Dad gets slapped with £1,792 phone bill over daughter's loom band videos

23 October 2014

loom bands Loom-bands - elastic bands masquerading as craft - as really captured the imagination of the young people of the world.

One young lady called Trinity Groves was such a fan, that she watched tutorial videos so she could improve her looming. However, in the process, she ran up an enormous phone bill over a fortnight after her home's WiFi stopped working.

Her dad, Philip, was blissfully unaware she'd been using Vodafone’s premium rates to get online, and after 28 hours of videos, dad got the unpleasant surprise of a £1,792 phone bill.

Philip is not happy at all. He said: “She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the WiFi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected."

"We didn't know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate. As far as I was aware, the WiFi was connected. I wasn’t informed otherwise. If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know?"

"Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it’s frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don’t know where to turn."

After disputing the bill, Philip got another kick in the groin when Vodafone informed him that he was now blacklisted. They still want paying too.

Philip added: "They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing. They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can’t afford it. How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It’s disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything."

Trinity isn't happy either, saying: "When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands... I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it’s made me very sad."

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: "We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter. We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded."


  • Mr M.
    They've already knocked off nearly £400 from his bill. Don't blame Vodafone because you're a shit parent. If he can afford to give his daughter (Trinity ffs) a pay monthly contract and posh Samsung phone he can afford to pay for the cock up.
  • weenie
    Smart phones + kids = silly parents with big bills.
  • Peter D.
    "surely they have an obligation to let you know?" - They don't, mobile phone companies are no where near as closely regulated as credit cards as an example. If someone steals your phone, you are liable for all charges the criminals ring up right up until the point you report it stolen to your network and if you don't report it stolen within 24 hours you have even less hope of getting your bill reduced. In their world, you use it, you pay for it. End of story.
  • ImRight
    thats (b)looming funny
  • peter
    surely as a parent you ought to be aware of what your children are doing and you should also be aware that your Wi-Fi signal goes down from time to time, it is up to you to know if your WI-fi signal has dropped off not for the company to inform you.
  • richard
    seriously, i mean sure the company could do more to stop this kind of thing from happening but anyone who manages to rack up a 4 figure phone bill is just an idiot. take some responsibility and actually check things like data usage/ whether your wifi works from time to time :-P
  • richard
    also 28hours of loom band videos in 2 weeks? 2 hours a day?! What is wrong with this kid
  • dvdgremlin
    so the story is that their broadband stopped so she used her phone's data network instead ? sorry but how is that a story ? she used it. she knew she was using it. my son did the same with his mobile so we put him on PAYG to control him. it was my mistake in not governing how much he ran up. this is this father's fault too.
  • Aaron
    These mobile phone companies are scandalous, that £1792 in internet will of cost vodafone around £20 in data, they are capable of reducing this bill due to the nature of the incident but they just dont want to. They are bullys, they know they are too big to be sued. 28 hours of youtube loom band videos will probably of used around 10gb maximum, not even that. The fact they offer 1gb of data for £5 as a bolt on (and still profit off that) shows they are just out to make money off this guy..... What difference does it make to vodafone who uses the data, if one person with 20gb free per month pays £50 per month for his contract or this guy with probably 500mb free per month pays £25, they only need to realistically charge him an extra £50 to teach him a lesson. They are scandalous to the point of unethical. Data is data, his data costs no more than anyone elses data to vodafone, they buy their data in bulk so there is no need for this charging price
  • Euan
    I'm seeing a fantastic argument for using PAYG on a child's phone/tablet...
  • Jessie J.
    Don't give kids your credit card and pin. That is the thing with parenting, you have to 'parent'. I blame Vodafone for offering a service that you have to pay for. The evil bastards.
  • PC S.
    Yo Voda - go pay some tax
  • Big M.
    CHILD: Dad, can I have the latest pay-monthly phone costing about £35 per month over 24 months (£840) so I can use it unsupervised after you give no thought to limiting my spending on it even if it is by accident? Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase??? Can I? DAD: (sighs) Fuck. Off.
  • Dave
    Dad's an idiot. Not just for letting his daughter have/use a LIMITED (having one of these in 2014 is also stupid) mobile internet plan with no limit set up. But also for naming his daughter fucking TRINITY?!

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