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04/09/2009 08:53 AM ID: 78119 Permalink   

Dad Destroys Daughter's Cell Phone With Hammer; $4,756.25, 10,000 Texts

 

13-year-old Cheyenne resident Dena Christoffersen managed to send 10,000 text messages in the span of a month, leaving her father with a bill for $4,756.25 due to a lack of a texting plan and the belief that it was not able to send them at all.

"It just hit us like a rock, like you're stepping into a bus," said father Gregg. "She went from A's and B's one semester to F's in two months." Soon after he got the bill he smashed her phone with a hammer. Dena is also grounded until school ends.

"I felt really bad, and I have learned my lesson." An improvement in her grades has occurred since the texting stopped. Verizon knocked down the bill which is now more reasonable. Her parents want to see a crackdown by the school on cell phone use.

 
  Source: www.denverpost.com  
    WebReporter: caution2 Show Calling Card      
  Recommendation:  
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
   
  39 Comments
  
  Stupid parents  
 
I hate these types of parents who never assume the blame for anything their little angel does.

I know for a fact that Verizon allows you to login online and check how many minutes/text messages each phone on the account has used. Also, companies like T-Mobile allow you to limit minutes and messages on a phone.

But no...that's hard...it's much easier to be shocked when you get a $4700 bill and then demand that the school raises your children for you...

I'm kind of disappointed that Verizon actually lowered the bill...
 
  by: whitewarrior627   04/09/2009 09:12 AM     
  What coincidence...  
 
2 years ago I had a 4,700 dollar phone bill...

It's safe to say, I no longer have a cell phone =P
 
  by: Dayron   04/09/2009 09:25 AM     
  wow  
 
I have had my current cell phone for over a year now, and I haven't even used 30 minutes, even though I have about 4,000 minutes. However, seeing how pathetic rules are today, it's a wonder they didn't get the father for abuse or molestation or something of the sort, seeing as how you can't even spank a child anymore without spending 50 years in prison for it.
 
  by: stevelc   04/09/2009 10:12 AM     
  Is it just me...  
 
Or does 47cents/text seem a ridiculously high price?
But I don't know what the going rate is in the US, in the UK it's about 5-10p/text

Then again, I suppose the $4756.25 could include the occassional phonecall as well...
 
  by: sprog   04/09/2009 12:07 PM     
  @ WhiteWarrior  
 
While I agree that people should take more ownership of the things that happen in their life I must relate this story to you.

My parents had me and my brother on their family plan which was modest as we weren't real big cell phone users.(We are the kind of people who only use them for emergencies) However, my mom got a bill for several hundred dollars and immediately called our provider. My brother had found out about texting from some of his friends and had run up a bill. We unlike the people from the story didn't ask to have it lowered and simply paid it off and asked that they put blocks in place to keep that from happening again. My mother explicitly asked that the phones only be allowed to make calls and nothing else. The next month the bill was just as high. The company hadn't turned off picture messaging. They told my mom that it was a different service and that she needed to ask to have that service in particular turned off.

I don't think that providers have the interest of the consumer at heart, and don't think they should have to. However, they should upon request do as they were asked and not find ways to weasel around it.

I am of the belief that when you set up a plan that only has calling options that the other features shouldn't be available at a premium without permission from the plan holder. It's not hard to lock out options from a phone and provide a service where this outrageous bills are less likely.

That being said, parents, if your kid has a phone you are already at a disadvantage as they will know more about it in a week than you will learn in a year. If they think they have found a way "around" to use some of these services they will. So use all tools at your disposal. Take the time to make your phones as safe as possible from this type of scenario. Use the web based monitors, call and have the blocks placed on individual phones (you can have your text while your child's cannot). Technology is everywhere and ever increasingly weaved into the fabric of our everyday lives. Be prepared and responsible.
 
  by: aerodym   04/09/2009 03:03 PM     
  Well  
 
The funny thing is, text messages cost cell phone companies 0, nilch, notta, zero to send. They are sent on a sub-band channel that remains open whether data is being sent or not. This channel is required for regular phone calls, so it would have to exist whether texting did or not.

-np-
 
  by: NicPre     04/09/2009 03:31 PM     
  I wonder what happened to  
 
Just meeting people face-to-face and talking with them? That is what I did, as a young man, and it always worked for me. Texting seems as isolating as email. The lack of social contact has become the norm for our children. Not good.
 
  by: White Albino   04/09/2009 03:51 PM     
  I hate mobile phones.  
 
My daughter has just run up a bill of £180 not as bad as some but these companies never lose.

