Four Episodes of Friends Cost One Man $22,000

Stories like this keep us up at night. One woman was using her husband's Vodafone mobile phone to download four episodes of Friends. The downloads were interrupted as the man left his home in the UK for a business trip in Germany, but once his plane touched down, the downloads continued.

(As the headline suggests, this doesn't end well.)

When the man arrived back home, Vodafone actually called his firm to alert him of the huge data charge coming in the mail—all £11,000 of it—based upon some sort of punishing out-of-network rate from the Germany portion of the downloads (despite the fact that Germans using Vodafone don't pay £11,000 phone bills every month).

Given that this isn't the first time mobile carriers have exploited their Europe-trotting customers, the European Union commissioner is giving wireless companies until July 1st to justify exorbitant cross-boundary charges.

We wish Vodafone the best of luck in their great time of difficulty. [telegraphuk]