Tue | Oct 23, 2018

LETTER OF THE DAY - Shocking $89,000 phone bill

Published:Monday | August 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I have travelled previously many years with a BlackBerry device on roaming and my bills have been very reasonable. Recently, I changed my phone to a Samsung Galaxy and did not expect any difference in my roaming bill.

I was away for three weeks and did not make one phone call! I had about five calls come into my device, which I did not answer. I made one text, I read email, and sent a handful of emails out and uploaded a few pictures to my Facebook page. In fact, most of the time my phone was actually turned off and only turned on when I wanted to use the camera, as I find the picture quality very good on this device!

So all this time I am thinking that my bill would be so small - maybe even smaller than if I was at home using it constantly, but little did I know my bill was accumulating fast!

So imagine my shock when I get home to hear my phone bill was $89,000! I was totally horrified, and was convinced that this must be a mistake and someone must have accessed and used my account. First thing next morning, I arrived at LIME for an explanation. They advised me that any time I turned on my phone and data came through, I was charged for that, and since the Samsung devices have a higher speed data capability, it is charged at a much higher rate than my previous BlackBerry ever was.

They said that one place I was on vacation had extremely high roaming rates also, and they advised that I should have turned off my data services on the phone, only using my phone to access data when I was in a free Wi-Fi area. Great to be told such money-saving information after the fact!

In relaying this horrible incident to people that day, I learnt that I was not the only person to have suffered this roaming lesson the hard way. In fact, my bill was nothing compared to others I spoke with. Three persons advised me they had received bills for $120,000, $210,000 and another person, a staggering $700,000! This is absolutely ludicrous!

I feel very strongly that LIME owes it to its customers to educate them on the roaming costs and how to reduce their bills when on overseas trips. It is not right for LIME to sit back and count its profit while we, their loyal customers, are traumatised by such bills on our return.