Ohio Man Receives $16.4 Million Cable Bill, Woman Receives $286 Million Credit Card Bill
Computers are used to keep track of everything from personnel records, to bank accounts, to loans and revolving credit. When computer glitches occur, they can create havoc in your life. Just ask Daniel DeVirgilio, an Ohio man who recently received a cable bill for $16.4 million. An engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he did the math and came to the conclusion that he would have to order 1.6 million on-demand movies or one pay-per-view fight 4,000 times in order to accumulate charges that high. Time Warner issued a statement saying they will work together with DeVirgilio to resolve the issue, but not every victim of such computer bugs is so lucky.
Take Patrice Perry, a client of our firm, for example, who received an even crazier bill from Capital One bank for $286,651,237 in 2009. After receiving repeated phone calls at work and at home by Capital One collectors, she retained counsel. Then she was sued and when she went to Court to defend herself, Capital One didn’t show up. Months of torment ensued, including phone calls to family members and co-workers and a refusal to cease harassing her. After being sued for debt harassment by our firm, Capital One released a statement blaming “human error” for the billing letter but they never commented about their harassing acts. Blaming a computer for sending a letter that also happened to increase the level of harassment was not the only thing happening here. For months, this consumer endured a living hell every time she picked up her phone or opened her mailbox, wondering what Capital One would try next.
Whether it’s a computer glitch or someone intentionally causing the computer to print a letter that was knowingly outrageous, companies will hide behind these excuses to justify the unfair practices they use with their customers. Have you received such a letter? What can you do if you receive a bill of much more than you could ever owe? Debt collectors must comply with the FDCPA even if the debt or the amount claimed is accurate or not. The Act was put in place to protect consumers by enforcing fair debt collection practices. If you or a loved one is experiencing harassment at the hands of a debt collector, contact an experienced attorney who will stop collection calls, end the harassment, and correct your bills once and for all.