Cue the outrage button. A South Florida woman got a shock when she opened a recent cell phone bill: she owed $201,000.
It was no mistake.
Celina Aarons has her two deaf-mute brothers on her plan. They communicate by texting and use their phones to watch videos. Normally, that's not a problem. Aarons has the appropriate data plan, and her bill is about $175.
But her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons never changed to an international plan. Her brothers sent over 2,000 texts and also downloaded videos, sometimes racking up $2,000 in data charges.
T-Mobile told Aarons the bill was correct. She called Miami TV station WSVN, which contacted T-Mobile. The station reports that T-Mobile cut Aarons' bill to $2,500 -- and gave her six months to pay.
The disclosure comes the same week that phone companies got in line behind an industry proposal to send alerts out to customers as they approach monthly limits on voice, text and data services. The same warning would go out before they get nailed for international roaming charges. This was a preemptive move against the threat of heavier regulation. Earlier, the Federal Communications Commission had floated a similar idea.