by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 8th 2007 10:33am
Textually points us to a report in Australia claiming that more teenagers these days are declaring bankruptcy and it's because they're racking up huge mobile phone bills that they weren't expecting. It's the type of story that certainly sounds plausible -- after all, we know that mobile phones are popular with kids, and every once in a while you hear about ridiculous phone bills. It isn't hard to put it together and think that there are some irresponsible or careless kids who need to declare bankruptcy because of these bills. However, the article doesn't provide any evidence that this is really happening. The single source providing the info is a gov't bureaucrat, talking about a study done by the government, which found that many young people didn't know how to deal with high bills -- which is quite different from proof that they're declaring bankruptcy. She does claim that financial counseling services are seeing an increase in young people seeking to declare bankruptcy, but the article doesn't talk to any such service or get any numbers on bankruptcies among young people (or even seek to find out that, if there are such bankruptcy, how many are due to high mobile phone bills). That's not to say it's not happening. After all, the story sounds like one that is plausible to many people. It just would have been nice to have seen a little more concrete evidence, rather than offhand conjecture reported as fact.
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