AfterDawn: Tech news

Downloader gets hit with £31,500 mobile bill

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 06 Jul 2008 13:53 User comments (21)

Downloader gets hit with £31,500 mobile bill Ian Dobsyn, from Manchester, returned home from a vacation in Portugal last week and found that he had been hit with a monumental £31,500 mobile bill from Yes Telecom.
The man had used his mobile broadband connection to download Sky’s "Prison Break" as well as some music and was shocked by the bill. "The figures looked like they had come down from the Moon,” said Dobsyn. "I just laughed. There had to be some mistake."

After hiring a lawyer, the bill was brought down to £229, a number only slightly higher than his standard £150 monthly bill.

Danielle Mestraud, of Farleys Solicitors in Manchester, added that this episode should show customers to read the fine print before accessing television programming while abroad.

She added: "…service providers also have a responsibility. It would be better if subscribers were given a monthly maximum spend so they could be notified if they had breached it, rather than only finding out when the bill arrives. It would be prudent for the provider to contact the customer if their usage was unusually high."

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21 user comments

16.7.2008 14:07
nobrainer
Inactive

eek. you know i think the dvd would have been cheaper!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jul 2008 @ 14:08

26.7.2008 14:49

Quote:
"…service providers also have a responsibility. It would be better if subscribers were given a monthly maximum spend so they could be notified if they had breached it, rather than only finding out when the bill arrives. It would be prudent for the provider to contact the customer if their usage was unusually high."

Nah, that would be sensible and in the better interest of the customer.

36.7.2008 15:11

lol

46.7.2008 15:45

Lol.

Oops. If you're that much of an addict to Prison Break buy the season dvd's.

56.7.2008 17:10

Wow, that's just crazy, good thing he got it reduced. If I would get hit with something like that I would just terminate the contract and pay them $20 a month (or whatever the minimum payment is to not get sued.)

66.7.2008 17:24

£31,500.00 GBP = $62,441.19 USD

£ = GBP = United Kingdom Pounds
$ = USD = United States Dollars

I think you could got a lot more than just the DVD with that much.

Now he only has to pay = $297.381 Thats still a rip off!

76.7.2008 17:28

With the $62,441 I would've bought a BMW M3 (not new 'cause I'd need more $$) AND the Prison Break DVD's... and still have some cash to go out and show off my new BMW =P!

86.7.2008 18:08

Serves him right I say, you don't go on holiday to watch bloody TV!

96.7.2008 18:24

This reminds me of something I read. I believe last fall. Someone in Canada received a bill for $80,000 for using his cell as a modem for his PC. (because the so called unlimited data plan he had) Now I don't remember all of the details but this sounds kind of similar. And the argument of a limit then being alerted when crossing it is the same. But that would make sense for the consumer. And in turn would mean less possible revenue for the telcom giant that owns the cell company.

106.7.2008 19:43

I'm glad t-mobile never charged me on their data plan when I had used my cell as a modem. All those nights at work, I would have been payin both arms, both legs, the rest of my life.....and then some!!!

116.7.2008 19:43

I'm glad t-mobile never charged me on their data plan when I had used my cell as a modem. All those nights at work, I would have been payin both arms, both legs, the rest of my life.....and then some!!!



Damn....double posted by accident. Sorry about that.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jul 2008 @ 19:45

126.7.2008 23:23

and "they" want to do metered rates...I think not..
Cell data rates need to be handled like minutes and roll over when unused, land lines need a "cap to half"(halving max speed once cap is hit) setup to manage bandwidth.

137.7.2008 2:42
susieqbbb
Inactive

And if you think that is bad wait for the first iphone bill.

Even though you pay the 39.99 for the data plan to distribute information to and from the iphone i wonder what will happen with the transfering of photo's to .mac.

think about it if they charge you a data plan fee and some application or internet based connection charges then you are in trouble.

Guitar hero for verizon phones charges you 14.99 for data charges everytime you play the game on your phone

147.7.2008 10:39
Drunkken
Inactive

Nature's primal unchained energy
That is enshrined in all that exists
The power of great destruction
And creation on the crumbling remains

Satan, creator
Satan, destructor
Satan, master residing in the void
...of true blackness

The erect phallus of fertility
And the horns as it's guardians
The procreation of the triumphant
And the demise of the worthless

Satan, protector
Satan, imperator
Satan, master residing in the void
...of true blackness

The ashes that nourish the soil
Born from the wrathful breath
That swallows the burdening life
Is a veil brooding our reborn earth

Satan, protector
Satan, renewer
Satan, master residing in the void
...of true blackness.

157.7.2008 12:55
lynchGOP
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
"…service providers also have a responsibility. It would be better if subscribers were given a monthly maximum spend so they could be notified if they had breached it, rather than only finding out when the bill arrives. It would be prudent for the provider to contact the customer if their usage was unusually high."

Nah, that would be sensible and in the better interest of the customer.


AND...........limit the potential spending that an unconscious individual would do............now WHY would they do that.

167.7.2008 13:16

Quote:
Quote:
"…service providers also have a responsibility. It would be better if subscribers were given a monthly maximum spend so they could be notified if they had breached it, rather than only finding out when the bill arrives. It would be prudent for the provider to contact the customer if their usage was unusually high."

