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Australian teen facing $12,000 phone bill

UPI News Service, 03/19/2009 

An 18-year-old in Australia has racked up a $12,000 cell phone bill through two months of national call, text and Internet services, a company official says.

A spokesman for the Telstra telecommunications company said the unidentified teen enjoyed 384 Internet sessions at a total cost of $10,686, while also amassing other charges through 373 calls and more than 500 text messages, the Melbourne Herald Sun said in its Friday edition.

Julie Wentworth, an Anglicare financial counselor, called the teen's phone bill "ridiculous" and called for enhanced bill monitoring of users' accounts.

"We are dealing with a generation who feel they can't get by without a mobile phone," Wentworth said.

"Some don't have enough self-control, but it was ridiculous the bill got to that point."

Wentworth told the Herald Sun the teen somehow managed to convince Telstra staff to revive his phone account after being disconnected when his bill reached $2,000.

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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