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back to article Aussie MP slapped with $10k phone bill

An Australian politician was slapped with a $10,500 phone bill after his 12-year-old son downloaded soccer and AFL games on his iPhone. Russell Wortley, a member of South Australia's Upper House, doesn't see his mobile bill, usually $200 a month - the tab is picked up by tax payers. He was told the news on Friday by …

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Why

the hell should this man be able to "negotiate" with Telstra? - the data was downloaded, the charges were in accordance with his plan, so why should any concessions be made? - none would be forth comeing if I did the same.

The fact that he's an MP is irrelevant to the billing, although it does make the item more newsworthy - he should be made to personally pay the full amount on time, it might encourage the man to think about his spending of the taxpayer's dollar more carefully in future.

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Assholes go by the book

Yes, Telstra are entirely within their rights to just say "give us what you owe", but doing this when a story gets to the media, they end up looking like right gits. Which is pretty bad for PR.

This is why you often hear of companies making "good-will gestures". Effectively paying off the complaining punter to appease the media and PR people, without setting any precedent.

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Anonymous Coward

i can tell you why

Our dept is on the same contract. 3G data access was meant to be disabled by default, but some clever clogs at telstra decided to flick the switch and enable it for everyone. So all our Iphone users started getting hit with $500+ monthly phone bills, probably from inadvertently roaming outside wifi range. Nice little earner for telstra.

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Ahh, must be a Telstra customer

No text here

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Boffin

Something doesn't sound right

$10,500, if charged at the suggested $2 per MB, that's about 5GB of data. That's the sort of usage from LOT of browsing on a 3G modem on a laptop, not the data associated with downloading a couple of mobile phone games, or even the sorts of data downloaded within a mobile game.

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FAIL

And the next question....

...why is he allowing his 12yr old son to use, (what must be inorder to screw the taxpayer) a business phone? How many other things has the kid done that haven't be picked up and just paid for by the taxpayer?

See MP's, no matter where, are useless sponges.

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FAIL

My thoughts exactly...

I used to work with Execs who would hand over all their new company supplied phones, laptops etc to their children to use and abuse. They were too dim/greedy to use/buy the gear!

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Doesn't sound likely

The iPhone requires any app over 10MB to be downloaded over wi-fi or sync'ed via a computer. You'd have to download more than 500 apps to get a cell data bill of $10,000 -- the kid must have been surfing.

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Re: Doesn't sound likely

It sounds like they're talking about an application that can stream video of sports games. The app itself would probably be quite small: it's the downloads required to use the app that would have contributed to the bill.

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WTF?

Sir

$2/Meg

Fuck me backwards, that's a bit steep!

Can someone tell me why the regulators allow a sub two hour 'phone' call to cost more than a car!

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Happy

Could be worse.

$2/MB isn't that bad. In Canada I have seen $0.05/KB for data if you don't have a plan. That makes $50/MB.

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Bronze badge

More likely a few games and a whole lot of porn.

So, this guy is implicitly admitting that he failed to adequately supervise his son and is not competent to understand his mobile phone tariff but he is in a job in which he is responsible for participating in decisions that affect millions of people. He is also a JP.

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Dead Vulture

Cost

Any chance of a conversion into real money?

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Anonymous Coward

Dear lord is this 1998?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=10000+AUD+in+GBP

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Real money

£6036 at todays exchange rate

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Coat

"Ouch."

Don't you mean: "Strewth!"?

Better in context I think.

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*cough* duckhouse *cough*

See title

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FAIL

Take away his iPhone. Now.

And his parliament seat, too. He is clearly incompetent to hand either of them.

Anybody who buys an iPhone without a decent data plan should be put under strict supervision.

OTOH, that answers a lot of question about that planned Aussie "firewall"...

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Welcome

Typical

With data up and down all totaled towards your data usage and plans setup to catch out those that go over their limit, often hidden in the fine details of what otherwise looks like a good plan, its unconscionable.

There also has been debate locally that Telsra is not a bank and thus cannot extend such a line of credit.

In Australia if your hit with something like this you go to the Telecom Communications Ombudsman. Telstra and others know this, but they prey on those that are simply too embarrassed, or don't know, and pay up.

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FAIL

bzzt try again

The TIO is not for this kind of thing. The TIO is to settle disputes between you and a Telecommunications Provider (Phone or Internet).

If you don't read the fine print in a contract and are obliged under that contract to pay for data usage, it's your problem, not the carriers.

Whilst Telstra may be a rip off, they're 100% allowed to demand payment and not write it off or have the TIO tell them to do so.

The TIO is the most toothless tiger i've seen. They don't care about anything but revenue. Opening a case with the TIO immediately passes costs to the providers. Passing costs = increase in telcos costs.

If you can't read the fine print, you shouldn't be using the service. Jumping up and down like a petulant child does not do anyone any favours.

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FAIL

An iPhone without a data plan?

<== See icon

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M7S
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Now he can see what his constituents have to put up with

maybe he can get the rates made fairer for all users.

Just, you know, a radical idea for a politician

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