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Verizon Waives Teen's $21,917 Data Fee

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 41 comments

Teens and mobile phones don't mix.

Imagine heading out to the mailbox, opening the lid to its ominous mouth, and pulling out the Verizon Wireless bill. Imagine standing there at the box, cracking open the envelope in hopes of a decent charge, only to see that your teen has racked up over $21,000 in data charges. Now imagine your explosive reaction.

According to KTVU-TV in San Jose, California, an unemployed Ted Estarija from Hayward added his 13-year-old son to his Verizon Wireless account, costing him $50 extra a month. But his first month's bill under the new pricing plan was just a little more than the extra fee: it was a whopping $21,918.

When Estarija set up his son's account, he requested that Verizon restrict calls and texting. What he didn't do was ask for restrictions on data. That, of course, was a mistake: the 13-year-old teen downloaded approximately 1.4 GB in just one month. Naturally, Estarija blames Verizon for the bill, claiming that it shouldn't have allowed the obscene amount of downloads.

However, there's a glimmer of sunshine: Verizon listened to his plea and credited his account for the full amount thanks to all the media attention he's received thus far, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Estarija thus kicked his son off the Verizon Wireless account. There's no indication on what happened to his son's phone, or what was actually downloaded.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    AdamB5000 , December 14, 2009 11:53 PM
    Quote:
    an unemployed Ted Estarija from Hayward added his 13-year-old son to his Verizon Wireless account

    And there is the problem.
  • 10 Hide
    Supertrek32 , December 14, 2009 11:42 PM
    What could you possibly do on a phone that uses up 1.4GB, anyway? Get a computer ffs.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    lamorpa , December 14, 2009 11:34 PM
    Sounds dramatic - "kicked his son off the Verizon Wireless account", or he could have just restricted data use as Verizon should have suggested in the first place, then again, why did the kid have a media capable phone if he wasn't supposed to use it for media. The whole story and situation is stupid.
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    Supertrek32 , December 14, 2009 11:42 PM
    What could you possibly do on a phone that uses up 1.4GB, anyway? Get a computer ffs.
  • -1 Hide
    ubernoobie , December 14, 2009 11:44 PM
    So kicked him off and sold to a hobo not knowing the plan was still on them.. Maybe
  • 21 Hide
    AdamB5000 , December 14, 2009 11:53 PM
    Quote:
    an unemployed Ted Estarija from Hayward added his 13-year-old son to his Verizon Wireless account

    And there is the problem.
  • 7 Hide
    mavroxur , December 15, 2009 12:02 AM
    Jeez, 1.4gb of data in a month? WTF was he doing? I dont know about everyone else, but with my data speed on US Cellular, i'd have to download 24/7 to rack up that much traffic.....
  • 2 Hide
    flea420 , December 15, 2009 12:11 AM
    I used 800megs this last month. Streaming videos and using the web daily, I could see a kid doing 1.4gigs easy.
  • -1 Hide
    flea420 , December 15, 2009 12:12 AM
    supertrek32What could you possibly do on a phone that uses up 1.4GB, anyway? Get a computer ffs.


    I used about 800megs on my last bill. Youtube, app downloads, movie trailers and web surfing, ya, it can add up easy.
  • 0 Hide
    Honis , December 15, 2009 12:14 AM
    lamorpa...why did the kid have a media capable phone if he wasn't supposed to use it for media. The whole story and situation is stupid.
    My free with new contract phone from 5 years ago had media capabilities. Maybe not 1 gig per month capabilities but I digress.

    The guy needs to switch to sprint, it's only $20 for each additional line.
  • 0 Hide
    Swindez95 , December 15, 2009 12:31 AM
    I couldn't imagine using 1.4GB on a phone alone. However with my Verizon 3g Modem I can easily reach and usually do reach the 5GB limit, its not hard to do on the computer over a month's time.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , December 15, 2009 1:18 AM
    What's probably the most ridiculous about this is that the guy was charged what, $15/meg? I'm from Canada and even we don't pay that much, and we have atrocious wireless data rates
  • 2 Hide
    igot1forya , December 15, 2009 1:29 AM
    "...in other news another San Jose teen was killed by his father"
  • 0 Hide
    jawshoeaw , December 15, 2009 1:45 AM
    If they had been smart instead of greedy aholes, they could have charged him $100 or so and warned him about excessive usage. Verizon then would have earned a $100. Course they'd lose the free publicity.
  • 9 Hide
    Uncle Meat , December 15, 2009 1:58 AM
    Quote:
    or what was actually downloaded.

    Porn.
  • -2 Hide
    buwish , December 15, 2009 2:10 AM
    I can see dling that much on a standard Internet connection (DSL, etc..), but a cell phone...no way. Like someone else stated, I have US Cellular and yes, I'd have to have it downloading 24/7 to make it to 1.4GB.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , December 15, 2009 2:26 AM
    Uncle MeatPorn.


    i was thinking the same thing unlce meat.
  • -1 Hide
    the last resort , December 15, 2009 2:40 AM
    this also goes to show how much price-gouging goes on in the cell companies. $21000? RIDICULOUS!
  • 0 Hide
    Glorian , December 15, 2009 2:46 AM
    lol agree with the posters above, my first thought was porn, I mean the kid can barely talk or text to anyone so he found out he could watch endless amounts of porn. I am more amazed at the rate it cost if you don't have a data plan. People argue that's a lot of data, but even if you used a tenth of that you would still have a 2,200 dollar bill which is pretty ridiculous anyway. Verizon has been very vocal about other wireless providers so they were almost required to waive the fee.
  • 0 Hide
    m3kt3k , December 15, 2009 3:28 AM
    UMMM being verizon this is not new. My plan in unlimited and they always charge me for "Overages" till I call them. I would love to know and maby you VZ fanboys can tell me (FYI I have VZ for the next month then done with there crap) why it costs 20+ bucks for them to turn on the WIFI on the droid? As for the "MAP" adds its Crap. I live where it says we all have 3g and half the time your out of range of even cell coverage. Face it VZ and ATT are just both evil. Its just a matter of sides. Red Vs Blue.
  • 1 Hide
    ira176 , December 15, 2009 5:25 AM
    Put aside for a moment that it must have been hard for this kid to download 1.4 gb in a month, and think, how in this day and age of computers with ever increasing storage and speedy internet like Fios, Cable internet and 3g, could 1.4 gb cost 21,000 dollars!
  • 0 Hide
    Manos , December 15, 2009 5:43 AM
    $21,918 for 1,4BG data? Bad BAD image to the public Verizon.. wtf costs so much over their services for 1,4GB? lol are you fn serious?
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