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Florida man's trip overseas ends in shock over $143,000 T-Mobile phone bill

   TAMPA, Florida -- Floridian Rene Remund and his wife toured Switzerland last September. But when they got home, their cell phone bill had jumped higher than the Swiss Alps.

Remund and his wife said they travel frequently and always notify their cell phone carrier before they leave the United States. In this case, Rene said he visited a T-Mobile store to share his travel plan. He's also been a T-Mobile customer for nearly 30 years.

"They said you're covered. Whatever that meant. You're covered," Rene said.

The couple took a trip that they described as magical. As they toured the countryside and spent time with family and friends, Rene said he never gave a second thought to the pictures and messages he was sending during their time away.

Shortly after returning home to Dunedin, Remund said he received his T-Mobile bill. He looked at it and thought it said $143. It wasn't until days later that he discovered the actual amount he owed.

T-Mobile charged him over $143,000 for using 9.5 gigabytes of data while overseas. Five to ten gigabytes is considered average for one month. But in this case, it was all roaming data which cost thousands of dollars each day of his trip.

Remund said he immediately called T-Mobile and waited on hold while a representative reviewed the charges.

"She gets back. 'No, this is a good bill," the representative told Remund.

"What do you mean it's a good bill?" Remund asked.

"Well, this is what you owe," the representative said, to which Remund replied, "You're kidding me?"

Rene then hired an attorney who wrote letters to the president of T-Mobile but got no response. That's when the attorney called ABC Action News for help.

We contacted T-Mobile's corporate offices. Days later, someone from the carrier called Remund and offered to credit his account for the entire amount.

T-Mobile told ABC Action News in an email:

"We recommend our customers check the travel features of their plan, such as international data roaming, before departing.....if a customer is on an older plan that doesn't include international roaming for data and calling, they'll need to make sure they're using airplane mode and wi-fi when using data to be certain the device doesn't connect to an international network."

Remund told ABC Action News it was an absolute relief to no longer have to worry about a six-figure phone bill.

Before your next vacation, always check your plan. International plans differ by carrier. The terms are posted on their websites.

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