By Kurtis Ming

Patricia Taylor’s antique telephone chair is a reminder of a simpler time.

A time when phones were used for making calls.

“I’ve had it for 50 years,” she said. “And it was old before I got it.”

She still likes her cell phone to be simple. In fact, she said she doesn’t even know how to access the Internet or send picture messages.

“It’s not one of the new Droids,” she said. After a moment she adds with a smile: “Whatever that means.”

So when Taylor got a $714 Verizon Wireless bill, including more than 20 hours of Internet and data use — she had no idea what had happened.

In fact, she thought it was a joke.

She called Verizon to complain, and said they offered her a $160 discount, but said it still left her paying about 500 bucks more than her usual bill!

“I feel like i’ve been taken advantage of,” she said.

Almost every phone can connect to the Internet today, so even if you don’t have a data plan, you can still be charged if you somehow end up on the Web or using an app.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all offer blocks on Internet and data service. Taylor said, after she got her bill, that was one of the first things Verizon agreed to put on her account.

But she’s still shocked at how this could happen. With her blue cell phone in hand, she clicks around looking at the many features.

“Now, how do you get on the Internet from here?” she said. “I don’t know!”

Patricia still insists she never used any data on her phone, but after we got involved, she said Verizon erased the charges.

Verizon would not talk about the situation, but told CBS Sacramento, “We were able to work with the customer and make sure her plan really suits her needs.”

And Patricia is happy is finally fixed.

“I’m delighted,” she said. “I’m relieved.”


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