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Watch your phone bills, says dad -- after daughter overcharged in €200 bill battle

Phone customers are being urged to keep a close eye on their bills after a Dublin girl was wrongly hit for more than €200.

Mobile operator Meteor has admitted its mistake to the Herald, accepting the money was only reimbursed after several months of protest from the young phone user.

A full apology has been issued but the customer's family is still fuming over what they say was a "lazy attitude" by the company to the problem.

John Rock told the Herald that his daughter Kelly (19) signed up to a phone last January and first complained about high bills in April.

"At first they just kept telling us that we were wrong but the bills were just too high. They were several hundred euro when they couldn't have been," said Mr Rock.

He has now urged other users to take notice of their invoices, rather than just paying them.

"I added up all the time I spent on the phone to them and it came to 15 hours. I spoke with nine floor staff and two supervisors. It's scandalous, it really is," the Marino native added.

Meteor has confirmed that the first contact between the two parties took place in April when the customer said that their bill was too high.

However, a spokesperson said: "There was no complaint lodged and a payment plan was arranged for customer."

Kelly continued to believe that her charges were too high and in November it emerged that two phones number were registered on her one account.

Meteor told the Herald that was "a unique error" and wasn't the cause of the overcharging. They said that overcharging related to the phone which Ms Rock was using.

"In late November 2009 the customer informed us that they believed there was an issue with their account. We escalated this report to both a Customer Care Team Leader and our revenue team for investigation. A thorough investigation was conducted and we later confirmed to the subscriber that they had overpaid us by €225.16," said a spokesperson for the company.

"We immediately set about refunding these monies, with a gesture of goodwill. In total, €250 has been given to this customer with a full apology."

Mr Rock is unhappy with the way the complaint was handled: "It caused terrible stress in the family. If it's happened to one, there could be others."

Meteor said it was a once-off occurrence. A spokesperson said that the attaching of two phones to the account was "an administrative error" and that they had no similar complaints of overcharging.

k.doyle@herald.ie


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