Imagine you're sitting at home, tethering your phone to your laptop, enjoying what you believe to be free internet access as part of a promotional offer. Then weeks later, you open your mailbox, and are greeted with an $18,000 cell phone bill with charges for said internet. Believe it or not, it happened to Bryan St. Germain in 2006. According to the report, Verizon Wireless offered St. Germain a two-year promotional offer of free internet access, which had just ended when his son used the phone to tether to his computer.
Verizon offered to cut the phone bill in half prior to sending it to collections, but it now considers the remaining balance "uncollectible." The company added that cases of that nature are "exceptionally rare." I would certainly hope so. At the end of the day, the bill has been waived, but the good news comes with a bit of a caveat: since the charges were posted to the account in 2006, the bill was sent to collections, thus damaging his credit.