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UK Businessman Hit with £11,000 Roaming Bill

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A British businessman has been hit with a 11,000 (US$22,000) mobile data roaming fee after his wife used an "unlimited" data account to download several TV shows via a mobile phone. A report in the Sunday Times says that the wife of a business executive used his phone to start the file downloads while they were in the UK. However, he took his phone on a trip to Germany, and once back in coverage the handset resumed the data download, at overseas roaming rates.

Had the download occurred completely within the UK, it would have been free of charge as part of their tariff.

The first the businessman knew of the problem was upon his return to the UK, when Vodafone called to advise him of the issue.

The story will only offer support to the EU's telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding who has been battling to lower mobile data roaming tariffs. "Sending a text message or downloading data in another country should not be substantially more expensive than at home," Reding has said. "Higher retail charges abroad must be justified or they will have to disappear."

Earlier this year, another Vodafone customer, Ian Simpson, a 29 year old factory worker chose to use his mobile phone as a modem for data downloads - which was not included in his tariff. His 27,000 (US$54,000) bill was later written off by the company following a campaign by a national tabloid newspaper.

On the web: Sunday Times - Ian Simpson

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Tags: mobile data  roaming  modem  UK