets and Rebulls.
Wears Van Heusen shirts with pocket protectors and Coke-bottle glasses. Laughing

May 18, 2010, 9:26 AM


You Can't Fix Stupid Very Happy

May 18, 2010, 1:05 AM

Note to Parents

Monitor your account!!!

If you're a parent that has one or more children using sevice on your account, whether it be talking, texting, data, downloads or all of the above, simply logon to your online wireless account and see what is being used on your account. You can see how much minutes, text, and data is being used for that number. And if I'm not mistaking you can even see what apps have been downloaded and what Vcast videos have been watched. (this is for Verizon users by the way, different carriers vary)

Also, why do so many parents lower their intelligence by failing to put unlimited features on your plan? HELLO! if your kid is texting at the speed of light and is able to send over 100 texts in a day, there is a thing called ...
Please keep in mind that the "kid" was 20 when this occured. So, it's not like they were tween's. I absolutely agree with you about parents being parents. It's sad that the lesson that this son has learned is that if you whine enough you don't have to...
Cellgeek82....you could not have said it better!!!! I totally agree with you!!!!! I'm not a Verizon Employee but I have witness parents in the Verizon store, just totally angry about the bills that their kids rang up and expected Verizon to "clear" th...

May 18, 2010, 7:42 AM


For every dollar, an hour of community service. That's over 18,000 hours = at least 2 years to contemplate his stupidity. Rolling Eyes
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