Man accidentally pays $7K to cell phone company and can't get refund

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GOLD CANYON, Ariz. -- How would you like to pay a $7,000 cell phone bill?

A Gold Canyon man actually did by mistake!

The bill was really for $70, but this is what happens when people pay their bills over the Internet.

You punch in one too many zeros or you put the decimal point in the wrong spot and just like that, you've got a big problem.

Don Cline says he does almost all of his banking and bill paying online.

"I don't have any postage and I can keep track of what's going on," Cline said. "Pretty much I found out what's going on in my account all of the time."

So when he went to pay his Alltel bill for the month of March, Cline says he didn't think twice about it -- not until the next day at least when he checked his bank statement.

"Well, when it went out -- I looked at it the next day and I said, 'Whoa!" Cline said.

That's because Cline says his $70 cell phone bill he paid was off -- way off.

"My original bill was $70.85 for the two cell phones we have and it ended up being $7,085," Cline said.

Wait a second, $7,000?

Cline says he immediately called Alltel to explain that there had been big mistake.

"Either I forgot to put the decimal point in or it was a blurp in the system -- I can't tell you which," he said.

Cline says initially Alltel told him they would fix the $7,000 overpayment and would cut him a check within 14 days.

But when 14 days had passed and Cline still didn't have his money he says he contacted Alltel again, but this time they didn't have good news.

"Their comment was that it was a customer transaction," Cline said. "In other words, I had legally given them $7,000 of my money."

Cline says that definitely wasn't the case and with all of the money he sent in Cline says it would cover his phone bill for the next eight years.

"I believe in tithing but not necessarily to Alltel," Cline said.

So, 3 On Your Side got involved and we asked Alltel about the $7,000 he accidentally sent them.

After a brief investigation, Alltel immediately cut Cline a check and overnighted it to him.

Cline says he's afraid he may never have gotten his money, at least not so quickly, without 3 On Your Side.

Once I got a hold of Alltel they were really great to work with and I certainly appreciate their assistance in getting this resolved.