This isn't an errant bill or anything. The person called long distance that much in two months.
And AT&T waived it after it was pointed out. So why freak out about this?
Finally, I'm really ashamed of slashdot approving an article which refers to an AT&T spokesperson as a "spokeshole" for no reason. Georgia Taylor didn't do anything to deserve that.
Show some maturity, slashdot.
Well, let's see here.
Firstly, there's no immediate feedback on phone charges. A running faucet or light left on will get noticed and turned off - people *want* to be sensible about their expenses.
Imagine a running faucet going unnoticed for 4 weeks. Phone services are like that.
Secondly, when the user does nothing different and suddenly gets these charges, can you really blame the user?
Imagine you work adjacent to the waterfront district, the Queen Mary happens to be docked there, and your phone calls are picked up by their tower and considered an international call - you've just racked up several hundred dollars for no apparent reason. Is it the user's fault?
Thirdly, there's no safeguards or limit switches in the system. You can't say to the phone company "I want service capped at $100 per month, alert me if it goes over".
You put the phone back in the cradle and the plunger switch doesn't disengage properly, the phone is still "off hook", and you go away for the weekend. When you get back, you've had a line open for 76 hours and will be billed accordingly (depending on your service plan).
And finally, and the one that gives people a burn about these issues, there's the issue of elites and the plebes.
You see, he *only* was able to get things straightened out because an elite was kind enough to help him. When he tried to straighten it out the phone company blew him off, but when an elite got involved it was sorted out immediately.
This sort of customer service - where the customer doesn't have to fight tooth-and-nail for everyday consideration from a big company, isn't available to you and me.
It's a perk of the elites.