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'my Life Is Over:' Shock At $200,000 Phone Bill In Roaming Charges - After Holiday Texting Bonanza

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050717/My-life-Shock-200-000-roaming-charges-womans-brother-takes-phone-holiday.html

'That's like paying for a nice house right now based on what houses are going for'

Texting easiest way to communicate with her two brothers who are deaf and unable to speak

Most of us dread opening any of our bills.

But one South Florida woman got the shock of a lifetime- when she opened her cell phone bill to find she owed a mind-blowing $201,000.

Worse still, Celina Aarons soon learned that it wasn't a mistake.

Celina has two brothers who were born deaf and cannot speak.

...

Normally, that's not a problem. Aarons has a data plan and the bill usually comes to a total of about $175.

Good to know that the phone company has software in place to stop bills getting so high, you would have thought something like this would have triggered some sort of response in the phone company. Not surprising that they've reduced the bill to $2500 as I doubt a judge would uphold a bill of this size.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050717/My-life-Shock-200-000-roaming-charges-womans-brother-takes-phone-holiday.html

Good to know that the phone company has software in place to stop bills getting so high, you would have thought something like this would have triggered some sort of response in the phone company. Not surprising that they've reduced the bill to $2500 as I doubt a judge would uphold a bill of this size.

"The phone company have now reduced the bill to $2,500 and given Celina six months to pay it"

Pure price gouging, even at $2,500. They should tell T mobile to eff orf.

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sms texts are sent in the signalling channel. There is no call set up and barely any resource utilisation. in the early days of gsm they didnt even bother charging for it. Its one of the biggest scandels in technology.

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Not got much sympathy tbh.

When I go on holiday, I never use my mobile - because I know that the charges are unreasonable. If I need to use some data whilst I'm away somewhere (e.g. going to a city, so using google maps would be nice) then I'll buy a roaming package before I go.

Is this just another example of Americans not being aware of the global world that they live in? I.E they don't realise that outside of their borders, different rules may apply?

I saw a similar thing when I went to the Dominican Republic 2 years ago. The place had lots of American tourists, who were wondering around the resort or lounging by the pool on their iPhones or other smart phones. I'll bet loads of them get back home after a "vacation" and have large bills, all because they couldn't resist all the pointless, narcissistic facebook updates, that noone really cares about.

I get that these guys were sending texts because they needed to (being deaf), but they were downloading videos too (presumably the sound didn't matter on these videos?). You would never catch me sending more than one text message when I'm roaming. In fact, most smart phones even stick an icon on your home screen to tell you that you are roaming. Android smart phones even ship with a setting enabled that turns off all data when roaming.

It just sounds like ignorance to me.

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Variations on this kind of thing have happened for years. About 10 years ago a customers ISDN line when loco bannanas and repeatedly dialled out incurring £0.05 connection fee each time. The BT bill amounting to several thousand pounds litterally arrived in a box!

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Note that if you go on holiday in Europe, unless you explicity ask for it, you phone company will cap your data at £43 and cut off data after that. It's an EU wide law!

Not surprising that they've reduced the bill to $2500 as I doubt a judge would uphold a bill of this size.
I imagine if it went to court the judge would simple strike out the debt completely as being ridiculous.
Pure price gouging, even at $2,500. They should tell T mobile to eff orf.
Mobile internet roaming is an anonmoly. Any data doesn't go out via the local internet, it goes via your service provider in the UK. This is something that needs resolving but may require some legal harmonisation first... for example some countires require Mobile Phone providers to block adult sites from access by children... this can only be done if all internet traffic goes out via their web gateway.
This is why I always have a PAYG phone, soon to be my only phone. And PAYG utilities, no SKY, no memberships etc. etc.

I have a vodafone espania card for my holidays. €19 a week for upto 1GB, €29 a fortnight. Hard to get hold of now though as I think you technically have to be a spanish resident to buy one.

sms texts are sent in the signalling channel. There is no call set up and barely any resource utilisation. in the early days of gsm they didnt even bother charging for it. Its one of the biggest scandels in technology.
Most call plans now include enough text message so only the most obsessed teenagers run out.

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A friend of mine had his phone stolen in a Liverpool cafe and the thieves managed to run up £750 bill in a matter of a hour or so (before my mate noticed it was gone). Vodafone made him pay it all. Since then I have always been PAYGO.

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Variations on this kind of thing have happened for years. About 10 years ago a customers ISDN line when loco bannanas and repeatedly dialled out incurring £0.05 connection fee each time. The BT bill amounting to several thousand pounds litterally arrived in a box!

ah yes, the old W2000 server dial out every 5 mins DNS problem.

remember it well.

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In the USA the receiver pays for a text message unlike here where it is just the sender.

A very odd system as you could ring up a heck of a bill for someone else.

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A friend of mine had his phone stolen in a Liverpool cafe and the thieves managed to run up £750 bill in a matter of a hour or so (before my mate noticed it was gone). Vodafone made him pay it all. Since then I have always been PAYGO.

I wonder... are they not accesories to the theft in that case? Phone co I mean?

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A friend of mine had his phone stolen in a Liverpool cafe and the thieves managed to run up £750 bill in a matter of a hour or so (before my mate noticed it was gone). Vodafone made him pay it all. Since then I have always been PAYGO.

