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HAYWARD, Calif.—A 13-year-old boy was probably in hot water with his father after running up a cell phone bill of nearly $22,000.

Ted Estarija says he was expecting his bill to be higher this month after adding his son to his plan, but wasn’t expecting a bill of $21,917 in data usage charges.

The Hayward man says his Verizon Wireless bill soared after his son apparently downloaded about 1.4 million kilobytes of data last month.

His plan didn’t cover data usage, so he was charged by the megabyte.

Estarija says after the first media reports, Verizon said they would credit his account for the entire amount.

He has also suspended his son’s account.

A spokeswoman for Verizon says the company investigates cases with exceptionally large bills.


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