arghhhh £200+ phone bill in 1 week - wwyd??

(21 Posts)
newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 13:56:27

arghhhhh

a couple of months ago I stupidly got DSD (age 17) a contract phone as its been hard to get her to keep in contact due to lack of credit and she is very naiive when it comes to living in a city (she moved in with us last sept to go to college from a hamlet where she lived with her mum). She's generally a good girl, very quiet but also very lazy (DH's words) and very selfish (again DH's words)... we have been nagging her to get a job all year but she claims she doesn't have time between college (3 half days) and her boyfriend (another lazy sod without a job) and she doesn't even try - I give her 2-5 leads a week from around town and my own contacts...

anyway, last week I noticed she only had 13 mins talk time left until tomorrow when it re-sets and so told her not to use it to call except for emergencies.... she has blatently ignored me! angry

I looked online today to see how much the bill would be tomorrow and in 1 week she has wracked up £200.24 of calls!!! all to one number, her boyfriend.

she gets in from seeing him at 9pm (lives the other side of town), has dinner and then says she is tired and is going to bed at about 10. It would appear she then calls him. On halloween night she called him for 20 mins, then had a 5 min break, then another hour+, then a break and then another 45 mins... that day alone cost £76.31!!!

I am furious! We are so skint and she knows this, we have had family meetings about cutting back on electricity/water/food because we are skint and yet she does something so selfish and stupid as this!

She has no money (I give her pocket money £15 a month) because she won't get a job and so cannot pay this back at the moment but I have told her she is to be home by 5pm today and must spend this afternoon alone (ie without boyfriend) looking for a job with a plan of how to pay for this....

WWYD? The contract is only 2-3 months old and it will have a huge get out fee and so ending it won't be an option and as long as she keeps within the limits I don't mind paying for that but I cannot and will not pay these charges for her. I have told her that from now on her phone stays in the lounge after 10pm and she has to earn back the trust but what other sanctions/punishments would you guys use?

It has really upset me as I am normally her advocate and encourage DH to let her be more of a young adult but to be honest she does seem to act and think more like a 13-14 year old due to her sheltered life with her mum.... sad

LFCisTarkaDahl Fri 02-Nov-12 13:59:15

Well it's too late to undo history and go back to not buying her a contract phone.

If I were you I'd block calls apart from to home, sell her stuff to pay the money back, and tell her she's only allowed to text.

scurryfunge Fri 02-Nov-12 14:02:35

Can you set up a block that stops any further calls when a limit is reached? Speak to the provider about it.
I'd take the phone off her completely until the bill is paid.

Groovee Fri 02-Nov-12 14:06:37

My daughter's phone has a cap. It means she doesn't go over her limit as it stops it. She often runs out of minutes just before the change over but has unlimited texts and data.

How much is her contract and what is her allowance?

newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 14:10:47

it's with orange and when I was setting it up I asked her what she normally does and her response was text and internet, only calls to dad and no one else so I went for a deal with 100 mins (plenty if only calling DH 2-3 times a week for 1 min) unlimited texts and a huge data bundle....

this calling her boyfriend is a new thing apparently....

I tried calling orange earlier but it was a 20min+ wait and I am in work but will try again later but I remember someone else saying recently that Orange don't do caps which is a real pain....

anklebitersmum Fri 02-Nov-12 14:11:42

Yup, I think I'd be on a mission to sell her kit to recompense the cash and the phone calls would be barred too.

She'd also be on 'block jobs' until she gets a job. Trust me, if one of mine did that the house would be spotless and they'd only be stopping for meals and bedtime.

But I am a mean mean draconian Mummy grin

NatashaBee Fri 02-Nov-12 14:21:11

If she's calling him from home, why can't she just skype him? Anyway, yes, she needs to pay it back - either via a job or doing chores round the house for a set amount of money which goes towards the phone bill. I would take the contract phone for now, and if you want her to have a phone for safety reasons, then maybe you can buy her a kids phone like one of these:

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/mobile/galleries/view/mobile/mobiles-for-kids/browse/1

that will only dial you rather than her friends.

newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 14:46:07

I think she doesn't skype because this is happening when she is supposidly asleep and we turn off the broadband at 11pm....

I love the Imaginarium Mo1 but it's more expense grin

I am very prepared to be draconian mother and fully intend that she learns from this....

newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 16:18:57

weird development... DH and I have just tried calling her and it comes back with 'Calls from this number are barred'... is it possible she has barred our numbers from calling her?

NatashaBee Fri 02-Nov-12 18:09:17

Possibly - or are you calling from a witheld number? If you're calling from a landline, can you add 141 to the number, or try a different phone number that she won't know?

newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 18:51:16

I'll try tomorrow I've taken her phone off her tonight along with her electronic bits so she can think about what she has done and plan how to get a job and pay me back

YellowTulips Fri 02-Nov-12 20:23:25

I would take the phone off her and not allow her to have it back until she has repaid an agreed amount of the bill (I assume you were expecting to fund text etc to a degree, say £30 per month, so she need to find the remainder). If that means no pocket money for a year so be it, in other words if she wants her phone back anytime soon she is going to have to get a job.

I would also contact the supplier and see if they can put a cap on the calls and restrict the numbers she can call (I assume the contract is in your name) and also query why your number was barred.

If I found she had barred your number, contract or not she would not be getting the phone back given it was provided with the express intention of allowing you to keep in touch with her.

brdgrl Fri 02-Nov-12 21:37:59

Um, really? That phone would be gone. Gone. The only way she'd see a phone again, from me and DH, would be after she'd paid back the bill, and then it would be a PAYG with free calls to us (which is what my DSCs have thru O2).

Glad you have taken it off her now, but it sounds like you aren't going far enough.

newyearnewattitude Fri 02-Nov-12 22:59:44

Thanks, I want to go harder on her but was worried I might push it too hard, and yet I know that if it was ds (13) I would be harder... Its that old chestnut of not knowing how far dh will really back me up....

I have grounded her so no boyfriend or manga/internet cafe until she gets a job and home by 5 each night after job hunting and college.....

She knows this has screwed up her little sisters birthday (3rd) this month and put xmas at risk but I don't think she really cares....

brdgrl Fri 02-Nov-12 23:24:25

sorry, i didn't mean to sound harsh, was just ARGGGH on your behalf! I totally understand that spot you are in...

brdgrl Fri 02-Nov-12 23:26:20

and the job thing...having the same struggle here; DSD is meant to be looking for a part-time job to save money for uni, but she is absolutely not taking it seriously, and seems to think we'll just come up with it all really.

queenofthepirates Fri 02-Nov-12 23:34:46

I think you're doing all the right things. I racked up a bill of £150 15 years ago (calling my bf from Australia) and my mum went mental. She simply cut off my allowance at uni until the bill was paid. Simple, sharp and fair (and I felt it was fair at the time). Lesson learnt and I'm a valuable member of society, I promise.

softsteady Mon 17-Jun-13 23:28:14

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DeskPlanner Wed 19-Jun-13 12:16:23

Zombie Thread

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