February 25, 2009
On November 2, Wayne Burdick (not pictured) was aboard a cruise ship in Miami waiting to depart on a Caribbean cruise. While still docked at the port, he set up his laptop and wireless card and accessed his Slingbox device which allowed him to watch a Chicago Bears game via an Internet connection. When the game was over, Burdick closed his computer, embarked on the cruise and returned home to find a bill from AT&T charging him over $27,000 for the three hours of Internet usage.
Apparently, AT&T had charged Brudick the international rate for the access. At two cents per kilobyte, the total charge was $27,788.93 for the time spent watching the game, which breaks down to about $6,500 per Rex Grossman interception.
Burdick pled his case to AT&T, saying he was still at the port and not in roaming territory. After speaking with nearly a half-dozen people at the company, he managed to get the bill down to $6,000, even though he provided documentation that he was still technically in Miami at the time he used his wireless card.
Eventually, the whole matter was settled after Burdick contacted Team Fixer at the Chicago Sun-Times and they contacted the phone company. AT&T acknowledged its mistake, saying that Burdick's device was picking up a signal it shouldn't have been.
At least Burdick's efforts were worth it. The Bears beat the Lions that afternoon, 27-23.
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