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Manchester Man Tots up £31,500 Mobile Broadband Bill!

Posted: 07th Jul, 2008 By: MarkJ
The latest person to be caught out by unrestrained and poorly implemented mobile data roaming charges is Ian Dobsyn, a 34-year-old IT worker from Salford in Manchester. Ian was billed a colossal £31,500 by Yes Telecom after he tried to download some music and an episode of Sky's "Prison Break" while on holiday in Portugal using his Mobile Broadband connection.

UK Mobile Broadband data allowances do not apply when abroad, where extremely expensive charges suddenly kick in. However, most mobile operators fail to make this point very clear. Readers will recall that several other similar incidents have also been reported over the past few months, usually involving the mobile operator Vodafone (example).

Mercifully the Daily Mail newspaper reports that Ian's solicitor, Danielle Mestraud of Farleys Solicitors, has managed to get the bill down to just £229, which is only a little above his already hefty £150 per month mobile contract:

Danielle Mestraud said, "..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."

Vodafone and other operators do claim to warn customers when their usage goes too high, although we've now seen a fair few examples where this does not appear to be the case. Indeed one problem with roaming downloads is that once outside of your local operator’s network it can be difficult to impose direct restrictions.

Interestingly we note that Yes Telecom's Mobile Broadband package appears to use Vodafone's products. Now there’s a surprise.
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