The most extreme phone bills of all time – How not to do it

Everyone is on his smartphone on a daily basis. People use it for texting, playing games, streaming videos or music. A lot of mobile phone carriers offer plans for users to optimize their use. But a lot of people abuse their use and neglect to check their plan inclusions. Because of this, a lot of smartphone users fall victim to high phone bills. Most high phone bills are due to international roaming, excessive use of mobile data and messaging. Most are due to oversight. Take the following cases. Complex has written an interesting piece on insanely high phone bills, here is ours.

Alanna Fero

Alanna Fero ran up a USD 37,000 phone bill with Telus when she went on holiday. She took no notice of international roaming rates and sent SMS and emails, placed call, and tweeted during her holiday. Telus had to cut off the service when her bill spiked but Fero demanded for Telus to continue the service. In an unexpected move, Telus did not charge Fero the bill and just charged it to experience.

Ian Simpson

Ian Simpson was not so lucky. His USD 53 Vodafone monthly bill did not include unlimited mobile internet service. But he went on to download albums and TV shows on his laptop anyway. He eventually ran up a USD 54,000 phone bill and considered bankruptcy.


Alberto (complete name unknown) was surprised to find he was charged USD 62,000 for downloading a movie while on holiday abroad. He pleaded his case and got the charges reduced to USD 17,000, which, according to his carrier, was the carrier’s cost for the bandwidth used.

Piotr Staniaszek

Piotr Staniaszek signed up for Bell Mobility’s unlimited browser plan. He allowed his son to use his mobile phone as a modem for his computer to download movies and hi-res files. Because of this, he incurred a bill amounting to USD 60,00, which he refused to pay. It later went up to USD 83,700 because of late payment charges. Bell eventually gave him the discounted rate of USD 3,700, which Staniaszek still found too high.

Celina Aarons

Celina Aarons of South Florida, US has her two deaf-mute brothers covered in her T-Mobile plan. When her brothers went to Canada for a holiday, she forgot to change her plan. They exchanged text messages and called each other during that period. When Aarons received her bill, her bill ran up to USD 200,000. Good thing T-Mobile was generous enough to bring it down to USD 2,500 and gave her 6 months to settle the bill.

Yahaya Wahab

Yahaya Wahab of Malaysia handled his deceased father’s mobile phone line with Telekom Malaysia in January 2006 by informing them of his death and settling the last monthly bill of USD 23. After a few months, Wahab received a bill for his father’s account amounting to USD 218 trillion. The case quickly hit the news. It is not known, however, if Telekom Malaysia pursued the issue.

So you better watch out with what you do via your phone bill, you can of course go to a phonebill casino or order things online, but just make sure you read the agreement properly.