@ Albino You are right there, life is not as it used to be, back in the days when we actually lived life.
Its a whole new world now, and I find todays world pretty sad and boring in comparison to the life I once led.
 
  by: captainJane     04/09/2009 04:42 PM     
  Hmm...  
 
maybe he could have SOLD the phone instead of destroying it.
 
  by: H. W. Hutchins   04/09/2009 05:11 PM     
  @H. W. Hutchins  
 
Perhaps the girl's dad destroyed her cell phone as a way of indicating that it is better to permanently remove what was a problem in her life instead of selling it and passing the problem to someone else.
 
  by: white albino   04/09/2009 05:19 PM     
  10,000 text messages is about 333 messages a day  
 
I use texts, but the most I have done is about 10 in a day
 
  by: thedrewman   04/09/2009 06:21 PM     
  Disconnected society  
 
I do about 10,000 messages or more a month. I consider it a hobby of sorts however i agree that its difficult to stay connected to real feelings in a way. There's nothing personal about it and no way of gauging a reaction.
 
  by: misscinna   04/09/2009 07:05 PM     
  get a damn texting plan  
 
whats so bloody hard about getting a texting plan, at most they cost is $10, most companies charge $5 a month for it... some even have it free..

i say the kid can claim ignorance but these parent are bat shit stupid, a text plan costs peanuts, "there's a sucker born every minute", mr. & mrs. christoffersen are such suckers.
 
  by: HAVOC666     04/09/2009 07:28 PM     
  @havoc  
 
"whats so bloody hard about getting a texting plan"

The dad didn't want her daughter texting and even said that he was under the (flawed) assumption that her phone didn't support texting.
 
  by: caution2     04/09/2009 07:33 PM     
  Duh, but..  
 
...while I feel the parents should have watched the bill, I also think the phone company should have some sort of alert for when texting or minutes get too high. If credit card companies can report suspicious or over usage, why can't the cell companies?
 
  by: cbuilding   04/09/2009 08:07 PM     
  wth!!  
 
You can't blame the company for something like that. This is incompetent parenting at it's finest! I still have issues with kids that age having a cell phone to begin with, much less one that has unlimited capabilities. And if the father "didn't know" it had texting, he must not have paid very much attention to the plan.

My 15-year-old has a cell because he travels to see his father over the summer and is in a lot of extra-curricular programs after school, but the first phone he had was a prepaid...if he used it up, he had to work to pay for the next month. He's a lot more careful about how he uses his phone now because he's responsible for keeping it on!
 
  by: vaia   04/09/2009 09:07 PM     
  Give them this  
 
Two tin cans and a long string. That was the only long distance service I and my friends had when we were kids.

Yelling over the backyard fence also was a good communications method. Cheap also. An occasional sore throat was the only cost.
 
  by: White Albino   04/09/2009 09:38 PM     
  @caution  
 
"The dad didn't want her daughter texting and even said that he was under the (flawed) assumption that her phone didn't support texting."

are ther phone still made that dont support texting?, i admittly dont know too much about many cell phone, but dont think i've ver seen one made recently (the last few year) that didn't.

let me guess he intended it only for communication between her and her parents? again how dumb are these parents? to think that thheir kid wont use her phone for her own means.

if his name if on the bill he should know better, i think we can both agree with that.


the sad part is how these companies can get away with charging such exorbant prices for such an inexpensive services. 4756 dollars, yet i doubt she even used 5 cents worth of bandwidth (100MB or less) for all 10,000 texts.... infact the average text is under 512 Bytes usually, for a total under 6MB per month (roughly 10000 texts), which actually after all math is done costs just under 1/3 of a cent for 10,000 texts worth of bandwidth, for a total profit margin of 1.41 MILLION compared to an end user's bandwidth cost, their bandwidth cost is a fraction of this so at minimum their profit margine (assuming the normal bill is about $56 (just to make a rounded number to work with the cell phone bill normal was probably only $40, maybe less) is no less than 1.4 million : cost... and this is assuming its only charging one person for the text message, they usually charge both phones, to that doubles their profit to cost margin to 2.82 million : cost... thats highways robbery in the most obvious commercial form... next to the insurance industry of course.
 
  by: HAVOC666     04/09/2009 09:53 PM     
  @havoc  
 
I'm just telling you what the article said, for crying out loud. I'm not trying to start a debate.
 
  by: caution2     04/09/2009 10:12 PM     
  wow ever hear of unlimited texts  
 
You wouldn't have that bill if you had unlimited Texts.
But If my kid couldn't keep his grades up, and all he did was text then he would lose his phone......
 
  by: brandyf1401   04/10/2009 12:44 AM     
  n/t  
 
I wish the cell phone had never been invented. My wife and I have never owned one and never will. The down sides far outweigh the plus sides.
 
  by: Lurker     04/10/2009 04:55 AM     
  cell phones  
 
are a tool of the devil. And that's why I like them.
 
  by: John E Angel     04/10/2009 05:18 AM     
  What i am wondering about  
 
Only English speaking country's call them "texts", everywhere else its known as "short message" or SMS. I wonder why. But these prices are just ridicules, here a SMS costs just a few cents to send, and there are plans for unlimited SMS.
 
