Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Break down the charges for Shaw’s bill

Published:Thursday | July 13, 2017 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am in no position to defend Minister Shaw's 'outrageous' phone bill since I don't have all the facts, but it would be useful to get a breakdown of the charges.

I had a bad experience last November when, after attending a two-day conference in Beijing, my next monthly bill was over $360,000. My normal monthly billing is just over $5,000. I had used the phone only to call home twice. All my email and Internet activity was conducted on my iPad, which was connected through the complimentary wi-fi facility at the hotel where I stayed.

When I queried the excessive charges, I was told that they were attributable to data roaming charges billed at US$8 per megabyte. When I protested that I had not used the phone for any data purposes, I was told that the various apps on the phone continuously eat up data even when the phone is not actually being used. For Minister Shaw who has to travel much more frequently, these charges would be multiples of mine.

It is important to find out how much of Minister Shaw's bills are attributable to data roaming charges which may not have been due to manual data activities. The fairness of these charges is a moot issue. Interestingly, just last month, the European Union placed a ban on data roaming charges within the EU.

Bruce Golding