Nah, that would be sensible and in the better interest of the customer.
*disclaimer* i work for a canadian wireless service provider, therefore, im biased, so this is just my opinion, i have NO desire to insult anyone*

It would be EXTREMELY hard to cut the service at a specific point, as the service is provided first, THEN the calculations on how much data was used is put onto the bill. Even online self service of your accounts are delayed when your looking at data usage because they are unable to tell you exactly what you've used in such a short period of time.

Secondly, to think you can travel abroad, download gigs of data and not be charged extra is plain stupid. Although I think that $60,000+ USD/CAD is insane, I think he should have had an idea that he would have been charged for downloading so much while roaming, seriously...

So, when it comes to the service providers calling their customers, the customers should know what they are using. If they are unsure, 1. they should have paid attention to what their limits are with their plans when they were in the cell phone store, 2. call in and just freaking ask if you can dl HD movies while roaming before you just say screw it, and go download em...

just my 2 cents :)

177.7.2008 13:19

Originally posted by defgod:
This reminds me of something I read. I believe last fall. Someone in Canada received a bill for $80,000 for using his cell as a modem for his PC. (because the so called unlimited data plan he had) Now I don't remember all of the details but this sounds kind of similar. And the argument of a limit then being alerted when crossing it is the same. But that would make sense for the consumer. And in turn would mean less possible revenue for the telcom giant that owns the cell company.
Oh yeah, sorry, read that post after
This was with bell, and he had a 15$ unlimited data plan, however, the unlimited data plan does not include tethering. Meaning if u hook up your phone to your computer, and give your computer internet through the phone, its not covered. So he hooked up his phone to his computer, and started downloading HD movies...

187.7.2008 14:38

Lets cut to the chase....

This guy was a dickhead. As a fellow UK mobile user, we are well aware of excessive roaming charges when using mobiles in Europe or the US. If this guy had even 1/2 a brain he should have realised that this was going to cost him some money. As for downloading or streaming, ALL the phone service providers charge the usual arm-and-a-leg for this.

For my 2 cents he deserves everything that he gets and should have been made to pay.

As for the provider contacting the customer at the point of high usage.......bullshit!!

Just because i can crash my car if i drive at 120mph, does that make Ford responsible for allowing it to happen.

Take some responsibility for your own actions you pathetic human being !

Rant over - flame begins?

197.7.2008 16:10

Quote:
Originally posted by defgod:
This reminds me of something I read. I believe last fall. Someone in Canada received a bill for $80,000 for using his cell as a modem for his PC. (because the so called unlimited data plan he had) Now I don't remember all of the details but this sounds kind of similar. And the argument of a limit then being alerted when crossing it is the same. But that would make sense for the consumer. And in turn would mean less possible revenue for the telcom giant that owns the cell company.
Oh yeah, sorry, read that post after
This was with bell, and he had a 15$ unlimited data plan, however, the unlimited data plan does not include tethering. Meaning if u hook up your phone to your computer, and give your computer internet through the phone, its not covered. So he hooked up his phone to his computer, and started downloading HD movies...
Like it says I didn't remember all of the details. Still I'm curious where it stated in his contract about tethering. Probably fine print somewhere in the legal mumbo jumbo.

Quote:
Quote:

Quote: "…service providers also have a responsibility. It would be better if subscribers were given a monthly maximum spend so they could be notified if they had breached it, rather than only finding out when the bill arrives. It would be prudent for the provider to contact the customer if their usage was unusually high."

Nah, that would be sensible and in the better interest of the customer.

*disclaimer* i work for a canadian wireless service provider, therefore, im biased, so this is just my opinion, i have NO desire to insult anyone*

It would be EXTREMELY hard to cut the service at a specific point, as the service is provided first, THEN the calculations on how much data was used is put onto the bill. Even online self service of your accounts are delayed when your looking at data usage because they are unable to tell you exactly what you've used in such a short period of time.

Secondly, to think you can travel abroad, download gigs of data and not be charged extra is plain stupid. Although I think that $60,000+ USD/CAD is insane, I think he should have had an idea that he would have been charged for downloading so much while roaming, seriously...

So, when it comes to the service providers calling their customers, the customers should know what they are using. If they are unsure, 1. they should have paid attention to what their limits are with their plans when they were in the cell phone store, 2. call in and just freaking ask if you can dl HD movies while roaming before you just say screw it, and go download em...

just my 2 cents :)
Why can't they just send an automatic text when it hits a certain predetermined limit? Even if is delayed a little bit when checking online. It wouldn't take much time to setup something like that. So you wouldn't be shocked when you received your bill.

I agree that he should have checked. Hell I check every aspect of every electronic service that I get. Before I get it. Mostly because of the hidden fees and exrta charges for certain services. But where do you draw the line at doing that sort of thing. These telcom service providers have very diverse customers. A lot of whom don't know how to. Or that they even should check. I mean if they are going to provide a service. Then they should wholly provide that service. What they are really doing is betting on the unwitting consumer to not fully understand what is in their contract. That way they can make more MONEY from those people.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jul 2008 @ 16:12

2012.7.2008 18:53

Pff. It's incredibly easy to send a message with a simple trigger; {x} dollars or {y} bytes exceeded, I can program that myself in my sleep. C'mon, quit bitching about insanely basic programming, for heavens' sake.

2112.7.2008 19:43

A year and a half ago, I got charged £500 for using Web 'n Walk (T-Mobile) apparently it wasn't activated (they never told me that), so I was charged like a pound a minute, more mug me I ACTUALLY paid for it....

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