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In this context : "Woman floored by an off-the-hook $200,000 phone bill"

what does the whole sentence mean, especially the phrase "off-the-hook"?

Is it the same meaning as "shocking"???

Thanks.
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Here is a rephrase: "Woman shocked by a totally unexpected $200,000 phone bill."
Hi,

It does seem to mean shocking here, but it's not a standard or common term. I've never heard it used this way.

I wouldn't recommend than learners add it to their English vocabulary and start saying things like 'This restaurant bill is off the hook'. It will just sound very odd.

Clive
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It's just a pun because it's a very high telephone bill.
Hi

I have to disagree respectfully with the other contributors

If you use certain telephone services and accidentally leave your phone off-the-hook (i.e. you dont disconnect after using the service) then you will continue to be charged indefinitely

In the case mentioned, the lady's son unfortunately did this and they then went on holiday. The phone company charged them for all the time the connection was open

When she explained to the company, they did reduce the bill to $2,500

An off-the-hook bill is incurred, literally, if you leave your phone off the hook

Best regards, Dave
dave_anonIf you use certain telephone services and accidentally leave your phone off-the-hook (i.e. you dont disconnect after using the service) then you will continue to be charged indefinitely
This turns out not to be the case. I looked up the story and it seems the woman's brother didn't turn off the data roaming function of his phone. So it's not literally an off the hook situation.

Still, Clive is correct, this is a non-standard use of "off the hook" and should not be used by anyone, including learners and headline writers.Emotion: smile
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Hi Dave,

I read this story in my local paper a few days ago. The charges were due to enormous roaming charges by his provider, as he was visitig Toronto from Florida. And he did a lot of huge downloads, too. Nothing was said about phones left 'off the hook'.

Look here.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jCv4By83aTFgojCU9za4UxgfgyUw?docId=CNG.ea2d83b...

(Does anybody even have a hook anymore? Emotion: stick out tongue)

Clive
OK!

I concede that if you leave an electronic communication channel off-the-hook then it doesn't mean, literally, that there is a bakelite receiver that has not been replaced on the appropriate hook

But I still think the phrase means that the channel was left open accidentally. And I still think that the phone company rebated the bill because they accepted that it was this kind of mistake

Dave
Hi,

Well, I don't knowhow it all works, but these huge charges are definitely related to what are called 'roaming charges'.

Look here.

http://www.walletpop.ca/2010/03/20/how-to-avoid-evil-roaming-charges-on-cell-phones /

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/personal-tech/avoid-the-shock-of-cellphone-roaming... /

Clive
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