Love hurts, but so does a $140,000 phone bill.
Kevin Waldrum, a 45-year-old man from the United Kingdom, is learning that the hard way after a rough breakup led to two months of nearly continuous calls to Studio 66 TV, a premium adult chat line. Waldrum was slapped with the phone bill after apparently becoming addicted to the $3-per-minute service, according to a BPM Media report provided to the Huffington Post UK.
Waldrum acknowledges he's responsible for calling the service incessantly for two months in 2012, but says he believes the company should have cut him off before the bills skyrocketed.
After a nearly $30,000 bill arrived, Waldrum paid no attention and kept calling. He also ordered a replacement SIM card after his cell carrier, Vodafone, cut him off, company representative Libby Pritchard told The Huffington Post in an email.
Pritchard expressed sympathy for Waldrum's situation and mentioned the company had waived more than $90,000 of the bill, leaving him responsible for the remaining $50,000 or so. Ultimately, however, "We cannot manage our customers’ spending for them but if we are aware of an unusual high spending pattern we will try to alert them to it," she said.
While Vodafone has worked to drop his bill, others have been far less understanding, expressing their sentiment on social media.
One tweet joked that blaming Vodafone for his bill is like "blaming a fork for eating too much," while another user asked, "Does no-one feel the need to take personal responsibility for their actions these days?"
Phonepay Plus, the U.K. agency responsible for regulating these services, mandates "premium rate" calls automatically end once the user has been charged £25 (about $40). Given Waldrum's monumental bill, he had to have called the chat line more than 3,600 times in two months (about 60 times per day).
When it comes to bill shock, though, Waldrum doesn't hold a candle to Solenne San Jose, a French woman who received a phone bill for about $15 quadrillion in 2012. However, San Jose's phone bill was later waived as part of a printing error.
Visit HuffPost UK for more details on Kevin Waldrum's story.
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