$27,000 to watch an NFL Game

Posted: February 25, 2009 in Football

bearsDie-hard NFL fans will do almost anything to catch their team play on a Sunday afternoon, anything from painting their body in team colors, to naming thier kids after the star Quaterback, but would you pay over $27,000 to watch a Bears game? Well that’s what Wayne Burdick was charged. Wayne wrote a letter to the Sun-Times, The Fixer to explain what happen, below is that letter.

Dear Fixer: I hope this can all end up being a hilarious story, but right now we are facing a large cell phone bill and collection procedures from AT&T.

I am a savvy traveler, but was completely shocked when I received a $28,067.31 cell phone bill after a recent trip.

I was in Miami on Nov. 2 getting ready to go on a Caribbean cruise. I wanted to catch the Bears game before we left port. I have this wonderful Slingbox connected to my cable box, that feeds into my modem. It sends my cable signal through the Internet to my computer. I can then watch my cable package and DVR wherever I go. I just slide in my AT&T wireless card and click on Slingbox and up comes my cable TV.

So there I was at the Port of Miami. It was 1 p.m. Florida time. The Bears game was starting. The ship was not leaving Miami until 4 p.m., so I slid in my wireless card and brought up my Slingbox and watched the game on my computer.

I watched for about 2½ hours. Then I shut down my computer and cell phone, because it’s expensive to use your Internet or phone when you sail out of the country.

Anyway, I got home from our cruise, and about two weeks later I got my cell phone/wireless card bill, which is usually about $220, and it said I owe $28,067.31.

I called AT&T and told them there was either a mistake or fraud and to please take this off the bill. That’s where the fun starts. They told me that the bill was correct and somehow I was charged international rates for Internet use, and the cost is 2 cents per kb. That came out to $27,788.93.

I explained that I was not at sea but in port and my cell phone was still working without roaming, and that I should have still been on my unlimited wireless card. I have since been in contact with five or six different people at AT&T, and the best they could do, even though I am not at fault, is to bring the bill down to $6,000.

I have confirmation from the cruise line that we were still in port and I provided that information to AT&T.

My wife and I are exhausted over this. By the way, AT&T said they sent a text message about the high use and roaming; however, they sent the message to the wireless card phone number, which cannot be called or texted to.

I appreciate any help you could provide to eliminate the highest amount ever to watch a Bears game on TV: $27,000 and change.

Wayne Burdick, Schaumburg

The Sun-Times Fixer was able to help.

Dear Wayne: The Fixer (who’s a former Cheesehead) was about to say we could see paying $27,000 to watch a Packers game, but . . . oh well, on to your problem. This was truly one of the weirdest letters we’ve ever received.

Good thing you had the proof that you were still in port during the game. Team Fixer pleaded your case with AT&T, and the good news is they’ve agreed to credit your bill for $27,776.66.

Apparently, this was some sort of freak thing where your phone was picking up a signal it shouldn’t have. After reading this, we’re going to use our wireless equipment sparingly the next time we go on vacation.


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