Roaming charges on mobile phones are renowned for being stupidly expensive, but a Vodafone customer found out the hard way that mobile broadband charges abroad verge on the wrong side of ludicrous.

In a seemingly innocent mistake, Will Pierce and his son Louis downloaded British TV shows of Top Gear and Kavanagh QC while on holiday in Meribel using a Vodafone's data card which landed them with a bill of £21,716.

The reason: the card charges by the megabyte, so each show cost around £5,000 to download – or £300 per minute.

Exceptionally rare

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Pierce said about the incident "I nearly fell over when I saw the bill. It was just unbelievable. I never imagined it would cost so much to watch a few TV programmes.

"I'm amazed that Vodafone could allow an individual to run up such a huge bill without any warning or agreement of a credit limit. It's utterly staggering.

"There's no warning when you log on how much it will cost a minute or a counter on the screen telling you what it is costing. If you ran up such a bill on your credit card while overseas you'd get a call checking that it is you who is spending so much."

As a goodwill gesture, Vodafone has decided to relinquish the bill and insist that "such bills are exceptionally rare."

However, while this is a shocking bill to receive, you'd think Mr Pierce would have twigged the possible charges after multiple news stories where users have run up similar costs have constantly appeared in the media, such as the man who spent £11,000 watching Friends in Germany.

Via Daily Mail