  by: evilrat   04/10/2009 09:37 PM     
  @HAVOC666  
 
Even the most early GSM phones had SMS, and in the beginning it was free. But back then the USA was years behind in cellphone technology and when europe was completely digital the US still had mostly analog networks. But you remined me of another Rip-Off not common in other country's, that is that you pay for incoming calls. I have also only seen that in the US.
 
  by: evilrat   04/10/2009 09:42 PM     
  Hammer this  
 
Dad hit the wrong thing with the hammer. He should have hit himself in the head. Maybe it would have knocked some sense into him. Why do childern "need" (not want) a cell phone. If they "need" one, they make limited use cellphones.
 
  by: Tarheel68     04/10/2009 09:44 PM     
  I am canceling my cell phone service  
 
As of April 16, 2009
After five years of mediocre service from Sprint, I've had enough. I live in a well-populated area of Connecticut and there aren't enough cell towers that I can use my phone while in my yard. I had to drive at least a mile from my home to use the phone at all.
Baloney!
Land lines are good enough.
 
  by: White Albino   04/10/2009 09:58 PM     
  Sprint  
 
I gave them the boot in December after being with them for 5 years. Mediocre service is giving them too much credit.
 
  by: John E Angel     04/10/2009 10:43 PM     
  white  
 
I agree with you but most likely this had never occurred to them that they should monitor their bills so frequently. Now they will, or won't since she doesn't have a phone. But oh well, she doesn't need one!

And as for everyone else complaining about the price of text messages: it is a service they offer, not a mandatory service. They can decide to take it away from us or they can charge us more. Of course the price is absurd but its not like they would care at all. I pay $30 a month for unlimited, but I might use 100 text messages.
 
  by: mostra   04/10/2009 11:33 PM     
  I'm not sure about his district  
 
but in mine cell phones taken out during class are confiscated until the end of the period or if it is a repeat offender the end of the school day
 
  by: jaded fox     04/11/2009 12:33 AM     
  Some Of Us Are Anachronistic  
 
I Would have assumed that texting was blocked if it was not part of my plan. Then again I feel lucky if I figure out how to open a text on my cell, much less send one.
My kids could run me ragged until the bill came and I would not have a clue.
 
  by: ichi     04/11/2009 07:28 AM     
  Is that true?  
 
You have to pay to recieve incoming calls in the states?!?!!??!?!?!
 
  by: dook   04/12/2009 04:05 AM     
  @dork  
 
No, incoming calls are free.

As for the story, a lot of you seem to claim this is "bad parenting at it's worst". I think in reality you should look at cell phone plans in general. Many of the contracts are vague at best and really don't define what you have and do not have in your policy. The dad may not have been as tech-savy as some of you and made an honest mistake.

Also, the school administration is to blame as well, why was she allowed to be on the phone as much as she was during school to begin with? Cell phones have no place in a school during class and something should have been done to prevent her and all the other friends she was texting to get off the phones. You have to figure parents put trust in the schools to do what is best for the child's education and here they are just letting her text away while ignoring her school work.
 
  by: ronny_cordova   04/12/2009 06:22 PM     
  When i was in high school way back  
 
They tried to ban cell phones and quite frankly it wasnt fair if i wanted to make personal calls in my free time, for the purposes of job searches or just to conduct personal bussiness. Also if there is a raging phyco in the school it would be nice to call the police. I think these people should just mind there own bussiness and just concentrate on there daughter.
 
  by: Brian24jersey   04/13/2009 10:37 AM     
  @evilrat  
 
" But you remined me of another Rip-Off not common in other country's, that is that you pay for incoming calls."

actually the internet itself fits into the rip-off category... anyone that remembers the old days of internet remebers that it used to be free, now internet service is a multi-billion dollar industry... before you just plugged your phoneline in to a modem and you had instant internet, now you have to call to make an appointment for installation to get service and pay a monthly fee.
 
  by: HAVOC666     04/14/2009 05:28 AM     
  Here's an untapped money source  
 
Braille cell phones so blind people can send text messages. Of course, if the message is going to another blind person, the phone will need speech capability. Hey! That's another added charge. This keeps getting better. Pay me!
 
  by: White Albino   04/15/2009 01:23 PM     
  @White Albino  
 
Wow speech capability on a phone! Can i buy some stock in this?
 
  by: dook   04/15/2009 05:56 PM     
  @White Albino  
 
To late, this already exists ;-)
 
  by: evilrat   04/15/2009 05:58 PM     
  @evilrat  
 
Darn it, Rat! You are truly evil! You just popped my money bubble.

Now I'll have to go back to mugging people in wheelchairs to maintain my Internet habit.
 
  by: White Albino   04/15/2009 06:09 PM     
  i would text you the best way  
 
to mug people in wheelchairs, but you got rid of your cellphone. o the irony.
 
  by: djskagnetti     04/16/2009 12:11 AM     
 
 
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