Alex Thomas Salder, clarkhoward.com
If you’ve ever been hit with data overage fees, you know that the charges can quickly add up — but to more than $9,000?
That’s what happened to one woman who says there is no possible way she used that much data.
Woman gets a $9K bill for data she says she didn’t use
According to a report from The Plain Dealer, a Florida woman who says she doesn’t really use a whole lot of data, and actually doesn’t even get close to her monthly limit, received a bill from Verizon Wireless for $9,153.46.
She says that according to Verizon, she had used 569 GB of data in just 10 days.
So what even takes up a lot of data? According to one calculation, if you watch one hour of high-definition video per day on your phone for a full month — it would add up to about 30 GB of data. So that’s about 10 GB for 10 days. How could someone possibly blow through 569 GB in a 10-day period?
Valarie Gerbus told The Plain Dealer that every month since February (when she started using Verizon), she paid $118 for a plan that included 4 GB of data — and she never went over that data allotment. She says she really only used data when she listened to Pandora and for a few work things that don’t use more than 0.5 GB.
Then all that changed when she went out of town in July. She said she had plenty of unused data, so if she needed it, like if there was no Wi-Fi signal around, she would be fine.
On July 21, Gerbus got a text message from Verizon, alerting her that she had used almost all of the 4 GB of data she gets each month. So she paid $20 to get another 4 GB, just to be safe since there were still two weeks left in the month.
One hour later, she got another text, warning her that she had only 10% of her data left — 10% of the extra data she had just purchased! So she upgraded her plan again just to be safe.
Then over the next few hours, Gerbus says she received somewhere between 40 and 50 more texts telling her that she needed to buy more data.
She says she finally just turned off the notifications, assuming it was an error or glitch, because how could she have possibly used that much data? Gerbus told The Plain Dealer she didn’t call right away, because she didn’t want to get stuck on the phone forever — probably a good assumption of how that call would have gone.
Then came the bill. She owed $6,480 for using 490 GB of data — and according to Gerbus, Verizon told her all that data was used between July 21 and August 1.
So on August 2, she turned off her phone. Then she got a new bill, claiming her data usage had jumped to 569 GB — and the new total was $8,535
“I told them that there was no way that I could have gone from 490 to 560 in a day,” Gerbus told The Plain Dealer. “The person said, ‘Yes there is.’ ”
But she still hasn’t figured out what happened.
In the meantime, she switched over to T-Mobile, which cost her another $600 fee from Verizon, which she says was one bill she was actually happy to pay.
“I understand that it is a big company and it cannot call everyone who appears to be going over his or her usage,” Gerbus told The Plain Dealer. “But I had never gone over my amount of 4 gigs. And then to get a bill that high makes you wonder.”
She says she’ll fight the charges and also plans to file a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission.
The takeaway for you!
Even if it doesn’t add up to more than $9K, data overage fees are no joke! So if you typically use a lot of data, look for an unlimited plan. Here are some of the best ones to consider.
Also, if you start to get notifications like Gerbus did and you think they could be wrong, call the company immediately and figure out what’s going on.
If you have an iPhone, there’s one feature that now comes automatically enable on every iPhone — and it’s causing people big problems!
It’s called Wi-Fi assist and the way it works is whenever the phone detects a weak Wi-Fi signal, it automatically switches over to using your data — without you even realizing it! So check out the video below that walks you through how to turn it off!
For more information follow the link, clarkhoward.com