The New York Times [registration required] reports that Dave Stolte took his Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone to Ireland and England in July and returned home to a little surprise -- a bill for $3,000.
Stolte's $3,000 phone bill was a result of unanticipated European roaming charges. Consider the case of mortgage consultant, Neil Dingman. Dingman used his iPhone only a few times on a European trip this summer and had expected to see just a small increase in his next bill for roaming charges. But he failed to turn off an iPhone feature that automatically checks e-mail. Thus his iPhone roamed over networks in Italy, Croatia and Malta more than 500 times. And he ended up with $852.31 in roaming charges.
But Stolte's story has a happy ending. Thanks to the posting of Stolte's bill on the Internet, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) went from giving him a $100 credit to full credit for that $3,000 iPhone bill. The lessons? Turn off the e-mail checking feature if you're out of the U.S. And if you get a ginormous iPhone bill -- post a complaint video on Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube.