Feeds

Wife rings up £11,000 downloading bill

Is Friends worth £3,000 an episode?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

A wife inadvertently cost her husband £11,000 after downloading four episodes of US sitcom Friends using his laptop, according to the Telegraph newspaper.

The chap flew to Germany where his machine connected to the local provider and continued the interrupted download - only this time on international data roaming rates.

The couple aren't named in the article, which Vodafone claims "contains many factual inaccuracies", but won't deny. It seems likely the download was using Channel 4's 4OD* service which runs in the background downloading shows which have been queued, so the wife simply added the four Friends episodes to the queue and waved her husband off.

According to the Telegraph, it wasn't until the bill hit £11,000 that Vodafone contacted the chap's company to ask about potential fraud. This might seem a high figure, but fraud detection of this type still generally relies on a fax being sent by the roamed-to operator to the home operator - remarkable as that seems.

It's not the first time users have been caught out by equipment automatically making network connections when they're travelling. Apple's iPhone has a habit of checking mail automatically, which has caught out many users, and as networked applications become more common the problem is going to get worse.

Vodafone says it has to speak to the customer before telling us exactly what happened, but the story does come at a remarkably fortuitous time for the EU, and Commissioner Reding in particular. Ms Reding's deadline for operators to cut their international roaming fees is 1 July.

The self-styled champion of the people has promised that if European operators don't cut their fees by then she's going to step in and do it for them. ®

* Channel 4 have been in touch to assure us that Friends would never be shared through their 4OD service, so it must have come from somewhere else, and we're very glad to hear it.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.