Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/16/vodafone_billing_yet_again/

Vodafone presents punter with £500k phone bill

'Yes, of course I have the keypad locked'

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 16th July 2008 12:14 GMT

Updated A Vodafone customer from Norwich has pitched his claim for the largest ever single-person phone bill after getting a demand from Vodafone for £588,198, and fifteen pence.

James Abdale, who posted the details on the Vodafone forum, was initially quite jovial about what was so obviously a clerical error, though after two hours trying to get Vodafone to fix the problem his patience started to wear thin.

By eight o'clock last night the poor chap was really starting to get annoyed. Having spent hours on the phone he was told that all the Vodafone management had gone home and he really should call back in the morning - though by that point shifting to another network was starting to look like a sensible option.

Running up a data bill of that size would take downloading 300GB of content, which is a lot of video, even at high definition. Alternatively one could spend the better part of a year talking to horny housewives, so even the most depraved would find it difficult to ring up charges like that.

Vodafone got in touch with James this morning with a call, a crawling apology and assurances that it would never happen again, and an offer to wipe his whole month's expenses.

He's still trying to get details of his tariff sorted, and remains unhappy about being bounced between support agents for the whole evening while the managers who might have been able to sort out the problem were packing up and heading home. Clerical errors happen, but companies can be judged on how quickly they resolve them.

Vodafone hasn't yet responded to our request for an explanation as to how the bill came about, or why it took so long to sort out. ®

Update: Vodafone have asked as to pass on their groveling apology so everyone can see how sorry they are, both for the initial mistake: "administration error on our part" and the subsequent treatment "We will be investigating what happened to ensure this doesn't happen again", which is nice.