Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman: 2013 - 2014 Annual Report
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Peter's complaint

Peter contacted us about coming home to a bill 10 times greater than usual after a seven-day holiday overseas.

What the consumer told us

Peter tried to avoid a high bill by looking up roaming rates on his provider’s website. He misread the information because it compared 10kb of domestic internet usage to 1kb of international internet usage.

While he was overseas, Peter stopped using his mobile after receiving text messages that said he had accrued $400 in excess usage charges. He called his provider as soon as he returned to Australia, and it agreed to credit back $300.

After this, Peter’s bill came to $1,600, which was automatically charged to his credit card.

What we did

We asked the provider to show what pricing information it gave Peter before he left, and what they had done to limit his risk of getting such a high bill.

The provider conceded that the information on their website could have been confusing and that it was unusual for Peter’s account to run up $1,600 in seven days.

How the complaint was resolved

The provider offered to reduce the bill to $60 and refunded the rest of the money it had charged. The provider has since made the information on its website clearer.