Calling the bill uncollectible, Verizon Wireless has dropped $9,000 in charges owed by a Massachusetts family.
The four-year-old case got notoriety last month after the Boston Globe wrote about $18,000 in charges that a customer incurred by tethering his cell phone to a laptop connected to the Internet. The familys free data access had ended when Dad renewed the familys cell plan. But Bob St. Germain argued that Verizon needed to do a better job informing its customers of skyrocketing rates before their bills land in their mailbox. Verizon agreed to cut the bill in half, but that wasnt enough for St. Germain, who still refused to pay.
Today, weve learned that Verizon is forgiving the rest of the familys debt. The whole case has generated bad publicity for the company, but its also gotten support from many in the blogosphere who believe the company shouldnt be responsible for a customers failure to thoroughly review the terms of his or her contract.
This case has prompted the FCC to take a look at the whole issue of bill shock. The agency is taking comments about how to deal with situations like this and will likely implement some sort of new policy once the suggestions have been debated.
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