A Calgary man who mistakenly believed that a $10 "unlimited mobile browser plan" would enable him to surf the internet with impunity, "downloading high-definition movies and other bandwidth-hungry applications", was slapped with an $85,000 bill for his trouble.
According to Canada's Globe and Mail, 22-year-old Piotr Staniaszek recently decided to renew his wireless contract with Bell Mobility, and got a new phone in return. He quickly connected the phone to his PC and hit the web.
About 10 days ago, the bad news arrived in the form of a bill to his parents' house - $60,000 in mobile phone charges for November alone. It then got worse: when Staniaszek rang Bell Mobility, he was told the total had risen to $85k "because the company was charging him on a per-kilobyte basis".
Staniaszek explained to CBC News: "I told them I wasn't aware that I would be charged for hooking up my phone to the computer. I'm going to try and fight it because I didn't know about the extra charges. Nobody explained any of this to me."
Bell has since made a "goodwill gesture" and reduced Staniaszek's bill to a mere $3,243, calcluated on charging him "the best data plan available for using cellphones as a modem", as company spokesman Mark Langton explained.
Langton added that Staniaszek "should have known that using the cellphone as a modem wasn't part of his data plan, and that it wasn't 'accidental'". He concluded: "When the customer downloaded the software to do so, a warning came up that said there would be additional data charges on top of the mobile browser plan." ®