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How a 'Programming Error' Led to an Oregon Couple's $2 Million Cell Phone Bill

SUSANNA KIM

A couple in Oregon say they spent 10 months trying to clear up a whopping $2 million phone bill, which they say has prevented them from buying the home of their dreams.

Ken Slusher and his girlfriend, of Damascus, Oregon, have a balance of $2,156,593.64 on a Verizon Wireless bill that was for a wireless account that they opened in November.

"Yeah, it's been very stressful to say the least," Slusher told KPTV.com.

The couple canceled their service in December and returned their phones in January, but the bills continued to arrive, as first reported by KPTV. Customer service representatives told them in-person and on the phone that they promised to clear up the matter, he said.




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A spokesman for Verizon Wireless told ABC News today that the company has apologized to Slusher for a "programming error" in Verizon's automated voice response system.

"The error caused him to receive an incorrect voice message that he owed $2 million on his bill. We are correcting the error now and have resolved the issue to his satisfaction," the spokesman said in a statement to ABC News.

Slusher said he hoped to close on a new house next Monday and his girlfriend and their children are eagerly awaiting the move. But he said his mortgage company won't sign off on a loan due to the phone debt. They began receiving several calls from collection agencies demanding upward of $2,000, KPTV reported. According to Slusher, the couple's first bill should have been around $120, but it was actually $698 with a balance of $451.

Slusher did not respond to a request from ABC News for further comment.