I heard about this yesterday, and seeing this BBC report reminded me that a rant was in order.
The summary is that a Canadian man managed to run up a bill of $85,000 by using his mobile phone as a modem. He assumed, foolishly perhaps, that this kind of use would be included in the “unlimited web use” package he was paying for. Easy mistake to make, after all data is data, and the average user isn’t going to appreciate that a full-sized computer is going to suck down a lot more bytes than a phone’s little browser. The alarming thing is that the phone operator didn’t either disconnect his service or at least call him to tell him that if he carried on he’d owe them a scary amount of money. As they have, he says, previously cut off his service when he was as little as $100 over limit, it does seem utterly bizarre that they would allow this to happen.
The “no leg to stand on” view is strengthened by a quote in this Canadian report. A spokesman for the company said
Bell cannot monitor the activities of every one of its customers
Of course they can! How the photon else to they manage to send out bills for $85,000 if they are not monitoring use? And surely they should have systems in place that would set off alerts when extreme changes in use happen?