back to article Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

EE's Orange arm managed to bill a customer £163,000 for a month's data use, thanks to a dodgy handset which was opening a data connection every 20 minutes. Alan Mazkouri had a business deal with mobile telco Orange. Last summer his phone began overheating and draining the battery, so much so that Mazkouri took the dodgy …

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  1. WraithCadmus
    Alien

    Unit of data

    Might I suggest the Doom, the size of the shareware Doom archive, who's size was so important when we were splitting it up on floppies to pass to friends?

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Unit of data

      and as a micro unit, single ICMP packet (i.e. ping itself)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unit of data

        Except a ping packet ranges in size from 28 bytes to 65536 bytes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Boffin

          Re: Unit of data

          Better than ICMP packets... how about the MTU of standard Ethernet, 1500 bytes?

          Since that fundamentally sets what size our packets are.

          1. Harry Kay
            Unhappy

            Re: Unit of data

            Boring!!

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Unit of data

      I'll give it a whirl. Based on the BBC's assertion that this was roughly the cost of downloading 15,000 music tracks, I propose the KiloBoogie, (kBg) or the overall cost of downloading 1000 70's disco tracks. So this poor blighter would have incurred 15 kBg (with all the associated brain damage that doing such a thing could inflict).

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Unit of data

        How long average per track? Disco tracks can range from relatively tame 3-minute affairs to 15 minutes plus (some of the longer songs of Donna Summers).

        1. Marc F
          Headmaster

          Re: Unit of data

          In which case: What was the compression ratio. 15m track can be a smaller file than a 3minute affair.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unit of data

        15,000 music tracks? £160K?

        At an average 3MB/track that's £3.50 per megabyte. Roaming in Asia I can understand, but who charges that much in the UK?

        1. kwhitefoot
          WTF?

          Re: Unit of data

          >but who charges that much in the UK?

          I was wondering the same. Here in Norway on my PAYG (Chilimobil) I pay the equivalent of about 12p per MB. And that is expensive per MB here but my data traffic isn't enough to warrant an all in contract. For what he paid I could download a TB but I would have to be downloading for 12 hours a day at about at the maximum rate a 3G connection can manage.

          So it seems to me there are other questions to ask Orange beyond the obvious ones about mis-configured handsets.

    3. philbo

      Re: Unit of data

      So this chap used up somewhere between a kilodoom and a megadoom?

      ..and this message is a few picodoom.

      Works for me :)

  2. Seanie Ryan
    Facepalm

    IT?

    "pinging the internet"

    for a tech site, this has to be the worst description ever. Besides the poor use of those words, I would guess the handset was doing much much more.

    Didnt say what handset it was... I wonder was it an Android device with malware or a genuine fault in the handset.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: IT?

      "Pinging the internet" is an entirely fair and accurate description of what this handset was doing. Any insinuation that we might have spotted your comment and tweaked the story is entirely false and we shall banish you to North Korea if you dare mention it again.

      (OK, OK, mea culpa)

      1. NX1977
        Holmes

        Re: IT?

        I've complained to Tmobile about high data use and hot handset. Disabling mobile data stops it dead.

        Watch the data indicator and it's clear the handset is continually switching between Tmobile and orange masts naturally sending a data packet to log on each time.

        I'm certain they are fully aware of this but they blamed my phone which doesn't do it with a Tesco SIM!

        1. BillG Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: IT?

          Get yourself a firewall. Install DroidWall and block any and all apps that do not need data access, like cameras, galleries, most games and play apps.

          Half of my apps are blocked by DroidWall. My battery life improves by 30%, performance shoots up, mobile data usage is WAY down. It's all good.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re:Droidwall

            When I came across this I was very interested, went straight to the store to download it.

            Then I realised that in order to do it you must root your device and void the warranty.

    2. BillG Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: IT?

      The phone was overheating and draining the battery.

      I'm willing to bet he had downloaded a dodgy app that was behaving as a bot, and the constant data access caused the overheating.

  3. weebs

    Taking Oranges quota charges into account, I believe the correct unit is HollyOaks.

