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Girl, 10, lands Shrewsbury dad with £1,792 phone bill over loom band videos

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A 10-year-old Shropshire girl racked up a £1,792 bill on her father's mobile phone after downloading hundreds of videos on how to make loom bands.

Trinity Groves ran up the massive phone bill over a two-week period on the Nokia Lumia after her home's wi-fi stopped working.

Father Philip, 35, was unaware his daughter had instead been using Vodafone's premium rates for internet in order to access YouTube videos.

The schoolgirl watched 28 hours worth of online tutorials on how to make loom bands so she could impress her friends at school.

Her father only found out when his September bill landed on the doorstep of his home in Shrewsbury to see he had been charged £1,411.

He then phoned Vodafone to contest the amount and cancel his contract – but was dealt a double blow when they slapped an extra £381 cancellation fee on top.

His latest bill which he received on October 15 stands at £1,792.84 for the month of September.

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Roofer Philip has criticised the phone network for charging him the extortionate fee without any prior warning and said he might now need to sell his work van to afford the costs.

He said: "She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the wi-fi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected.

"We didn't know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate.

"As far as I was aware, the wi-fi was connected. I wasn't informed otherwise.

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"If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know.

"Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it's frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don't know where to turn."

After the single father-of-one disputed the bill, he was then informed he had been blacklisted by Vodafone.

But the company are still demanding that he coughs up at least £1,410 by October 26.

Philip said: "They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing.

"They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can't afford it.

"How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It's disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything."

Trinity said she had been left feeling "very sad" after learning she had ran up the bill watching clips about loom bands.

She said: "When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands.

"I like to watch the YouTube videos on my phone, they teach me new techniques and different ways of doing the bands. I spent a lot of time watching the videos because they are long.

"I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it's made me very sad."

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: "We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter.

"We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded."

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