Jaw-dropping Vodafone bill - £21,716

On a holiday trip to Meribel, Will Pierce, a 42 year old Vodafone user and his son Louis, downloaded episodes of TV shows Top Gear and Kavanagh QC using their £25 data card, because the hotel they were staying in "did not have English channels".

After 5 days of the skiing holiday, they received the broadband bill.

The total: £21,716.

The amount charged was on the basis of per-megabyte downloaded on a roaming tariff, which worked out around £300 per minute (guess the download speed was also rather slow) of the show.

Mr. Pierce lamented that Vodafone did not warn him of his bill nor was he aware of his credit limit. Vodafone did cancel the bill in the end, but it gives a quick warning to consumers to take note of a few things:

  1. Know your roaming rates before travel.
  2. Read and know the T&C of your subscription plans, whether you're entitled to refunds should 'mistakes' occur.
  3. If you insist on downloading something, how about some Heroes instead of Kavanagh QC?

[IT Pro Portal]


  • The B.
    Proving yet again that a moron and his money are soon parted.
  • Ian
    And Vodaphone is spelt Vodafone!
  • Scully
    Very similar to this story from Canada: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7141935.stm
  • ladylovesit
    Vince, seems you got the spelling vvong! lol
  • -=Mike H.
    1. Served you right for DL'ing abroad I mean come on, what a twat! Even a text costs £££ DL'ing stuff? you gimp, cough up and don't be such a dick next time, numpty bucket!
  • acecatcher3
    @ ladylovesit - LOL
  • Bill B.
    Where did you get £300 per minute from? At roaming rates of £8 a MB, this would mean they were downloading 35MBish a minute - or just over 0.5MB per second. That's a 4Mbps connection, which is HSDPA speed, and as I'm sure you know, you can't get HSDPA in that part of the world. No win for you.
  • Fred M.
    At least Vodafone is waiving the bill unlike the Canadians! And Bill read the source, the cost was based on 1 TV programme around £5k for the number of shows he downloaded based on average length of 18 minutes for the show hence around £280 per minute.
  • Dipz
    you sad muppet, get a job and work and earn some money for you and your families. Twats!!!
  • Callum
    While he obviously can't pay off that bill, Its very unfair to the customers who take care to restrict their usage. Perhaps they should have just knocked off the £21k and made him pay the £716.
  • Dave T.
    Only a stupid moron would not know the implications of using this internet connection abroad - the silly twats should pay up!
  • The B.
    Can someone explain Dipz' comment? Who's he insulting? Or is he the internet equivalent of one of those alcoholics who wander up and down shouting at invisible people?
  • Vodafone B.
    [...] It’s the sort of deal that’ll appeal to the frugal, something more of us are becoming in these belt-tightening times; despite the number of minutes used rising by nearly a fifth, O2 has announced it’s struggling to make as much money per customer as we’re more likely to switch tariffs or not to upgrade our handsets. So Vodafone’s promotion will no doubt be welcomed by many this summer, and should put an end to those troublesome unexpected bills abroad. [...]
  • Sun, B.
    [...] previous average EU wholesale price of €1.68. This should minimize nasty surprises, such as the £21k Vodafone bill a British family received for downloading an episode of Top Gear and Kavanagh QC while on [...]
  • steve
    If this is true then, Mr. Pierce is a plank of the highest order......mobile phone companies charge alot for this service and he should have checked before downloading...anyone with a braincell would he should be made to pay

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