A Florida customer of T-Mobile was left “shaking and crying” after receiving a cell phone bill of more than $200,000. The bill, which was reportedly generated by the woman’s younger brother, who forgot to turn off data roaming while on a trip to Canada, stunned Celina Aarons, who has a family plan with the company that she shares with her five brothers and sisters, a plan that normally costs around $175 per month. Shamir, Aarons’ younger brother, had the cell phone with him during two weeks in Canada however, and the international rates ran up the extraordinary bill.
“I was freaking out,” Aarons admits. “I was shaking, crying. I couldn’t even talk that much on the phone. I was like, “My life is over!”” Aarons eventually went on television with the story on the “Help Me Howard” segment on WSVN, after which T-Mobile agreed to cut the bill down to $2500 and allowed her to pay it off over a period of six months.
A spokesperson for the company claims that alerts were sent to the cell phone when it hit certain amounts of data roaming. Carriers do not legally have to inform their customers of odd roaming activity on their cell phones, although growing publicity and community outrage over similarly ridiculously exorbitant shock bills has started to prompt many companies into doing so. Last week, the FCC announced that all of the major carriers will now send alerts to those who are in danger of exceeding their usual limits.