Two Pennsylvania men chasing the world record for text messaging in a month have managed to rack up a record phone bill in the process.
Nick Andes and Doug Klinger of Lancaster, Pennsylvania are constantly texting each other. They were sending so many messages that they grew curious about the world record for text messaging in a month. They looked it up online; turns out it was set in 2005 by Deepak Sharma of India who managed to crank out over 182,000 messages over the course of a single month. They decided to take a run at it.
They spent the whole of March texting back and forth, mainly single-word messages with “tons and tons of repeats,” Andes said. “I’d put my phone on silent and it would beep at me once the inbox was full and I’d clear the inbox and they would just keep coming.”
They reached 182,000 messages between the two of them fairly easily but by then the thrill was gone. “We were tired of texting. We wanted the month to be over,” he added. “My wife wanted it to be over.”
When the month did finally come to a close, Andes had sent over 140,000 messages while Klinger had managed 70,000. Neither man had achieved Sharma’s solo messaging mark but their place in Guinness history probably seemed inconsequential compared to what happened next: The bill arrived.
Both men have unlimited text messaging plans with T-Mobile but “unlimited” is not without limits and as he returned home from work one day Andes discovered the bill sitting on his doorstep – in a box that cost $27.55 just to send. Despite being “unlimited,” there is actually a cap of 100,000 messages per month, a number no customer before Andes had ever reached. The total cost of his March Madness text-fest ran to roughly $26,000.
“I panicked, I called T-Mobile and I got their attention in a hurry,” he said. “The lady asked how she can help me and I said, ‘If you pull up my account, you’re going to know’.”
Fortunately for Andes, T-Mobile has apparently decided to let it slide and have credited his account, although the company is still “investigating the charges.” He also had to promise that he’d never do something like this again. “She told me it was a violation of their misuse and abuse policy,” he said. “She wanted to know my intentions and to assure her this was a one-time thing… They weren’t as enthusiastic about this as everybody else seems to be.”