    1 Gb = the brain power of a single HollyOaks actor, so I believe he downloaded 15 HollyOaks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No

      We're talking about units of data transmission here, not processing capacity.

      "Gb" - whether you meant gigabits or gigabytes - is not an appropriate measure of brain power.

  4. FartingHippo
    Boffin

    There's only one way to measure data usage

    Data usage should be in terms of Minutes of Porn (1 mop = xx Mb*).

    "He used about 12 kilomops, whereas his normal monthly usage was a few hundred milimops" etc, etc.

    * Let's assume SD - because HD on a phone screen is a waste of bandwidth. Hopefully more technical commentards can help with the actual conversion rate...

    1. BinDrinkin

      Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

      For audio at 128 kbps and H.264 video at 1.5 Mbps sample rates 1 Mop would be 14 Mb

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

        1.5Mbps? Sounds like you could cram HD-level porn in that bandwidth. I would think something more in the neighborhood of 500kpbs video is more to be expected from a mobile porn stream.

    2. Darryl
      Thumb Up

      Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

      I hereby vote for the 'mop' as the official Reg measure!

    3. Cubical Drone
      Thumb Up

      Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

      Ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner!!

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

      May I suggest that a milliMop is given the affectionate handle 'tissue'?

    5. Cosmo
      Devil

      Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

      Mop is good... but I quite like the sound of the Fap

      So you could have nano, micro and milliFaps for knocking out a quick one

      KiloFaps and MegaFaps for an extremely long sessions!

  5. Busby
    Thumb Up

    Assuming a business solo plan with no data bundle then it's £5 for 250mb up to a maximum of £40 then it's £0.10 per mb. Giving a total of 1,631,600mb in total.

    El Reg download unit is of course one download of "One Night in Paris" quick check on TPB gives an average file size of 630mb.

    So the download is equal to 2590 downloads of that great home movie (give or take the odd KB) which I now suggest as the official download unit.

    1. thosrtanner
      Paris Hilton

      I think Night in Paris is a bit of a mouthful so to speak. Perhaps just a Nip. So that download would be roughly 2.6Nips

      1. Busby

        I like using NIP but wouldn't it actually be 2.6 kilo NIP's?

        1. thosrtanner

          Sorry. yes, should be kNips. I can't type.

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot
      Paris Hilton

      Yep, I was going to suggest that as a suitable unit too.

      One NiP as you say is about 630mb so our chap here was faced with spunking quite a wad on 2.6 kNiPs

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Unhappy

      The BBC estimate of 15000 songs kind of suggests something like 90Gbytes (assuming MP3s of around 6Mbytes per song). But almost 11 quid a song? - even HMV's not that expensive!

      Can someone at Orange please explain to me how it is possible to receive that much data on a phone through their network in a month - half the time when I try to connect, I get bugger all - the data counter on my phone says I've only managed to download 180Mbytes since the beginning of March!

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge
        Trollface

        "Can someone at Orange please explain to me how it is possible to receive that much data on a phone through their network in a month"

        I'm not *at* Orange, but I am *on* Orange, and I routinely (except when I'm inside the office where I work or on the Metro) can get the full 7Mbps of HSDPA+ (?sp), which gives close to 1MBps. On that basis, 1GB of data would take less than an hour.

        'Course, it's Orange France, not Orange UK, but there you are.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge
          Unhappy

          @Steve the Cynic

          Funnily enough, I get a much better data connection when I'm abroad, although with roaming charges I wind down my data consumption then as much as I can!

    4. Arthur 1

      D'oh...

      Of course someone beat me to posting this.

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Stop

    Whilst I fully support "MOP" as a unit of mobile data use...

    Does it not fail the "standards" test as depending on the encoding algorithm - 1 minute of the aforementioned porn maybe more or less than another in actual data usage terms? Or something technical llike that... unless it's soft porn of course - which to me is all the same anyway.

    In relation to the story however - could he just have removed the battery?

    1. FartingHippo
      Holmes

      Re: Whilst I fully support "MOP" as a unit of mobile data use...

      Oh, no, no, no.

      The mop (it's lower case) is defined as "the data required to transmit the 11th minute of Debbie Does Dallas encoded in the MPEG-4 Part 14 format (2nd edition), at a definition of 640x480"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Whilst I fully support "MOP" as a unit of mobile data use...

        Even that's variable. You can encode that same minute at different bandwidths. You'll get differing results, but for a porno tube transmission, a rate of ~500kbps would be acceptable. You'll either need to provide a bandwidth or a quantizer setting to make a concrete result.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mute swan

    > Suggestions for a proper El Reg unit of data appreciated in the comments

    The unit should be called the Mute Swan - because said bird has a large orange bill that leaves it speechless.

    (The actual amount of data this represents is irrelevant - it's all relative!)

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Pint

      Re: Mute swan

      A good suggestion, but I can assure you that the "Mute" swan is definitely misnamed, You should hear the noise our resident pair make when something approaches their nest or cygnets. This usually happens at about 04:00 and sets off the Canada geese.

      May I therefore suggest the toucan. They too have a large orange bill1 and are known for their ring networking2.

      Cheers

      1 I drink Guinness.

      2 I may have misheard (see above).

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: Mute swan

        ""Mute" swan is definitely misnamed,"

        According to the anyone-can-edit "encyclopedia", the Mute Swan is so named because it is *less* vocal than other swans, not because it is silent.

  8. Jemma Silver badge
    WTF?

    As someone on record...

    On record as being mildly autistic...

    You people really awe & scare me.. I'm not sure whether to be stunned by the anal retentiveness or just hide till it goes away..

    In other news I'm not surprised this was Orange - but this is special olympics grade customer service even for them. Can I suggest an El Reg yearly award maybe, like the Darwins, for the most egregious company & screw up? Maybe the Zuckerberg or the Brittas awards. Can I also nominate SSE for the inaugural entry shortlist?

  9. Chris King Silver badge
    Holmes

    Seems they haven't improved since I left...

    They messed up a tariff change, and charged me for data at the wrong rate. A bill that should have been about £45 for the month came in at £220, and they seriously messed me about - claiming that the bill had been sent to be calculated when it hadn't, promising me calls from supervisors that never occurred, and repeatedly failing to record notes on my account when I called to complain. Eventually I managed to get the Executive Office to look into my complaint, and they refunded me to the tune of £200.

    As soon as the money was back in my bank account, I cancelled my accounts with them, and didn't even bother to ask for PAC codes - I was so disgusted by the way I had been treated, I didn't even bother to port my numbers. I don't trust the other networks with a direct debit either, so I've been PAYG ever since.

  10. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    The generic unit probably applies...

    "shitload"

    1. Darryl

      Re: The generic unit probably applies...

      Also, 'metric fuckton' springs to mind

      1. Steve Knox Silver badge

        Re: The generic unit probably applies...

        Also, 'metric fuckton' springs to mind

        I believe the kilomop, as described above, meets the strict definition of "metric fuckton".

  11. Slaytanic

    Gee, isn't it funny that if you wanted to make that kind of purchase with your credit card,

    you'd be speaking with the credit card company at the time of purchase, but if you wanted

    to rack up a bill like that on your cell phone that the company wouldn't call you and let

    you know that you are racking up a bill like that?

    Shock surprise that there isn't any consumer protection laws to protect the consumer from

    the "phone" companies.

  12. ecofeco Silver badge
    Boffin

    Something fishy

    There's a few things not quite right about this story.

    First and foremost, most phone companies would have cut him off after running up a far less charge. Why did it continue to such a ridiculous number?

    Most phone plans have unlimited everything for cheap, but even they cut you off after a a certain amount.

    What the hell kind of data was being transferred? The only thing I can think of that even comes close is back-to-back-to-back non-stop movies. Network pings don't even come close.

