Maths teacher's £2,600 phone bill for downloading Neil Diamond album
Katie Bryan downloaded the £8.99 album from iTunes whilst on holiday in South Africa, but roaming charges cost her far more
Published 14/04/2014 | 10:59
Maths teacher Katie Bryan, 43, faced a bill of more than £2,600 after downloading a music album whilst abroad.
Miss Bryan visiting her boyfriend's family in South Africa when she downloaded a multiple-track "best of Neil Diamond" album from iTunes to her phone for £8.99.
However, on returning to the UK her bank account was more than £2,000 overdrawn as a result of a direct debit to phone company Orange of £2,609.31.
Miss Bryan, who lives in the village of Lighthorne, south Warwickshire, England said: "It was a lunchtime get-together with my boyfriend's family at a house where we were staying near the Kruger National Park. I'd had a bit of wine but not too much.
"People were playing music through their iPads or on phones through an iPod dock. Someone had put on the Traveling Wilburys but I just fancied hearing some Neil Diamond. I don't know why. He's more my boyfriend's musical taste and I'm more of a James Blunt fan.
"It wasn't a particular song that I wanted to hear. I'm really not that big a Neil Diamond fan. And I'd already got his Essential Neil Diamond CD at home, in my car."
The download, which took up to 20 minutes, used 326 MB of data, charged at £8 per megabyte once her 10MB monthly foreign allowance had been used up.
She phoned Orange to complain about the bill and was told by a customer service advisor that the phone company would come up with a solution within a week.
Another Orange employee offered to sell her a backdated bundle for £400 to cover the cost of the download, but after calling the company for a third time she was told her file showed no such arrangement was in place and she would have to pay the full amount.
On Friday the firm's executive office reinstated the £400 bundle offer, taking £2,209.31 off her bill. They also apologised for the stress they had caused.
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.
"You hear of people doing this and you think 'stupid person - why did you do that?' I do feel foolish.
"But I also feel it is morally wrong to be expected to pay this sort of money for a Neil Diamond album."