AT&T hits dial-up subscriber with $24,000 bill

We hear stories every now and then about surprised parents who discover their children amassed large bills through excessive text messages or data usage or "free" games. The latest story of an egregious bill to surface is quite the opposite, however: an elderly AT&T subscriber says he was hit with a bill for more than $24,000 USD from the company over his landline, which typically cost $51 per month. The landline was used to access AOL dial-up (yes, people still use this), and the company reportedly told him he had to pay it.

The issue hit Ron Dorff, an 83-year-old who spoke about his problem to the LA Times. According to Dorff, the bill is for a landline that is used to access a dial-up AOL Internet subscription, and it usually costs approximately $51/month. This past March, however, Dorff reports receiving a bill for $8,596.57.

As expected, he called AT&T about the bill and a technician was said to be scheduled to visit his house and check out whatever the potential problem was. The technician reportedly never arrived, however, and so Dorff explains that he assumed the problem was corrected.

However, when the next bill arrived it showed $15,687 USD in charges and a total balance of $24,298 USD. AT&T was contacted again, and this time it sent out a technician, which claimed that there must have been a modem issue. When Dorff contacted the company afterward, however, he says the customer service rep "insisted that I had to pay it. She was very blunt about it."

Once Dorff went public about the issue, AT&T dropped the charges. Said a company spokesperson in part to the LA Times, "At the time of your inquiry this was still an open item and we were working with the customer to reach a resolution." And in case it isn't obvious, there was, indeed, a problem with the modem.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times