    Where was the data being stored if it was downloaded? It's not that hard to fill up your average SD and SIM card if you are downloading movies. (yes, he could have changed SD and SIM cards)

    If it was uploaded, then this points to obvious malware, but even then, that still a heck of a lot of data for a botnet node. Log in and passwords are very tiny data files.

    There is definitely something fishy going on with this story.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Something fishy

      What the hell kind of data was being transferred? The only thing I can think of that even comes close is back-to-back-to-back non-stop movies. Network pings don't even come close.

      That handset was faulty. What makes you think anything meaningful was being transferred? I remember a few years ago spending a thankless couple of days tracking down a network fault at one of those clients from hell - you know the ones - where there was no network map, no documentation to speak off, just hundreds of identical and unlabelled grey ethernet cables. Eventually I tracked down the fault - it was a 250GB WD NAS appliance whose NIC had started jabbering non stop. It had been going on for several days by the time it was eventually tracked down. A quick back of an envelope calculation suggested it was transmitting well over 8TB a day and that is was this paralyzing the network.

      That wasn't pings, nor ARP requests, nor previously requested data... it was nothing - it wasn't even formatted as ethernet frames. It was still enough to get passed around from switch to switch and cripple the entire broadcast domain. I'd imagine something similar has happened here - you are billed based on how much data you shift, not how much sense it makes.

    2. jbuk1

      Re: Something fishy

      TCP will keep trying to retransmit if it detects an error in transmission. Malformed packets would not be stored anywhere but would cause a continual loop of malformed data flowing both ways.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ ecofeco Re: "SIM card... downloading movies"

      Are you stupid? A SIM card is at best 128KB of data.

      From where do you get the notion that it would be possible to store movies on it?

      Maybe you should find out what a SIM is:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_identity_module

  13. Busby

    Been a lot of years since I worked for them but the Orange billing system was always rubbish speaking to former colleagues who still do nothing has changed. In theory a bill this high would be flagged to security who would then bar the account. However data charges are not available in real time and depending where the customer was in their billing cycle it may not have been apparent even to Orange for some weeks that the bill was approaching these levels.

    1. auburnman

      "However data charges are not available in real time"

      The pathetic thing is that appears to be true for Orange employees but not for customers. When I got massively overcharged for data (Like ten quid for a minute on Google maps, not bum-squeaking letters demanding thousands fortunately) and I phoned up Orange to complain, the poor call centre sod couldn't see the data charges yet even though I could view the charges ON ORANGE'S OWN WEBSITE at the same time.

  14. Syldra

    Why not a "maz"... honoring poor Mr Mazkouri

    Starting with Busby's guess of Mr Mazkouri's bandwith usage (1,631,600MB) it could go like this :

    1maz = 1,556TB or 1593.36GB or 1,631,600.0MB

    1mmaz = 1,556GB or 1593,36MB

    1µmaz = 1,556MB

    1kmaz = 1,556PB

    it is large enough to remain useable with current storage (sorry WraithCadmus).

  15. Herby Silver badge

    Units?

    How about an "Orange", being the amount of information he actually downloaded.

    So Mr. Mazkouri downloaded an orange of data.

    To make things clearer, maybe define an "orange" as 1Tbyte, then he downloaded 1.6 oranges of data (units should be nice round numbers).

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

    1. Shades

      Re: Units?

      I'm pretty sure that 1TB of data is pretty much 1TB of data even by El Reg Unit standards. I think the general rule of an El Reg Unit is that the measurement has to be quirky rather than just giving a standard unit a new name... like length measured in EU Linguine, Double decker buses and Brontosaurus.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Units?

      But the orange is Terry's! And since this is information we might term it a Terry's byte. So Mz Mazkouri downloaded one Terry's byte of data.

      Sorry. So sorry. I vote for the mop as the official El Reg unit.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Units?

      Forget the download plan, how about using "Orange" for a unit of Android phone shipments.

      I want to be able to compare Apples to Oranges.

      1. MadDog1980

        Re: Units?

        If your going for Android phones Samsung Galaxy are the best, Windows phones Nokia are great and Iphones well they have the power

  16. Katie Saucey
    Happy

    Proper El Reg unit of data

    The mop, (as mentioned above) sounds reasonable for data. I have a suggestion for a generic unit of rage.

