Katie Bryan of Lighthorne, England was in South Africa on vacation when she suddenly had an urge to listen to some Neil Diamond. She took out her phone, found a greatest hits album for £8.99 ($15.05) and downloaded it. That impulse purchase would turn out to be a devastatingly expensive one, as England’s The Telegraph reports.
When Ms. Bryan, a 43-year-old math teacher, returned to the United Kingdom from South Africa she learned that her bank account was more than £2,000 ($3,348) overdrawn. It was the result of a charge by Orange, her mobile phone provider, for £2,609.31 ($4,366.42). So, what gives? It turns out that the download, which took around 20 minutes to complete, cost her £8 ($13.39) per megabyte (MB), “once her 10 MB monthly foreign allowance had been used up.” The download had used 326 MB of data.
Fortunately, she won’t be on the hook for the entire bill. After some back and forth, Bryan was offered a £400 fee that would cover the cost of her download. Her bank also gave her back all the money that had been drawn from her account. Ms. Bryan understands she’s not blameless for this whole ordeal. In an interview with BBC Radio 5, she said, “Stupid, yes. I don’t really, didn’t really realize how big an album was in megabytes and what it was costing and yes, I shouldn’t have done it.” That being said, she also thinks that Orange is, “preying on people who make a mistake while abroad.”
In case you were wondering – Ms. Bryan isn’t even all that big a fan of Neil Diamond. She told The Telegraph that when she downloaded the greatest hits collection, there wasn’t, “a particular song that I wanted to hear. I'm really not that big a Neil Diamond fan. And I'd already got his Essential Neil Diamond CD at home, in my car."