Catering boss blames glitch for £9400 phone bill

Jillian Simon with her �9400 bill. Picture: Toby Williams
Jillian Simon with her �9400 bill. Picture: Toby Williams
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A catering boss could not sleep for a week after being hit with a £9400 mobile phone bill she claims was clocked up by a fault.

Fed-up Jillian Simon, 38, was horrified when she logged on to her online account and discovered a bill 78 times her usual amount.

“My initial reaction was to laugh,” said the mum-of-one, who is disputing the matter with Orange. She believes it was caused by a faulty app on her iPhone.

“I only ever use half my data allowance normally so I don’t even check it.

“When I rang up Orange the first person I spoke to laughed and said there must be some sort of mistake. But then they said there were several dates where there had been a data surge and I must have been downloading.

“They were saying I had been on the internet and had been using data at 12 o’clock at night. I knew it was wrong.

“I couldn’t sleep for a week after that, it’s been so stressful.”

Mrs Simon, who has been a business customer with the network provider for five years, took her phone to the Orange store in Cameron Toll.

Staff confirmed her data allowance had overran to 5.8GB, the equivalent of downloading 100 films, or nearly six times her allowance. They offered to settle the bill at a “discretionary rate” of £480 but Mrs Simon refused to pay.

Mrs Simon, who runs Greens Deli, in Craigmillar, told Orange staff she only uses her iPhone to take customer orders online and has never come close to exceeding her quota.

She believes a faulty e-mail 
application, which she claims had not been working properly in the weeks leading up to the bill, must be to blame.

“I’d usually get between 15 and 20 work e-mails a day but there was one period where I didn’t get any for a week. When they did come through it was all at the same time, the phone went blank and it turned off.

“It was only after three times of ringing Orange and explaining this that they suggested un-installing it and that seems to have resolved the problem.”

An Apple diagnostics test found nothing wrong with the phone but said a fault with the e-mail was a plausible cause.

The matter has been passed on to Orange’s financial team leaving Mrs Simon and husband Alex, 39, in limbo.

An Orange spokesperson confirmed the matter was under investigation.

Last month, Orange apologised to Chris Bovis, from Essex, after his faulty iPhone left him with a £20,000 bill.