Mobile customer receives £31,000 bill
A Manchester-based IT consultant was shocked to find a £31,500 telephone bill waiting for him when he returned from holiday.
Iayn Dobsyn had used his mobile phone as a modem while on holiday in Portugal to download an episode of Prison Break as well as several MP3s.
“The original figures looked like they had come down from the moon. I just laughed. There had to be some mistake. I knew I had used a lot of data while abroad, but not to the tune of £31,000,” says Dobsyn, who failed to check the limits of his data plan, speaking to the Times.
The bill, sent from UK telecoms supplier Yes Telecom, is the latest in a string of huge charges from various providers that have brought to light the level of customer confusion over mobile broadband download limits and the high costs involved in exceeding them.
In January this year a Vodafone customer received a bill for £27,000, after having downloaded “20 or 30” television shows over his mobile data package, believing that it included unlimited data.
In March another Vodafone customer received an £11,000 phone bill after accidentally using a mobile broadband package while abroad.
The phone owner’s wife had started to download four episodes of the popular comedy show Friends on the handset while still in the UK, which had continued while abroad.
However, in most cases, the high charges are heavily reduced after negotiations. Dobsyn disputed the bill using a firm of solicitors, and the company has now agreed to slash the charges to just £229.
The EU has investigated the high cost of roaming data charges and had placed a now-expired deadline of 1 July for suppliers to alter their pricing plans.
“Sending text messages or downloading data via a mobile phone while in another EU country should not be substantially more expensive for a consumer than sending text messages or downloading data at home,” said the European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, earlier this year.
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