Feeds

Student racks up £8000 mobile broadband bill

Overseas dongle use warning

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Orange has hit a student with a bill for almost eight grand for using a 3G dongle in France for a month.

The salutary story of William Harrison, 22, now in his third year a Nottingham University, was told in this weekend's Observer newspaper.

Last summer, Harrison signed up for Orange dongle so he would have internet access while working on an internship in Paris.

He maintains that while the Orange shop assistant admitted there was a 3GB data limit on the dongle, she said would be sufficient for his needs.

Maybe it would have been for a little casual emailing and web surfing, but Harrison used his dongle daily, primarily to make calls with Skype, the paper reports.

The upshot: sufficient overseas data usage to rack up the £6101.56 that appeared at the end of his first monthly bill.

A stunned Harrison contacted Orange and told them to block use of the dongle. It did, but not before he'd managed to rack up a further £1547.21 - the charge for using the dongle between the first bill's cut-off point and when Harrison actually received the bill.

Harrison maintains he was not warned about the financial risks of over-using his dongle while overseas.

Orange and O2 both charge £3 per megabyte of data transferred while roaming in Europe. T-Mobile charges £1.50 per megabyte, Three £1.25. Virgin Media charges £5 per megabyte, though it has now introduced cheaper pre-pay data packages. Vodafone charges £10 for every 50MB, or part, you use. So download a 52MB files and it'll bill you £20.

Orange has since agreed to halve Harrison's bill, and has generously given the student two years to pay off the debt.

From 1 March, European carriers will be forced to implement a download limit agreed with the customer to prevent people like Harrison - and the many others who have experienced similar 'bill shock' - from being hit with huge, unexpected invoices. By July, this limit must be capped at €50 (£44) per month. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.