Dublin dad left with phone bill of over €26,000 after 'flaw on company's system'

The South Dublin man said he “nearly collapsed” when he received the bill.

A distressed father yesterday claimed a flaw on a mobile phone company’s system led to “entrapment” and a “predatory” phone bill of over €26,000 - writes dublinlive.ie

Patrick O’Donnell, in his mid-50s, said he and his family have had to deal with serious stress since the sky-high charge was issued by Three.

He has referred the matter to his solicitor.

The South Dublin man said he “nearly collapsed” when he received a bill for €26,600 to cover the December 28 to March 3 period.

Mr O’Donnell, who has a phone plan with Three mobile which includes his wife and daughter, travels regularly and uses Wi-Fi when abroad.

However, he had a €50 daily roaming cap on his phone.

The O’Donnells travelled to the Carribean on holiday at Christmas for 10 days but the Dubliner insisted on RTE Radio One’s Liveline yesterday none of them texted asking Three to remove the cap.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror he added: “I think they are behaving appallingly – they’re sponsoring the Three [Aviva] Stadium for €55million but at the same time trying to screw people over.

“I think it’s a flaw on their system. I’m not necessarily saying Three are out here to rip people off but it’s predatory activity. It’s entrapment.

“Imagine if I said, ‘Come into my shop’, and a cup of coffee is €2. And you say, ‘Can I have two sugars? And I say to you, ‘Oh by the way sugar is €50’. I believe this is an ongoing issue and COMREG or somebody has to regulate this.”

Patrick had been away in September and got a bill for €1,500 when he returned from San Francisco. It related to his daughter’s phone but she said she hadn’t used the data and Three subsequently offered a 90% discount.

He added: “If the cap wasn’t lifted how could you incur data charges?”

A Three spokesman said: “We will continue to engage reasonably with this customer to reach a resolution.”

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