Text Message Record Attempt Lands $26K Phone Bill

By BILL BERGSTROM
|  Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009  |  Updated 7:45 PM EDT
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Text Message Record Attempt Lands $26K Phone Bill

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Master texters Nick Andes, 29, and Doug Klinger, 30, attempted to break a record.

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Their thumbs sure must be sore.

Two central Pennsylvania friends spent most of March in a text-messaging record attempt, exchanging a thumbs-flying total of 217,000.

For one of the two, that meant an inches-thick itemized bill for $26,000.

Nick Andes, 29, and Doug Klinger, 30, were relying on their unlimited text messaging plans to get them through the escapade, so Andes didn't expect such a big bill.

"It came in a box that cost $27.55 to send to me," he said Tuesday. He said he "panicked" and called T-Mobile, which told The Associated Press it had credited his account and was investigating the charges.

The two Lancaster-area residents have been practically nonstop texters for about a decade since they attended Berks Technical Institute together.

That led Andes to search for the largest monthly text message total he could find posted online: 182,000 sent in 2005 by Deepak Sharma in India.

Andes and Klinger were able to set up their phones to send multiple messages. During a February test run they found they could send 6,000 or 7,000 messages on some days, prompting the March messaging marathon.

"Most were either short phrases or one word, 'LOL' or 'Hello,' things like that, with tons and tons of repeats," said Andes, reached by phone.

Andes sent more than 140,000 messages, and Klinger sent more than 70,000 to end the month with a total of just over 217,000, he said.

A spokesman for Guinness World Records didn't immediately return messages asking whether it would be certified as a record.

April came as a relief to Andes' wife, Julie, who had found his phone tied up with texting when she tried to call him on lunch breaks.

"She was tired of it the first few days into it," Andes said.
 

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