DENVER - When Mark Walters received a $2,500 bill from his long-distance carrier, Denver-based Qwest, he figured it had to be a mistake. It was, and
it was his daughter's boo-boo.
Elissa Walters, 18, had gone home to Springfield, N.J., for Christmas break, turned on a new computer and called an America Online number in the 973
area code — the Walters' home area.
Figuring it was a free local call carried by their local carrier, Verizon Communications, she left the computer on. And on. And on
But just because the area code was the same, it didn't mean the call was local.
In the end, the customer asked for some compensation on this and the first few requests were denied by the telephone carrier, but then they decided
to give a break to this guy and only charged him $375.
The second reason I'm posting this story :
Important information that many of us already know, but let's discuss it again.
Always know who is using your phone and who / where they're calling !
I know this from personal experience. Back about 6 years ago, right after my divorce, I invited someone to come live with me and share the expenses
of an apartment. I had purchased a computer and wanted internet access, so we got it. What I wasn't expecting though was the phone bills to
Now this story isn't one of being charged outrageous amounts for being connected to the internet, but one of deciept and theft.
It seems that my new "roomie" had a calling card that he claimed "was a friends and was authorized to use it". I worked during the day and the
"roomie" had not yet found a job, so he was up all hours of the night on the internet or so I though he was.
It seems that he was making long distant phone calls to girls that he met online using that calling card. Oh yeah, the calling card, came from the
company that I was working for. I had misplaced it in my desk, he found it and started using it.
In the mean time, I left that company and moved to Ohio, not knowing what was to come. My old boss calls and is telling me that I owe... are you
ready for this.. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS that was charged to that calling card. I couldn't believe it. Told him I don't have that kind of money and
he told me the authorities would be contacting me.
After many phone calls, the "roomie" confessed to taking the card from my desk and using it. Many more phone calls to my old boss and finally he
got the phone carrier and card company to consider that about $7,000 was fraud and that the company I had worked for didn't owe it.. so there he was
( my old boss ) left with a bill of $3,000. I had to pay that out of my pocket.
Eventually, collection agencies started calling me for the other $7,000. I had to deal with that and now it's over.
Oh yeah, by the way, the roomate, was my owne flesh and blood. My brother did this to me. that was the sadest part of it.
We'll it's been 6 years now and he and I talk, however, I'll never ever trust anyone to use my phone again !
Even though I didn't make the calls, they didn't care the phone was in my name and I'm responsible.
So please, know who is using your phone and who / where they are calling.
[Edited on 30-3-2004 by elevatedone]