Before leaving on a Mediterranean cruise, Maria Francis says she asked employees at a Verizon Wireless retail store about her smartphone, which they told her wouldn't work abroad. Even so, she swears she didn't even turn it on.

Craig Galbraith, Editorial Director

October 3, 2012

1 Min Read
Bill Shock: Verizon Customer Denies Using Phone, Gets $1,500 Bill Anyway

**Editor’s Note:

Click here

for a recap of some of the worst cases of bill shock of all time.**

It’s one thing to get slapped with serious bill shock when you’ve been surfing the Web day and night on your cellphone, but it’s another if you didn’t use it at all.

That’s what a Sacramento, Calif., woman says happened to her after returning home from the trip of a lifetime a Mediterranean cruise. In fact, Maria Francis told Sacramento’s CBS affiliate that her phone was off, but she still racked up $1,559 in roaming charges.

Francis says that before she left, she asked employees at a Verizon Wireless retail store about her smartphone, which they told her wouldn’t work abroad. Even so, she swears she didn’t even turn it on.

I did not, honestly, did not turn on that phone. I would put a Bible, my hand on a Bible and swear that I did not do that,” Francis told the TV station.

Even worse, Francis had just been through a life-altering event breast cancer which she beat.

Verizon says she must have turned the device on at some point: [We’re] not sure what happened, but if the phone was turned on while the customer was charging it (or at any time), the device would have automatically pinged the network which would result in data roaming charges.”

After first denying a request to reduce the massive charges, VzW acquiesced and expunged the bill.

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About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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