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Can someone advise me please. Sick with Worry.

(34 Posts)
LosingTheWillToLive Thu 01-Sep-11 22:19:11

I don't know where to turn. I've been living in absolute denial for the past few days and every time I think about this problem, I feel nauseas.

I received my Orange mobile bill a few days ago; it was odd for me to look at it as I never stray over my limit but this time, I did. My usual £35 contract was instead over £600. I started to physically shake as soon as I saw it. I've examined it and apart from a few texts and picture messages that I sent whilst I was in France a few weeks ago (which I completely remember sending) the rest apparently is internet usage.

I clearly remember using Google once or twice and I tried to download a free mosquito repellent App (unsuccessfully) but nothing apart from that. Nothing.

I've also recently had a call from Barclays Fraud Dept who had to stop my card due to fraudulent activity on my account. I feel sick with worry if I've not noticed other monies going missing from my account, and even sicker when I think of the Orange Bill. I really don't know what to do, or where to turn. I know I need to contact Orange (money is taken out on the 9th) but I can't bring myself to do it.

Are these two connected somehow? It seems odd that they've popped up at the same time.

I'd appreciate any advice you can give me here.

kangers Thu 01-Sep-11 22:22:55

I would call them- you would have had to do something quite different to get such a large bill. Call them and tell them you have done nothing different and ask them to investigate. Cancel DD and just pay normal amount. Perfectly reasonable and they should be fine with that- wait for them to investigate.

Ponders Thu 01-Sep-11 22:25:06

did you access the internet while in France - even accidentally? (my phone can do it by itself in my pocket if the wrong button gets nudged) only that costs a fortune

GalaxyGuzzler Thu 01-Sep-11 22:30:14

You definatly need to phone them to find out what has happend, its not going to just disapear, and the longer you leave it the longer you will worry about it. Also if you don't know what has caused this whats to say that it wont continue running up further bills.

BarbaraWoodlouse Thu 01-Sep-11 22:31:16

Call them!

As Ponders says, could be that your phone was accessing the internet without you knowing (some smart phones periodically check for data updates for example).

Some good stuff here about how this might happen and also how you might be able to get help if this is the case (see "if you get a big bill" section).

LosingTheWillToLive Thu 01-Sep-11 22:58:05

Thanks to you all for replying.

Will they be able to see what's been checked on the internet? I admit to not being the greatest on anything technological (usually rely on DH) and I'm worried that I've left something 'on' when checking about the area of France I was staying. I also used the Map App when I was driving from the Airport to my destination. If they show that up, then it IS me and I'm going to be scuppered.

Shit, I can't take any more frights this year. DH is in long term hospital care and I've been juggling everything sad

I know I've got to get a grip of myself and call. Am just frightened that they'll say it WAS me that run up such a huge bill and that they (and I) will have no option but to take me to court.


OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 01-Sep-11 23:03:08

If you are responsible (and I'm sorry to say it's quite possible, yours isn't the first such story I've read) they won't take you to court, they'll let you pay it up. And they might even knock some off if you sob at the right moments.

CointreauVersial Thu 01-Sep-11 23:04:01

Talk to Orange, they might be able to come to some arrangement. They are getting a lot of stick in the press at the moment about their astronomic data charges when abroad which hit unsuspecting people with massive bills, so they might be flexible.

It is probable you left the phone connected when you were in France - if I leave my connection open it updates the BBC news, the e-mails, all sorts, whether I want it to or not. Not a problem in the UK, of course.

Don't worry too much about the Barclaycard - if they've spotted the fraud you shouldn't be liable.

thisisyesterday Thu 01-Sep-11 23:05:01

ok , there is no reason why they would take you to court is there? unless they prove it was you and you refused to pay.

so first thing tomorrow call them. say that you have noidea why your bill is so big, tell them about what you have used it for and ask if they can give you any idea as to where the rest of the internet usage is from

if it turns out that you have accidentally had something switched on, then see what they can do about it. you may be able to get it reduced.
if it ends up with you needing to pay the £600 then you can ask to pay it in installments.
trust me, they don't want to get courts involved etc etc, they would rather just get their money and they should be more than willing to set up an extra £10 a month or whatever until it's all paid off

I know you've had a big shock, and I would feel exactly the same, but remember this is nothing that can't be fixed. chin up!
you'll feel better for talking to them tomorrow and getting it sorted rather than fretting over it

Ponders Thu 01-Sep-11 23:05:18

sorry about your DH, Losing - you really don't need this anxiety, do you? sad

if it does turn out that was you accessing it by mistake, ask if you can pay it off in instalments.

(but I'm a bit surprised about the amount, because when I googled I found articles about the charge being capped at under £50 since last summer, & they're supposed to notify when you're close to that limit. You may be able to challenge it if that didn't happen.

BBC news article

'Under the rules:

Operators must send details of data roaming charges to customers when they enter another EU country
A warning when 80% of the limit is used must be sent by text message, e-mail, or pop-up window on a computer
Customers should be cut off when they reach the agreed limit or the default maximum of 50 euros.'

