Sure, the guy's been a complete plonker for not checking the terms of his contract, which quite possibly had been sold on the basis that it was "unlimited." But I'm staggered that Vodafone didn't bother to alert their customer (let alone, suspend the service) before he hit £27k.
That's the real story here, I feel.
[ I guess it would be way to unfair to point out that Three's Mix & Match 900 plan which costs £24/month includes 900 minutes or texts and 300 3-to-3 minutes, free Skype, IM, email plus X-series Silver for £5/month with a download allowance of 1GB of data? Admittedly, you're not supposed to use your phone as a modem but I wonder if Three would even have noticed. ]
It's good to talk... unless you fail to read the smallprint on your new mobile phone contract and end up with a bill for £27,322.
Ian Simpson, 29, was sent the bill for four weeks' service after wiring his mobile up to a laptop to download TV shows - and only then found out his £41.50-a-month deal didn't include unlimited web use.
Last night the factory worker, from Darlington, Yorks, said he feared he could be made bankrupt.
He said: "I just laughed out loud. How on earth could I afford to pay that?"Ian signed up for a Vodafone Anytime 800 contract and added a £7.50 inclusive internet deal to let him use his phone for surfing the net.
But his first bill had hundreds of extra charges for online use - some at £18 a minute. He said: "My mate told me how to wire my mobile to my laptop as a modem. It meant I could download faster than on the handset and get a proper internet connection in my flat.
"I probably downloaded 20 or 30 TV shows and four albums. I assumed it'd be OK, but they cut me off. I rang up and they said I owed them nearly £30,000.
"If I'd known it would cost so much I wouldn't have done it."
Vodafone said rules state the web package has a limit of 120 megabytes of downloads - designed for casual use to check emails, browse and download the odd song. A spokesman said: "Few customers exceed the fair usage. But it seems clear Ian has run up these charges legitimately."
A source added: "The rules are clearly stated. Mobile web pages use fewer megabytes. That package is not designed for large-scale downloading or computer-speed web use."
But last night Ian blasted the firm, saying: "I cannot believe they would let me run up such an enormous bill - £27,000 would almost buy me a flat where I live. I can't even afford a mortgage so I rent a room.
"Unless they take a sensible approach I don't think I'll have any choice but to go bankrupt."
Vodafone added last night: "The intensity of Ian's downloading was such that by the time our systems flagged anything up he had already racked up a massive bill.
"Our advice would be to never use a mobile as a modem. We will try to come to some sympathetic arrangement. And we hope he won't make the same mistake again."
Source: Daily Mail via TorrentFreak