    Obviously, the "Orange", would be used to describe your general experience dealing with your carrier. Here in Canada a friend has used the term "Bells" as a rage unit, as in "My anger just reached 5 BELLS!" as the phone is slammed after talking to a Bell Canada rep. So for UK carriers it could be an "Orange", although I'm not sure if 1 Orange == 1 Bell, (5 bells btw is pretty much frothing at the mouth).

    1. Doogs
      Flame

      Re: Proper El Reg unit of data - Over-The-Pond conversions

      So the North American "Bell" would be the equivalent of 1 UK "TalkTalk", then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Proper El Reg unit of data

      Mmmm, but there already is a unit called the 'bel'... used to measure magnitude. You usually hear about it spoken of in terms of decibels (dB).

  17. jonathanb Silver badge

    Hours/minutes of iPlayer HD

    I prefer to use iPlayer HD streaming as my measure of data usage. For example, "EE's cheapest tarriff offers 500MB of data per month, which would be used up in only 25 minutes of iPlayer HD streaming."

    1. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: Hours/minutes of iPlayer HD

      A typical 1 hour *SD* iPlayer programme is around 800mb - 1Gb so I'd expect a HD stream to use a fair bit more than that - are you sure 500mb is not more like 15 minutes of HD streaming?

  18. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    That could have been me....

    Fortunately, I was paying attention. At £8 per MB, with no package available where I am at the moment, my S3 pissed away three megs of data overnight, with no benefit to me! I switched off mobile data after that. I never had this problem with the Blackberry or iPhone that came before it. Android seems particularly bad in spite of my best efforts to reduce data consumption.

    1. rd232

      Re: That could have been me....

      Avast (or other) firewall does the job for me.

      1. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

        Re: That could have been me....

        That would depend on the type of data we're talking about (I think). For example, looking at the data consumed, the way the S3 does Exchange Services, particularly is push is involved, seems quite inefficient. Using Onavo Extend, for example, I was able to turn megabytes into less megabytes (but still megabytes) and I suspect the corporate email was somehow bypassing this (Onavo reports zero savings for Exchange Services).

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: That could have been me....

          +1

          "Only update while on my nominated wifi, otherwise, just prompt for app updates" should be the default.

    2. messele
      Coat

      Re: That could have been me....

      The phone in this story was (by the looks) an S3, clearly loaded to the gunnels with dodgy Android malware.

      Neither the BBC nor this article mentions that however since of course the first rule of Android Malware club is we don't talk about Android Malware club.

      1. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: That could have been me....

        Android Malware only arrives from downloading dodgy apps from *outside* the Google Play store (which means popping into settings and explicitly allowing apps to be installed from UNTRUSTED sources - and accepting the accompanying warning this generates) or being a knob and downloading apps that are clearly not what they claim to be - ie a brand new game that costs from the official developer but is somehow free from some developer with a foreign sounding name (or the name of the app often has foreign letters and symbols in the title). Both situations are no different to downloading stuff you shouldn't be downloading on a PC - or clicking that link in that email that is clearly a scam.

        There are ratings for apps and reviews - that clearly tell you if the app is any good or if it's a scam - if idiots don't bother to read them then it's their own fault.

        In this case the guy claims to be a technophobe - so it's likely to be something simple like one of the preloaded apps (probably the weather - it usually is) continuously asking for new data - or - it's a bit of a long shot - but he may of accidentally enabled the WiFi hotspot - possibly as an open hotspot instead of with encryption which any nearby Windows machine would of happily automatically connected to.

        Clearly we need more information on symptoms.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: That could have been me....

          So the advice is don't download stuff outside Google Play or stuff inside Google Play which might be bad. And then people wonder why there's Android malware.

          I think f-droid.org will still be my first port of call.

          1. Andrew Jones 2

            Re: That could have been me....

            Pretty much yes.

