6 May 2015

Dad Takes Kids on Family Trip and Tries to Watch Videos – Gets Hit with $17,000 Cell Phone Bill

It’s like a scene out of a National Lampoon’s movie, but it was all too real for one family. When one Dad took his family on a trip to Canada, he never anticipated receiving a mind-blowing cell phone bill.
It started off innocently enough. Mike Domzalski let his son have his iPad, which was on the same plan as his work phone. While still in the states, his son was just watching videos on YouTube.
However, once they crossed the border into Canada, the iPad wasn’t registering any signal at all. Thinking nothing of it, they went about their trip and eventually traveled back home.
It was until Domzalski was contacted by the IT Department for his work, that he saw just how much he was being charged.
My Fox Detroit has more on the story and sky-high bill:
“I thought it was a practical joke or something,” Domzalski said. “Our IT person at work said that this was the roaming charges for when (we) were in Canada.”
International roaming charges. According to the breakdown of his bill, he was charged $11,733 for the first hour and nearly $17,500 for five hours before AT&T cut it off.
And Domzalski’s son couldn’t come close to getting his money’s worth.
“For $17,000 he never even saw anything,” Domzalski said. “The screen went blank and there was no connection for the whole time we were getting billed.”
When Domzalski voice his to concerns to AT&T, he was told:
“Because the data was downloaded outside of the U.S., International rates apply. In this case it was more than five hours of continuous data usage. We encourage people to enroll in our international plan.”
Domzalski added he just ‘glad to have his company’s support’ with the bill and he encourages people to do their ‘homework when making a trip across the border’ so the same thing doesn’t happen to them.


  1. Rule #1. Never do business with AT&T. These are the same guys that aid NSA with data collection.

  2. Roaming is a scam perpetuated by the mobile operators. They are doing what is called in the industry "triangle routing" for their roaming data. It's absurd (your data goes back to your operator and then is routed, as opposed to routing locally which would be cheaper, faster and more efficient).