Feeds

Wife rings up £11,000 downloading bill

Is Friends worth £3,000 an episode?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.