So you definitely need to talk to them about it. Good luck smile)

anniebee Fri 02-Sep-11 02:45:52

Please please please stop worrying. The same thing happened to me and Barclays stopped my account. The good thing is you have discovered it so soon so they can do something about it. Please don't be sick with worry you will be absolutely find as soon as you speak to someone at Barclays.


Naoko Fri 02-Sep-11 11:46:52

The bill for £600 cannot possibly be right due to new EU rules about data roaming charges, unless you have specifically opted out of the default limit. You need to phone them and find out what the deal is with it. While you were in France, did you get any texts from your provider about it? You should have done, I've been abroad since the rules came in and got them every time.

The card fraud will get sorted, this happened to me last year and although it was very worrying I got the money that had been stolen back within days and all my cards replaced.

Take a deep breath and ring Orange. It will work out. Good luck. smile

thisisyesterday Sat 03-Sep-11 20:42:44

hi losing... did you phone orange yet? what did they say?

LosingTheWillToLive Mon 05-Sep-11 12:59:43

I've this minute got off the phone from Orange. It's taken me until now to pluck up the courage.

I'm gutted. I didn't get further than a minute on the phone because their Advisor stated that they cannot help me since the contract is in DH's name. I said that it was a christmas present and that while he pays for it every month, it's me that has sole use.

I don't know where to turn now. DH has been really poorly and cannot know about this stress. I can't deal with this myself though because Orange won't talk to me.

What do I do? Feel so distressed.

TeamDamon Mon 05-Sep-11 13:14:37

Is your DH in hospital or at home? If he is at home you can just tell him that you need to contact Orange about a routine thing and hopefully he just has to give them permission to talk to you instead of him, iyswim.

Did you explain your DH's situation to the advisor? Perhaps you could try to be more assertive - explain the problem, that there is no one else to deal with it except you and therefore they have to help you find a solution. Ask to speak to someone senior if necessary.

I know it's awful, but you just have to grit your teeth and keep going - doing nothing is guaranteed to make you feel worse than taking action.

LosingTheWillToLive Mon 05-Sep-11 13:17:59

OK TeamDamon. Will try again.
Keep choking up on the phone, and taking a deep breathe doesn't seem to be working. God - so scared about this.

caughtinanet Mon 05-Sep-11 13:19:11

I know its a bit of a cheek but do you have a brother/Dad/trusted friend who could pretend to be your DH and discuss it with Orange?

As others have said it will almost certainly be roaming internet charges which can rack up really quickly but as Ponders has shown you should have pretty good grounds to get them to at least reduce the charge or accept installments.

Its an awful situation to be in but you really do need to get it sorted

spookshowangellovesit Mon 05-Sep-11 13:22:27

you need to be pushier with the advisor. if they wont help you ask to speak to their supervisor and explain your situation to them. if your husband is in long term hospital care they must have something in place for a problem like that.

Supersunnyday Mon 05-Sep-11 13:25:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LydiaWickham Mon 05-Sep-11 13:30:34

Have posted on your other thread - just to say, if they want the money, they've got to be able to prove they tried to get this sorted - they need to make this easy for you to pay/work out if you actually owe it.

It might be a mistake on their behalf, first rule of dealing with big companies, don't automatically assume the person who screwed up was you, just because they do.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Sep-11 13:31:31

Try again.

My friend used her iPhone on holiday and came home to a €1000+ bill. (She lives in Germany). She told them that she was not aware that using the internet would be so expensive and they reduced the bill by half.

The mobile phone providers are crooks - the roaming charges are absolutely inacceptable.

And tell them that your DH is ill in hospital, and that you cannot worry him wtih this.

MmeLindor. Mon 05-Sep-11 13:33:28

Agree with Spooks. They must be able to do something in a case like this.

<passes Swiss choc>

Deep breath, and give it another go.

jimswifein1964 Mon 05-Sep-11 13:33:38

I'm on orange, and when I got my free upgrade handset I got a bill with internet usage on... even tho I'd changed to a contract specifically with no internet usage, to try and save money. I had disabled the handset's ability to connect, but apparentlyit was still doing so at random, when I walked into areas etc. The orange tech guy was mystified but tried to help, and had to switch off internet from their end. So now I cant use my free picture bundle that they gave me as loyalty thing hmm . The accounts people, however, were horrible. They refuinded me but kept telling me it was a one-off and wouldnt happen again, in a very patronising tone.

Scootergrrrl Mon 05-Sep-11 13:36:11

Do keep trying. We had a situation with Orange a couple of years back where I was given wrong information by one of their customer advisors and ended up with a £300 bill. It took a good few phone calls but when they realised we weren't just going to pay up, a manager agreed it was wrong and refunded the money.

Be brave, make the call standing up (supposed to help you be more assertive!) and don't let them fob you off. The person you spoke to is probably some jobsworth reading off a sheet - agree you should definitely speak to someone senior. Repeat after me - I'm a big, brave lion, I'm a big, brave lion grin

scrambedeggs Mon 05-Sep-11 13:44:35

if your phone is set to check emails automatically that can rack up the bill. Do you have anything like a msn chat thing, or GPS tracker, that can add up

also i had an enormous bill while in usa just from sending texts, as you have to pay to send and receive

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