            Any app that causes excessive battery drain will be rated with less than 3 stars. It will be full of reviewers complaining about the excessive battery drain and a large number of reviews will be written entirely in capital letters. The app will be on it's first version and will have never been updated.

            If you download an app that wants access to send SMS for example and you can't think of a legitimate reason it would need that ability, DON'T DOWNLOAD IT.

            I'm frankly quite amazed that the people who end up with computers and phones crawling with malware have managed to stay off the Darwin awards - it really is no different than telling someone - if you don't want to die - don't stick your head in the gas oven and turn it on. Common sense applies to all aspects of life.

            As for Android Malware in general - please be aware that every single time that you hear about how bad Android Malware is - it's from a company that *just happens* to be offering an Android app to solve the problem. I have lot's of friends with Android phones and tablets - I haven't personally seen or witnessed any real Malware on any device yet - what I have however witnessed is people who download every app they can think of and then complain that their device is running like treacle - as 400 different apps attempt to run at once in the background.

          2. Andrew Jones 2

            Re: That could have been me....

            PS - thanks for the link to f-droid.org I didn't know about that one - looks interesting.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @ Andrew Jones 2

              I think you mi's'sed out 'several apo'strope's in your previou's po'st's.

              You may have also written "may of accidentally enabled".

    3. TheWeenie
      Pint

      Re: That could have been me....

      Simple solution to this - as I found out when I was in Jersey and Orange spammed me about ten times a day telling me I'd be paying 70p/Mb as I was roaming (despite the carrier being EE. Go figure.)

      Turn off background sync. Stops all of your widgets from synchronising data (i.e. weather, stocks, train times) and also the social media feeds if you use 'em. You can still use your browser and email, it just stops all of the other stuff from eating through your allowance. Turn it on once a day to get the latest updates, then disable - I don't think I went over my 30Mb/day bundle once.

      Roll on the days of truly unlimited mobile data.

      Beer, as it's Friday at last.

  19. rd232

    PMS

    The "Prime Minister's Salary" is a popular economic unit in some circles. It's £142k at the moment, so the chap was charged 1.15 Prime Minister's Salaries, or 1.15 PMS (the abbreviation is a bonus).

  20. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    "More worrying is the idea that similar faults might be lurking in other handsets"

    Uhh yeah, "faults" that's what they are. It's because "faults" are unintended things and it wouldn't be the result of a carrier installing beta software intended to bump the profit margin a bit. Yes, it was the handset that was "faulty".

    umount /dev/tinfoilhat

  21. Arthur 1
    Paris Hilton

    Suggestions for a proper El Reg unit of data appreciated in the comments

    Paris Hilton tapes, natch?

  22. evs
    Trollface

    Might I advance the "Willie"?

    Which, of course, is 47,859 bytes or the exact size of an industry standard picture of Willie Nelson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Willie_Nelson_at_Farm_Aid_2009_-_Cropped.jpg).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had something similar happen to me...

    AOL Instant Messenger service on my dumb phone, sent out a text message every half hour to the second. Imagine my surprise when I went from 50 texts a month to 1500 (mind you, this was back when texting wasn't as popular and you were charged a ton for text messaging). AOL admitted that they had a bug in their software, but AT&T refused to acknowledge that their partner, AOL, could have buggy software. I had to get some of my big wig friends in the industry to pressure AT&T to drop the charges. Needless to say, I stopped using AIM on my phone at that point.

  24. AOD
    Joke

    4 Geesus

    Is this what people mean when they say the 4G tariffs are seriously bad value for money?

    Isn't the real story that he had enough signal coverage to download that much data? I wish my Vodafail 3G signal was that solid, although not to the tune of £163k.

  25. Mr Young
    Coffee/keyboard

    15,000 music tracks? wtf

    I think some standards are required here - I suggest a 'Telegraph Road' Packet. It could be shortened to TRP because we always need more acronyms...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a Hackel? - the actual amount of data this represents is fluid and can change at a moment's notice as in the definition of a gigabyte or even a billion, caveat emptor, caveat bloody everything!

