Ted Estarija of Hayward said his monthly cell phone bill is usually $93.79, but the total shot up to $21,917.59 this month after he added his son, who lives with his mother in Fremont, Calif., to his plan, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported Monday.
Estarija said he signed his son up for only phone and text, causing a $1.99 charge to be added to the bill for each megabyte of data transferred. Verizon officials said YouTube and other streaming video sites are often the culprits behind inflated bills due to the amount of data transfer involved.
Estarija, who has been unemployed since losing his job as an accountant in October, said he contacted Verizon about the bill and officials got back to him after his story received coverage in local and national media outlets including "Good Morning America."
"I think that rattled their cages and got things cleared up," Estarija said. "They said they're going to credit the whole thing. It's a weight off my shoulders."