ONE of our Manchester clients ran up a £31,500 mobile phone bill after downloading the series finale of a popular TV show while away in Portugal.

Iayn Dobsyn said he was staggered when he opened the letter, as his normal bill is around £150. Mr Dobsyn had run up the charges after not realising that his contract package did not cover web use abroad.

While holidaying in Portugal, Iayn downloaded the series finale of hit US drama Prison Break, shown on Sky, by using a mobile broadband card in his laptop. In addition he also downloaded some music tracks.

Mr Dobsyn, an IT contractor, was determined to fight the bill: “There had to be some mistake. I knew I had used a lot of data while abroad, but not to the tune of £31,000. The figures just didn’t make sense. It was ludicrous, but I was going to take this all the way to the end.”

Solicitor Danielle Mestraud, based in the firms’ Manchester branch, investigated the bill from Yes Telecom, a Manchester based company.

Yes Telecom initially said in an email to Danielle: “We accept the bill was very high compared to Mr Dobsyn’s normal usage, but we would have expected Mr Dobsyn to make himself fully aware of the charges associated with using his data card abroad before he went.”

However, Danielle’s tenacity managed to get it knocked down to £229!

Danielle commented: “When Mr Dobsyn came to the Farleys free advice clinic I was not surprised to hear that he wanted to dispute a bill from the telecommunications company in relation to usage whilst abroad.  The European Commission is currently looking to reduce the rates, which telecommunication companies can impose upon their clients for usage whilst abroad in the EU, in some cases by more than 50 per cent. This highlights the importance of taking legal advice in disputed debt cases, but we would advise everyone to check the small print on their mobile phone contracts to avoid being overly charged.”

To speak with a Solicitor at Farleys Solicitors LLP please contact us by e-mail or call us now on 0845 287 0939.