  27. Pheo
    FAIL

    I had similar problems, they chased me for several months on a phone I'd returned during the cooling off period due to the failure of their store to process it properly. Their call Center was downright rude, and made up a bunch of lies!

    In the end had to threaten to sue them before they resolved it. Six months later I'd discovered they'd put it back on my credit file! Had to complain again to get it off again!

  28. Joe Montana
    FAIL

    Unmetered...

    This is why unmetered services are so important, sure you may not normally use more than a few hundred megs in a month but with an unmetered connection you take away the risk of something like this happening.

    Same goes with water meters, one leak while you're on holiday and you could be faced with a massive bill when you get home.

    1. Chairo
      Linux

      Re: Unmetered...

      One important point about unmetered mobile network services is, that the provider really starts to care about caps. As long as they are payed by package, no matter what, they don't really give a damn if you ruin yourself. As soon as they have to care about throttling down your connection, to make sure you don't use more "premium" speed, than you payed for, expect things to change very quickly.

      As for water or gas bills - if you have one week water leakage in your home, the water bill is probably the least of your problems. Turning off water and gas before leaving your home is probably more efficient. Oh, and also unplug unneeded electrical appliances like your telly, the set-top box(es) and your IT equipment.

      Penguin - they like flooded apartments.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Unmetered...

      Data access does cost someone, somewhere down the line and unlimited, unmetered anything leads to wasteful use. The most resourceful part of the human mind is dedicated to finding ways of spending someone else's money. It's a no-go in the end.

      They could easily have a metered service with a user definable limit but why bother when they can just charge for it. For every six figure bill sent out there must be hundreds of erroneous 3 figure bills that get paid by default on business contracts and tens of thousands of 2 figure bills foisted on an unsuspecting public.

  29. M Gale

    Jesus fuckchrist

    There really should be a cap on how much you can be charged for data. Hetzner, the hosting company, will charge you something like £6 per terabyte if you go over the traffic allowance and want to keep the 100Mbit speeds. How in fuck can Orange even start to justify their costs per megabyte?

    After they've charged you twenty quid or so, that should be it and it shouldn't matter if you have ADownloader running 24/7 torrenting Linux ISOs to all and sundry. There's only so much per month a phone can download for fuxache.

  30. The Nameless Mist
    Devil

    Automated Cut-Out

    More interesting, why the fraud department at orange spot this insane charge racking up and block it?

  31. MadDog1980

    Contract option

    With the cost of limited and unlimited data allowance being £££ it may be worth going for an unlimited data package which would save this issue from showing up.

  32. Alan Denman

    these fees where the profit is

    most have to pay up as these fees are part of the business model.

    Some have them and some don't. Use Orange on contract at your own peril !

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elsewhere...

    I think the BBC said it was about 52GB of data.

    Scary thing is that on Three in my location (where I routinely get 10~15Mbps) it would technically be possible to run up that much usage in about 14 hours if something went havoc.

    With excess data charges at 5p/MB or something, bills could rack up *very* fast.

    Orange speed is so poor in my experience that it'd take a fortnight, 24/7 to download that much!

  34. Glen Turner 666
    Coat

    kt, it's not just kilotonnes of TNT

    Can I suggest the kiloteen, the data downloaded by one hundred bored teenagers using their mobiles to find something diverting enough to retain their attention.

    Related: the megameme, the data of 1000 cat photos from Reddit.

  35. Slx

    They should just stop your data connection if you exceed your bundle limits (15GB per month on my plan).

    If they're going up offer ludicrously small caps, they should only be able to enforce them by suspending the data service. These huge bills are just gouging customers who often have no clue how much data they're using.

    If you want to continue you should have to purchase another bundle of data or wait until next month.

    The system is as transparent as mud!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 pay monthly - sim only

    As I am looking at doing some continental travel from the UK using an O2 sim only package

    Its going to cost £1.99 per day for 15MB (or 25MB, depending on which site you look at) when roaming on the mainland continent, warnings sent at 80% and 100% of usage and ability to book another 15MB by a single text.

    Fairly clear and transparent.

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