Dad locks up daughter’s closet after $500 phone bill

(WWBT) — A Hanover, Virginia dad decided to take unconventional action after his daughter racked up a phone bill of more than $500. The reason for the colossal charges? Too many Instagram posts, causing a deluge of data fees.

Now the 13-year-old has her haute couture on hold after her father put a chain and padlock on her closet. The eighth grader now has items from boots to dresses labeled with numbers on Post-It notes indicating the number of chores she has to complete to earn them back.

Post-It notes listing the number of chores needed to earn back clothes (WWBT)
Post-It notes listing the number of chores needed to earn back clothes (WWBT)

“My daughter told me the news about the bill when I was driving,” laughed Jared Cramer in an interview Friday. “She called me and said, you owe 500 and some odd dollars.”

The bill was actually $541.36, and Cramer came up with an immediate remedy to send a message:

1. Take his daughter’s phone away.
2. Put all her makeup, designer clothes and fine jewelry in one closet with a lock. Do this a week before school starts.
3. Label each item with a certain number of chores she will have to complete in order to get her phone back.
4. Give her the basic necessities to survive, like a bar soap, deodorant and toothbrush. Also, give her three outfits from Walmart of dad’s choice.
5. Put a huge lock on her closet.

“She thought after I got that bill it was going to be a slap on the wrist, don’t let it happen again situation,” Jared Cramer said. “But I think she’s been taking it pretty well.”

In fairness to Cramer’s daughter, Julia, the data debacle seems to be an expensive mistake. Julia is an honor student who works with children with special needs and her work ethic is strong. “Julia woke up at 6:30 this morning when I woke up, and she started doing chores,” Cramer said. “She said, ‘You know what dad, I know you love me, I know I messed up, and I’m gonna work this off.'” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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