One of the most inconvenient things about traveling abroad is that you can't use your phone. Unless you're willing to pay hefty roaming charges, you're better off buying a local SIM card or not using your cell phone at all. Unfortunately, it seems no one told 14-year-old Casey Snook this. The schoolgirl was recently faced with a £3,800 phone bill from her provider when she returned from her holidays.
The Daily Mail reports that Snook and her mother were holidaying in New York at the end of May and the teenager was using her smartphone to post photos and updates to Facebook. The teenager apparently received a text message from Orange, her carrier, four days into the trip, informing her that she had gone over her data limit and that her normal £50 bill was now £320. The carrier blocked calls and texts but did not block data, and so the schoolgirl continued to use her phone (though the Daily Mail does report her mother told her to stop using it until they got home).
When they got back from their holiday, they got a call from Casey's dad, who said the total bill was £3,800. Casey's mum doesn't understand why they received no further warnings regarding the overage charges while Orange insists multiple messages were sent. Not only that, but the company also asked Casey if she wanted to use data despite going over her limit and she supposedly clicked 'yes.' Orange says they have a number of protections in place when roaming, and that they're even automatically opted-in to a data roaming cap that limits charges to £49 for a set amount of data.
"Customers receive warning texts to alert them of their data usage and we have an app that helps them monitor data usage, and opt-in to a data bundle if needed," Orange told the Daily Mail. "In this instance the customer received numerous text alerts which updated them on the roaming costs for the USA, and also updated them on their data usage. Once they had reached the limit of their data bundle, the customer actively opted out of our roaming data cap so that they could continue to use data, effectively removing the in-built protection from large data roaming bills."
Casey's parents are going to pay the bill but say the rates are ridiculous, that it's extortion, and that their daughter doesn't remember opting out of her roaming data cap. They also want to know why they didn't receive more warnings from Orange.