Greedy Glitch in Pay-as-You-Go Phone Left Woman Over $40,000 in Debt

Illustration for article titled Greedy Glitch in Pay-as-You-Go Phone Left Woman Over $40,000 in Debt

Once, I bought a cheap pre-paid international mobile phone at Target, to bring on vacation to Mexico so as to avoid futzing with my iPhone's data and roaming and such.

The phone I got ended up not working, so I spent my whole vacation asking to borrow other people's mobile phones and buying calling cards to the States when I had to. On top of that, the number that came with my useless phone was still associated with the mobile account of some dude who didn't pay his phone bill ever, complicating my return/refund process immensely.

Apparently, it gets worse.

Recently, a woman from the UK purchased a pay-as-you-go phone from the mobile provider Orange, to bring with her on a vacation to Cwmdu near Llandudno (in Wales), where her own phone would have no signal. A simple enough solution to stay connected while abroad, people do this kind of thing all the time. Much to her great horror, a glitch in the phone's payment system had been withdrawing the equivalent of US $30 every 10 minutes (!!!), for days, when she went to check her bank account and saw that she was over US $40,000 in debt!


Fortunately, both her bank, NatWest, and Orange were cooperative in returning the funds to her account, correcting the error, and apologizing for the headache of a fiasco that clearly soured her holiday. TECHNOLOGY! [DailyMail]

Image via Trinacria Photo/Shutterstock

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If you did that as a private individual with a technical error, you would probably land in prison. But giant corporations operate under a separate set of rules.