Wayne Burdick of Schaumburg, Illinois wanted to watch the Chicago Bears while waiting for a cruise so he set-up his Slingbox and an AT&T wireless card. Burdick was in Miami waiting for his Caribbean cruise. The set up was that Slingbox was connected to his cable box that feeds the television transmission into his modem at home. Burdick could watch his cable channels and DVR wherever he goes as long as he had his AT&T wireless card.
The date was November 2nd and Burdick was at the Port of Miami. It was around 1PM Florida time and the Bears game was starting. The boat was leaving Miami until 4PM so he slid in his wireless card, brought up Slingbox, and watched the Bears play. Burdick watched the game for about 2.5 hours and then shut down the computer. When Burdick got his bill, it said $28,067.31. When Burdick called AT&T about the glitch, they said that the bill was correct.
Apparently the wireless card was being charged for international rates and the cost for that was 2 cents per kilobyte downloaded. That came to $27,788.93. Burdick explained to the AT&T rep that he was not at sea and the boat was still in port. Even his cellphone was working without roaming. Burdick even had the cruiseline confirm with AT&T that they were still at the port, but the best the phone company did was bring the charges down to $6,000.
Eventually after getting more media attention, AT&T ended up reducing the bill to $220. The Chicago Bears ended up beating my home team Detroit Lions in that game 27-23 that day.
[via Chicago Sun Times]