Mobile network operator Orange has slapped a 22-year-old university student with a hefty internet broadband bill, £8,000 to be more precise, for using its mobile broadband dongle abroad, The Guardian reported.
A Nottingham university student, named William Harrison, went to France for his six-month internship. In order to have internet access there, he opted for an Orange wireless dongle having 3GB data usage limit.
Such limit was obviously unclear to Harrison, who simply went on to use it for connecting to Skype for daily chats. After a month of usage, he received a shocker in the guise of £6,101.56 worth of internet bill.
Immediately after this, he called the company to block the dongle, but he was again hit by a further charge of £1,547.21, which covered the cost of the dongle use between the bill date and the date on which the dongle was blocked.
Williams was very distressed about this and told the newspaper: “It is an absolutely awful situation, both in the short term because of the £8,000 debt and in the long term because the potential damage to my credit rating could be disastrous”.
However, the EU has already instructed mobile operators last year to put in place some mechanism by March 2010 that could prevent users from getting these “bill shocks”.
But implementing the measure, which involves informing users when their bill reaches £44, has taken a period of nine months to come into force and is expected to be implemented on 01 March 2010. This obviously comes too late for Mr Harrison who may face other legal expenses as well.