Cellphone user shocked by charges of $85K

A Calgary man is disputing a cellphone bill of nearly $85,000, claiming the phone company failed to tell him using his phone to surf the internet would cost so much. The Motorola Krzr model Piotr Staniaszek bought from Bell Mobility allows him to use the phone to connect with his computer; downloading data to the computer resulted in the shocking charges. "I didn't know what to think. I thought there was probably a mistake," the 22-year-old oil-field worker said of the extraordinary total. A spokesman for Bell said the company will adjust Staniaszek's bill in "a measure of goodwill." But he will still owe Bell more than $5,000.

A bill that large is extremely rare, spokesman Jacques Bouchard said. "What happened is that the client used the cellphone as a modem linking it directly to the computer and downloading huge files, ... high-res movies for instance." Staniaszek said he pays $10 a month for unlimited mobile browsing on his cellphone. "So I figured that was the same thing, but I guess not." After speaking to Bell about November charges of $65,000, Staniaszek said he was informed his bill had increased to nearly $85,000 after more downloading in December.

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The thing about mobile internet in Canada is that it SUCKS REAL BAD. It's way more expensive than 3rd world countries. The prices probably dropped since that article but not by that much.

The problem is one thing: The CRTC

The CRTC is what makes Canada look communist. They're basically a government organization that look over the radio and media markets. One of their tasks is to ensure that the competition is among Canadian companies. In other words? No outside competition. How healthy is that in a capitalist democratic country? That's why we don't have T-Mobile or O2 or Vodafone or Cingular, etc.

What this created at the current time is the following
1) Rogers has a monopoly on GSM. They own Fido, the only other GSM carrier, and they're slowly killing off Fido by offering to customers the best phones through Rogers.
2) For CDMA, it's not that bad. You got Bell and Telus and that's why data plans are more affordable with CDMA phones, but it's still expensive.

So, if you're a monopoly, what can you do? raise prices and lower your supply. Think also of why we're paying that retarded "System Access Fee" of $6.95 ($8.95 with Bell?)? That fee means NOTHING today. That fee used to be a mandatory government fee that we paid through the carrier's bills, but that isn't the case today but we're still paying that useless fee.

Forget about it (Donnie Brasco), cellphones are too expensive in Canada.

You know there is something called blocking access. If he does not have a data plan, they should have software that will automatically block access if he tries to connect to the phone's net from the computer. Sprint has this. I have a Mogul and since I do not have a data plan, I cannot use the Internet Sharing feature. The replies in this thread are amazing. To any non-techie/savvy user, this is a common mistake. If you worked in retail or in a corporate company, you would see stuff like this happen all the time. They should of just changed him his bill and offered him the data plan and if he didn't take the data plan and did this again, THEN he should have to pay.

i don't feel sorry for the guy, people should know that cell phones aren't cheap, and he must have been doing a lot of downloading to get a bill that high. I've met people that laugh at me when they say they got a $500 phone bill, some people just don't get it and they think that cell phones are jokes.

That being said, I do believe that cell phone company's are just taking our money and by all means do I not agree with the rates that cell phone company's offer in Canada.

With Sprint, you can tether all you want as long as you have unlimited power vision. Just hack your pone's NAI setting and surf away - I've been tethering for nearly a year, never had a problem. If you have their SERO plan, you get everything (500 min, 7pm nights, free wknds, unlimited txt, unlimited data) for $30/month, less than most carriers charge for a crippled phone-only data plan alone.

Once again it is clearly evident how cellphone companies in Canada gouge consumers. There was a recent study done, which shows that Canada has one of the most expensive cell phone and data service plans in the world.
I mean, 1 GSM network...3rd world countries have more!

I used to work for Bell mobility and this kind of thing happens every now and then. I had a customer that the bill was $17 000 and when I adjusted it for them as if they had a data package it was about $800. Another customer that the person that sat next to me received a call from had a bill for $75 000. The customer connected their phone to the computer to use as a modem and downloaded a movie. The customer was adjusted by being given an unlimited data package that hasn't been available for about two years for $100. The customers bill worked out to be about $200. We were always told that we should do everything we can to help the customer.

Don't say he is a tool, did you read the article. It clearly says he has unlimited browsing on his phone, but not when linked to computer. That's an honest mistake.

If you're stupid enough to think that $10 for unlimited browsing means you can hook it up to your computer and download movies then you deserve the bill you get.

You also deserve a copyright infringement ("piracy") charge.

$85,000 / month Internet to download illegal movies
$20 / DVD movie

HHmmm..... which makes more sense?

You signed up. You agreed to the fees. You pirated the material. Now pay the bill.

C_Guy said,
If you're stupid enough to think that $10 for unlimited browsing means you can hook it up to your computer and download movies then you deserve the bill you get.

You also deserve a copyright infringement ("piracy") charge.

$85,000 / month Internet to download illegal movies
$20 / DVD movie

HHmmm..... which makes more sense?

You signed up. You agreed to the fees. You pirated the material. Now pay the bill.

mighty big assumption there, sailor. just because he downloads hi res movies it makes him a crook? perhaps they might be videos required for work - obtained legally. Also, im in the uk and pay £10 for my unlimited mobile internet, and I ALSO pay£10 for my broadband at home. If i wasnt tech savvy i could see how people could b confused.

