Dad says mistakes caused $22K phone bill

March 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM   |   Comments

BURNABY, British Columbia, March 4 (UPI) -- A Canadian man said he was billed nearly $22,000 for data amassed by his 11-year-old son on a phone during a trip to Mexico, but he'll only have to pay $500.

Matt Buie of Burnaby, British Columbia, who has an account with Fido, which is owned by Rogers Communications, said Apple store representatives recommended he put his iPhone in "airplane mode" to prevent roaming charges during his family's January trip to Mexico, but his son was unaware of the problem when he ended up confined to the family's hotel room with a bad sunburn and passed the time on his father's phone, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

"I made a mistake here -- as his father -- and he made a mistake. He turned off the airplane mode and was watching YouTube videos. I should have taken the SIM card out ... or not let him use the phone. That's guilt that I have to live with. I clearly should have known better," Buie said.

"It is gouging. It is $20 in Mexico [for domestic customers] to get the same amount of data [700 MB] from their carrier and it is $40 to get the same amount of data while in Canada," he said.

Rogers said it is willing to cut the bill to $500.

"It's very unfortunate this customer had this experience," Rogers spokeswoman Jennifer Kett said. "When this type of situation happens, we have internal processes in place to identify these customers and their usage prior to their bill being sent out and then we proactively work with them towards a resolution."

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