$5000 Vodafone Bill for iOS 7 Update Download


Can updating your iPhone to the latest operating system cost you $5000? Apparently, it can if you are traveling outside your country’s borders, as is the case with the British Vodafone customer show (via the Telegraph).

Tom Galanis considers himself an Internet-savvy person, but he had to reconsider his belief after downloading the latest iOS update during his US vacation. Since his iPhone froze, he thought it would be better to update it, so he began downloading by connecting the device to his MacBook.

“During dinner, I checked in on the download/install,” he said. “It was happening alright, but at some point the Wi-Fi had disconnected and the connection had switched to my apparently still operational 3G signal. Two messages had appeared on my phone from Vodafone, partially alerting me to my impending doom.

“You have now spent £270 on mobile data today,” said one.
“You have now spent £495 on mobile data today,” said another.
“Gobsmacked, I pulled out the cable. I had paid 500 quid for something that was out of my control!”

What he saw the next morning was something he will never forget: he had downloaded 888.051 MB of data and added nearly $5000 to his bill, because his carrier, Vodafone, charges roughly $9.23 for the first 5 MB, and $5.54 per megabyte thereafter.

Cell bill shock ju top 2

After contacting Vodafone regarding his bill, Galanis first obtained 10% off the bill as a goodwill gesture. But Galanis wasn’t satisfied with that, so he penned a letter of complaint to Vodafone and crossed his fingers, hoping to get a bigger discount.

And everything is okay if there is a happy ending. Despite his not having chosen the data-cap option, Vodafone decided to waive the charges after analyzing Galanis’ account, as it considered that this wouldn’t have happened under the new, updated process the carrier has deployed recently.

Image credit: Thinkstock


  • websnap

    This happened to me as well with rogers, but luckily the bill was not that high, and I found out the same day with the mobile app.

  • Chrome262

    With LTE speeds I guess you could update that way, but usually the phone asks if you want to do it over carrier network other then wifi, it even pops up and recommends you do it over wifi. not sure if this latest one had the popup though.

  • iFone

    This story doesn’t make any sense. So, you’re saying he started downloading the update on his Mac and then miracously the system recognized his wifi had disconnected and the iPhone took over for the Mac? Tech savvy my a$$

  • Peter Pottinger

    I’ve completely disabled data roaming on my phone as I live near the border and was always getting connected to us towers and incurring roaming charges.

  • mcfilmmakers

    This guy deserved his bill. Being tech savvy, he should have disabled his 3G connection. He also should know that it is impossible for the connection to switch without restarting the download.