Holy Smokes Batman! a $200K Cell Phone Bill!!!

Updated on October 21, 2011
C.O. asks from Reston, VA
18 answers

I just saw this on-line and thought to myself - HOLY SMOKES BATMAN!!!

A higher than usual phone bill can leave anyone stunned. And when Celina Aarons got a jaw-dropper for more than $200,000, it was no mistake. The Florida woman has a plan that usually costs her $175 a month. She includes two of her brothers on it, who are deaf and mute, and use smart phones extensively for texting and communicating more easily.

"He's a sweetheart, and he goes to college and I would do anything for him," she told WSVN television of her brother Shamir.
The problem was that Shamir went to Canada on vacation, and did not turn off his data roaming.
The bad news for big sister: a bill for $201,005.44.
"I was freaking out. I was shaking, crying, I couldn't even talk that much on the phone. I was like my life is over!" she told WSVN.
She said she thought "it's never going to get paid... I can't pay that. That's like paying a nice house right now based on what houses are going for."
Though T-Mobile did not have to reduce her bill, it wrote down her charges to $2,500.
"The case of Ms Aarons was extraordinary, even if the amount was correct. T-Mobile cut her bill to $2,500 and gave her six months to pay," a T-Mobile spokeswoman said.

The highest my cell phone bill ever was as $250...and that was because I changed plans - doh!! changed back real fast!!
So has anything crazy like this happened to you?!?!?!?

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So What Happened?

wow - lots of great stories!!! thanks!!

Featured Answers



answers from St. Louis on

Yes that happens to me EVERY January when I open my power bill!

old house + winter in the midwest + rate hikes = OUCH!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I heard this sort of thing happened a lot with the first iPhone users. Maybe not $200K, but thousand and thousands of dollars. In cases where people had unlimited data transfer plans, they still received phone bills in a box - up to 300 pages.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Richmond on

I read that too, CRAZY!!

When I was in the hospital activity giving birth to my first child, I realized my cell phone bill was left sitting on my kitchen counter. I had a nurse call my rental office (I was in an apartment at the time) and the office lady had the maintenance guy put it in the mailbox for me... OR SO I THOUGHT.

It was supposed to be my very last bill with Verizon Wireless since my contract was up... because my $79 bill wasn't paid on time, they considered it a breech of contract ($300) PLUS the $79, PLUS late fees... and I didn't hear about this until a month later, so I was billed for every single day for 30 days!! The grand total came to almost $1,000!!!!!!!!!

I called Verizon, jumped through hoop after hoop after hoop... and they only knocked it down to $379. The finally got the check for $79, and I told the I would gladly send back the bill for the remaining $300 so they could stick it where the sun don't shine... I WAS HAVING A BABY!! They finally dropped it, geez.

I still get some money taken out of my tax return, a little every year, because I owe the Henrico County Library $16 from over 10 years ago. I'm pretty sure I've donated 8x that amount in books, ya jerks!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I had one that was over 700 bucks. When I was 19.

I took six people and like four hours to get charges figured out. I had been the only one with a phone during a party summer and that was my complimentary parting gift for college. Needless to say I only recouped SOME of the money my great group of friends racked up! That was a live and learn hard moment for me....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My parents got over a $1000 bill one time because of my younger brother. They shut the phones off, paid the bill off, and turned the phones back on later, he didn't get one the second time around. It was INSANE! I think it's ridiculous too - it's not like it costs them anymore $ to let you use data or text from another place.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

At 25 my husband and I were in a long distance relationship, we spoke on th phone for hours a day...I rec'd a $700.00 phone bill...I quickly changed the next month, I thought I was unlimited and they apparently didn't get the original change but T-mobile worked with me too! I paid $300.00.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

No, but I just was talking with a friend who got one a few months ago for $1,000. Her daughter (also on the plan) had dropped her phone and ordered the replacement, but didn't send back the broken one. Then something happened again, and she requested ANOTHER new one, and hadn't sent that broken one back. They also had billed her for a THIRD phone that they sent out but she had never received. It was crazy.
Drove her nuts trying to get it all straightened out... the insurance they carry on the phones had ALSO sent her phones, so they had duplicate new phones, as well. (smh)
This is why my kids don't have privileges on my accounts, ha hahaha

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

So that's why Tmobile warned me twenty ways from Tuesday turn the roaming off in Europe!!! I called before I left to see what everything costs. She didn't quote me a data cost, she only said over and over turn your data roaming off before you leave the country.

