Verizon forgives balance of $18,000 tethered cellphone data bill

Bob St. Germain said he was not sure at first whether to believe the Verizon official who called to tell him that the balance of his $18,000 cellphone bill had been forgiven, ending the Dover resident’s long-running dispute with the company over the staggering amount, which his son mistakenly accumulated over a six-week period in 2006.

St. Germain’s son, Bryan, now 26, tethered his cellphone to a laptop computer to connect to the Internet, racking up $18,000 in charges over six weeks. Bryan said he did not know the two-year promotional period that had made the access free expired when his father renewed the family’s cellphone plan. As a result, Bob St. Germain received a bill more than 100 times higher than his normal statement.

“Nice to see Verizon dismiss all the charges,” St. Germain said. “But it’s still on my credit report. Someone has to take the next step.”

According to Verizon, the settlement is indeed official: In a statement, the company confirmed it is no longer insisting St. Germain pay the bill.
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