Canadian hit with whopping 85,000-dollar cellphone bill

An oil field worker in western Canada was shocked this month to be charged 85,000 dollars for surfing the Internet on his new mobile phone, local media said Thursday.

Calgary resident Piotr Staniaszek, 22, had signed up for Bell Canada's cellular phone service at about 150 dollars per month, with unlimited mobile Web browsing.

He believed the plan allowed him to use the phone to connect with his computer, using it as a modem to download a lot of data, high-definition movies and other bandwidth-hungry applications.

But when his first bill arrived in the mail, Staniaszek realized to his horror that the company was charging him on a per-kilobyte basis for Internet downloads.

"I didn't know what to think. I thought there was probably a mistake," he told public broadcaster CBC. "I told them I wasn't aware that I would be charged for hooking up my phone to the computer."

A spokesman for Bell said the company will adjust Staniaszek's bill to 3,243 dollars, as "a measure of goodwill."

But Staniaszek said he still plans to try and fight it, "because I didn't know about the extra charges. Nobody explained any of this to me."

"The thing is, they've cut my phone off for being like 100 dollars over," he told CBC News. "Here, I'm 85,000 dollars over and nobody bothered to give me a call and tell me what was going on."

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse.