Neil Diamond costs foolish phone user over £2600

neil diamondIt doesn’t take a genius to work out that downloading stuff abroad is likely to incur roaming charges. However, it seems you need to be cleverer than a maths teacher, after a Warwickshire woman failed to calculate that an £8.99 album would cost over £2,600 once roaming charges were added.

Teacher Katie Bryan, 43, was visiting her boyfriend's family in South Africa when she decided to download a multiple-track "best of Neil Diamond" CD from iTunes to her phone for £8.99. When she returned to the UK, she was dismayed to find that, not only did she still have a Neil Diamond album on her phone, her bank account was more than £2,000 overdrawn after Orange took a direct debit of £2,609.31.

No-one, not even Miss Bryan herself, can explain what possessed her. She admits to having had “a bit” of wine, but claims it was “not too much”, thereby scotching the drunk-and-didn’t-know-what-I-was-doing excuse. She can’t even claim the moral high ground on musical taste despite describing herself as “really not that big a Neil Diamond fan”, after admitting to not only owning a Neil Diamond cd in the UK, but actually having it in her car, as well as claiming to be “more of a James Blunt fan”.

Upon her return to the UK, Miss Bryan called Orange, who laughed at her were initially unable to help her, reiterating the published tariffs which meant her 20 minute download, which used 326 MB of data, had been charged at £8 per megabyte once her 10MB monthly foreign allowance had been used up. Nevertheless an enterprising employee then came up with the solution of selling her a backdated bundle which would bring the data cost down to a still-scandalous £400.

Unfortunately, the powers that be at Orange tried to rescind the offer, entitled as they rightly were to the full £2,600, but last Friday the executive office agreed to the £400 compromise, refunding the hapless teacher £2,209.31. Orange also apologised for the stress they had caused. Presumably adhering to the customer service school of the customer is always right, even when they are an idiot.

Miss Bryant said: "I think Orange are preying on people who make a mistake while abroad. Why such a massive difference in cost? In England you would just pay the album price. There is no way this huge bill relates to the actual cost to Orange.” Grossly inflated roaming costs are currently under investigation by the European Commission within the EU, but this would not have helped someone holidaying in South Africa. Besides, no phone company ever claimed that roaming costs bore any resemblance to the costs incurred.

Miss Bryant continued bleating: "You hear of people doing this and you think 'stupid person - why did you do that?' I do feel foolish.” No-one, anywhere, argued with her.

"But I also feel it is morally wrong to be expected to pay this sort of money for a Neil Diamond album" she finished. Now there’s something we can agree with.


  • Euan
    “But I also feel it is morally wrong to be expected to pay this sort of money for a Neil Diamond album” Well, that's OK, she didn't. She paid £8.99 for the album. She paid steaming great wodges of cash to transfer that album across a 3G network while roaming several thousand miles from home. Could she not find a coffee shop with wi-fi there?
  • jt
    "She admits to having had “a bit” of wine." That would be Red, Red Wine.
  • Carl
    Nil Demand
  • Tatty M.
    This story is a case of rinse and repeat tabloid fodder. Is there really anyone still alive who doesn't know about exorbitant roaming charges? Answer: yes, the terminally hard-of-thinking. And this cretin is a teacher? Let loose on impressionable minds? Can we rescind her teacher's license? Maybe Gove is right on something... Nurse - another copy of the Daily Mail, please!
  • ee l.
    I'm amazed that EE are still in business, what with all the crap service and Kevin Bacon offering people a shed load of data for a tenner. Ah, all becomes clear. Sweet Caroline ....
  • Our h.
    Working with schools in Warwickshire at close quarters, this really does not surprise me in the slightest - most (not all, I hasten to add) staff in these establishments want either intensive retraining in pretty much all basic skills or sending to the glue factory. It would appear that their greatest talent is stealing oxygen.
  • MaxSuzuki
    Even £8.99 was too much when she could have gone to a second hand store and gotten the CD for about 100 Rand which is about 3 UK pence

What do you think?

Your comment