$150,000 phone bill shock for customer

A woman has been slapped with a massive mobile phone bill of nearly $150,000 after returning from a holiday.

The customer who was on a nine-week European vacation returned to the horror bill and found her phone charges cost more than the entire trip.

She then battled with her carrier who reduced the $147,908 global roaming fee to $1147 but not before the matter was raised with the watchdog.

Telecom Industry Ombudsman’s summary of its latest complaints shows this is not the only instance where customers have been handed a sky-high bill.

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At least two others have complained to the ombudsman's office about bills of $38,000 and $18,000.

These three bills were among $8 million worth of disputed global roaming charges between July 2011 and last September, the Ombudsman’s report reveals.

Last week, reports emerged of a Telstra customer receiving with a massive $28,000 phone bill despite having informed the telco that he had lost his phone.

According to media reports, Rayden Crawley was in Barcelona when he lost his phone and frantically contacted Telstra to cut his account.

Read Crawley’s full story here.

The number of new complaints to the watchdog decreased by almost 19 per cent, between April and June this year, and fell another 11 per cent between July and September, ombusdman Simon Cohen has been quoted as saying.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is developing an industry standard to combat bill shock for international travellers.

The TIO's recommendations are that companies get proper consent before activating global roaming, supply clear cost details and be allowed to restrict access to roaming when charges are rapidly building.

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