I am rather glad I listened. Yikes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Ummm yeah - two days ago. We moved from MN to IN in August. Kept our old checking account alive to manage money for a bit (hubby's check was direct deposit). Stopped all autodrafts, etc. Had it down to $.06 and tried to close it. My options were to 1. Get a notary to stamp a letter requesting the closure and a check for $.06 (which would cost me way more than the $.06). 2. Spend my $.06 and then close the account. 3. Wait until we go up there in Nov. and do it in person (the most reasonable approach).

Then, I got a letter in the mail saying the bank charged a maintenance fee (the first time ever!!!!) for $9.95 and that caused an overdraft fee DAILY. It got up to $94 and change by the time I got the letter and called.

I called on Monday to cancel it. They charged the fee Monday night. Hmmmm.

The guy reversed the charges, but I have to call back on Friday to make sure they reverse any other charges while the paperwork goes through.

GRRRRRRR. I have enough things to worry about.

The hospital bill for my hysterectomy came the same day. GULP!!!! That one I can't negotiate down!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My sons phone got taken and when I got an e-mail that our data limit had been gone over I got on the phone with at&t and reported the phone missing/stolen (we thought he'd misplaced it in the house but it was taken out of his bag at a track meet). It had only been 3 days and in that 3 days the person who took the phone ran up $3,500 in internet/data/download charges. Because I reported the phone as missing/stolen within a reasonable amount of time (they disabled the phone immediately) I ended up not paying a single dime of that $3,500. They wrote every penny of it off.

Thank goodness too because we couldn't have afforded to pay that AND my hubby would have had the freak out of all freak outs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I heard about that. I have an app on my phone that monitors my usage, and alerts me when I am getting close to the limit on my minutes and texts. My Dad shares my plan, and it warns me if he goes over too. It's a great app, and free!

When I heard the story you mentioned, they also mentioned that most major cell companies are going to start sending texts when bills go crazy like that, to avoid a situation like this from happening again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Not to me personally...but a guy I knew in college applied for a long distance phone card when he arrived on campus his freshman year. The card came in the mail and he started using it...he never got a bill...and being young and maybe not the smartest he continued to use it for four and a half years...still never getting a bill.

His last month before graduation he got a package from the phone company...he thought it was a new phone book...it was the BILL.


Did I mention he used it a lot...this was back in the day when long distance actually cost money...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

LOL! I heard about it this morning on the radio...I honestly thought it was an inside joke from the radio station.
I think I would literally die if I saw a bill like that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

She could have disputed that through a credit agency and won........what asses

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If there ever was an indication that cell phone prices for all the nit-picky individual details are inflated beyond anything reasonable, this news story was it. And prices for texting? Don't get me started. It's ridiculous!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

When we moved out of state from NC to CA, Discover saw gas from NC, TN, KY and by IN they cut us off. I had forgotten to call them to let them know we were moving. THey were not taking chances so at the first IN charge they cut off the card. I was annoyed at the moment but after I thought about it was very thankful someone was watching the card.
Some thing the mass conglomerate communication companies might want to think about. Ah but they won't.
TMobil is being bought out anyway right? THey'll try aything to get their money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I went to Mexico and upped my service to cover the country during that time for voice. I turned off the data roaming. I called to switch back to the US only plan when I returned to the US (from the US) on 10/1, but when I got the bill, their records said I switched it back on 9/30 and they charged me $17 for the calls I made the last day. I called to tell them of their mistake and they removed the charge, but it pays to review the phone bills every month, that's for sure!! I did everything right, and there was STILL an issue!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My bosses daughter went crazy with texting when she got her first cell phone (as a teen). Her first bill was over $200! My boss paid the bill. Then she wrote the bill total at the top of a looooooong piece of the spindle type computer paper and taped it to their kitchen door, thus beginning the "pay it off" process. Every dime her daughter got from work, birthdays, Christmas, etc. came RIGHT off of that total, was subtracted and into my bosses wallet!
As for us--that's my husband's department. He picks the plan, carrier, etc. I pick my phone, etc.

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