This doesn't sound right. If my credit card gets stolen and they spend £750 with it, I'd report the crime and the debt wouldn't show on my bill.

But this is somehow different for a mobile contract? Aren't they both credit agreements?

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For a nation that keeps on invading other people's countries I am no longer amazed just how naive the average American is about travelling internationally.

Most don't get any further than the airport usually as many live in the belief that passports are for 'foreigners' only. I believe, could be wrong, that there is some kind of non-passport agreement between the US and Canada?

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Someone pressing "Red" whilst having a cheeky watch of TitW@nk TV?

Old story, I assume it doesn't happen these days

AT THE third stroke it will be an unexpected bill for £428, precisely.

It may be good to talk, as the BT slogan goes, but not when the chat is from the Speaking Clock - and it won’t shut up.

Di Alexander is ticked off by the surprise addition to his phone bill, caused by regular "calls" to the BT service which he did not make.

Mr Alexander, from Fort William, clocked up calls lasting 32 or 33 seconds every nine minutes of every hour to the 123 service in December last year and from January to March this year.

BT said the calls were linked to a fault with the settings on his Sky digital box.

The box is programmed to "call back" from a modem at regular intervals to allow information for billing purposes.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/sky_digibox_blamed_for_163_428_phone_bill_1_652586

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Not got much sympathy tbh.

That's right. And if the contract she has with the phone company said she must sacrifice her first-born if that company says so, your position would presumably also be "not much sympathy, she should have read the contract, she should just obtain a scythe and get on with it before the contractual penalties kick in"?

It's at times like these I rather like living somewhere that enforces basic standards of fairness in consumer contracts. Now if only someone would make the state subject to a similar law ....

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For a nation that keeps on invading other people's countries I am no longer amazed just how naive the average American is about travelling internationally.

Most don't get any further than the airport usually as many live in the belief that passports are for 'foreigners' only. I believe, could be wrong, that there is some kind of non-passport agreement between the US and Canada?

You're right. Just photo ID required. Such as Drivers Licence.

They do have the infamous no-fly list though, even on road routes. Get on that and you can't use the fast track lane on the imigration lanes.

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A friend of mine had his phone stolen in a Liverpool cafe and the thieves managed to run up £750 bill in a matter of a hour or so (before my mate noticed it was gone). Vodafone made him pay it all. Since then I have always been PAYGO.

Same thing happened to me on O2 some years back. My phone got pinched in a nightclub by a racist Asian - I first realised it had been stolen at midnight when a friend of a friend let on via another friend that the lad was phoning all the women on my contact list telling them they were going to rape them, and the blokes that they were going to get stabbed. Immediately, I tried to contact O2 and was only able to get through 6 hours later. I refused to pay the £90 of charges racked up and they kept sending me automated letters threatening court action... which was quite amusing as my brother-in-law was doing the same on my behalf (partner of top London law firm), they never did take me to court and my guess is that somebody at O2 finally intervened and made the problem go away.

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That's right. And if the contract she has with the phone company said she must sacrifice her first-born if that company says so, your position would presumably also be "not much sympathy, she should have read the contract, she should just obtain a scythe and get on with it before the contractual penalties kick in"?

It's at times like these I rather like living somewhere that enforces basic standards of fairness in consumer contracts. Now if only someone would make the state subject to a similar law ....

you mean SICKLE. A scythe would be too difficult to hold whilst the baby was squirming.

hope that helps

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That's right. And if the contract she has with the phone company said she must sacrifice her first-born if that company says so, your position would presumably also be "not much sympathy, she should have read the contract, she should just obtain a scythe and get on with it before the contractual penalties kick in"?

It's at times like these I rather like living somewhere that enforces basic standards of fairness in consumer contracts. Now if only someone would make the state subject to a similar law ....

Oh dear lord. Your example just does not fit in with the case at all.

What's one of the first things you look at when choosing a PHONE contact? The bloody tarrif. How much are my CALLS, TEXTS and DATA going to cost. So forgive me for not sympathising that she didn't know how much the CALLS, DATA and TEXT would cost when she took out a mobile PHONE contract.

Not "will I be expected to sacrifice my first born". That has nothing at all to do with the purpose of a mobile phone contract, whereas making phone calls and the cost of doing so might.

I'd love to see you on family fortunes.

Presenter: "We asked 100 people what they would typically expect to see in a mobile phone contract"

You: "A stipulation regarding the sacrifice of the first born"

Presenter: "And our survey said... NAFF ALL"

So, I'm still struggling to sympathise with this lady for not being aware of how much her calls texts and data would cost her when she took out the plan.

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sms texts are sent in the signalling channel. There is no call set up and barely any resource utilisation. in the early days of gsm they didnt even bother charging for it. Its one of the biggest scandels in technology.

Absolutely. When I first travelled with my mobile in late 90s I was not charged any extra for texting abroad - that soon changed

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they never did take me to court and my guess is that somebody at O2 finally intervened and made the problem go away.

You've hit the nail on the head there.

These massive bills are essentially junk loans.

The reason the providers would prefer not to cap spending - in effect to impose a "credit limit" is that they can then present these bills which are enormously profitable if paid. And, some will pay.

Even if only 10% just suck it and pay up, and the other 90% default, I wouldn't mind betting it's still at profit.

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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