C_Guy said,
You signed up. You agreed to the fees. You pirated the material. Now pay the bill.

I also see how a non-computer guy would think that unlimited browsing = using it for the net on your computer.

"Now pay the bill".
Don't make me laugh. "Sorry Officer C_Guy, that's a mighty big fine there!"

C_Guy said,
If you're stupid enough to think that $10 for unlimited browsing means you can hook it up to your computer and download movies then you deserve the bill you get.

You also deserve a copyright infringement ("piracy") charge.

$85,000 / month Internet to download illegal movies
$20 / DVD movie

HHmmm..... which makes more sense?

You signed up. You agreed to the fees. You pirated the material. Now pay the bill.

Except downloading movies for personal use is not illegal in Canada.

I love his reason for fighting it all the way....." I didnt know I would be hit with such charges".....thats ok then just because you didnt read your Ts & Cs with the new contract makes it acceptable

what a tool!

But really, everyone surely knows Bell's prices are insane. For cell phone service or phone service (and anything else), you should look elsewhere.

He must have been downloading a lot of data. I mean I have my phone constantly connected to my Exchange at work. I know data isn't free, surly common-sense prevails?

Common sense would be: the phone company contacting the guy much earlier on, to find out if he could pay. I hope the guy offers them $500 as full and final settlement. The company is the crook here, just like the US banks are responsible for the Sub-Prime "Credit Crunch". Why did the Bank of England, yesterday put up $46 billion to bail UK banks due to irresponsible US lending?

"Wake up people!" Don't trust main stream media! "Where does this money come from?"

SK[ said,#6]He must have been downloading a lot of data. I mean I have my phone constantly connected to my Exchange at work. I know data isn't free, surly common-sense prevails?

Standard data rates in Canada are around $0.08 per kilobyte. So it's pretty much price gouging at it's best here...

zivan56 said,
SK[ said,#6]He must have been downloading a lot of data. I mean I have my phone constantly connected to my Exchange at work. I know data isn't free, surly common-sense prevails?

Standard data rates in Canada are around $0.08 per kilobyte. So it's pretty much price gouging at it's best here...

.08 dollars or .08 cents per kb?

Imnotrichey said,
zivan56 said,
SK[ said,#6]He must have been downloading a lot of data. I mean I have my phone constantly connected to my Exchange at work. I know data isn't free, surly common-sense prevails?

Standard data rates in Canada are around $0.08 per kilobyte. So it's pretty much price gouging at it's best here...

.08 dollars or .08 cents per kb? :)

8 cents per kilobyte.

I'm paying 22c a KB here, costs me like $225 to download 1MB, it would cost something like $50 to download even one image off Google Maps for mobiles for me.

you know what.. When I first deployed to Germany, I couldn't get internet in my barracks, and so I used my cell phone via IRDA to check my email and such...didn't do any heavy surfing, just used it for email. I had called the phone company prior to using it and asked what the data charge was. They said something like 5 cents a kilobye. Not bad I thought, so I used it for about 2 weeks to check my emails. Then comes my phone bill.....1100$ Turns out what they told me was only part true, I had to sign up for a special data option that the guy on the phone didn't tell me about, and so instead of 5 cents a kilobye, I was getting charged something like 85 cents a kilobyte. I called and protested to the CSR that i had not been told everything before hand, and that I was in the military serving over seas etc....they finally dropped my bill down to 200$...but I definately learned my lesson there, so I kinda feel bad for this guy.

Bell charged me 50$ a MB when i had their plan.. i couldn't believe it when i got my bill! Never going with bell again, not for cell phones, not for phone lines, not for internet, nothing.

85k i would not even think about paying that if i knew or not what they would charge cause the fact of the matter is ALL those phone company charge insane prices for there services in general once you go over the basic minutes etc per month.

even 5grand i would not pay no matter what... i figure 500 dollars TOPS ... cause it aint like those phone companys are poor! , cause even though i dont know all the details of how the cell phone company works and who they have to pay etc... it still seems that almost all of that 85k (or even 5grand for that matter) is ALL profit! :(

p.s. good thing i dont use cell phones, or phone that much in general

Not that I think refusing to pay bills will get you all that far in most courts, the fact that they dropped an 85 THOUSAND dollar charge down to something a bit over 5,000 pretty much proves it's all profit, they'd never take a cut bellow their profit margin, even if it's just to try and insure they get at least SOME money back, not until courts were involved.

hopefully it'll increase the chances of it being investigated (worldwide), but I'd also hope it has more effect than the 1 or 2p price cut after several investigations into overpriced CD's in the UK.

winzonly said,
sounds to me h is not an oil-field worker since he has so much time surfing the internet :P

If he was a platform worker, then he has a fun schedule where he gets as much time off as he works. 1 week in the field, 1 week at home. Besides, on a mobile data plan even loading Google's main page comes at a noticible cost. All he had to do was leave a p2p prog open for a week while he worked and right there is a good chunk of change in the thousands.

Poor Chap.... But come on don't ever go for a data plan unless its unlimited teathered, not mobile browsing off a cheap wap browser.