A party-goer is facing a life in debt after he lost his phone in Ibiza – and was landed with a £19,000 bill.
Corey Pye, 21, was enjoying a holiday with three friends on the Balearic island when his phone was nicked three days into the trip.
He thought it was not necessary to report the iPhone 4s as stolen because it was password protected and assumed it could not be used by the thieves.
When he returned home he informed Vodafone that his handset had been stolen – and was then handed a first bill of £6,439.76.
Realising he was in the wrong, Corey took out a 36-month personal loan to pay off the debt and thought that was the end of the matter.
But he was horrified when the next monthly bill came in at £12,450.35 – which he simply cannot afford to pay.
Chef Corey, from Basingstoke, Hants., said: “It’s ruined my Christmas. I don’t know what to do. I was so shocked when I got the bill.
“I’m a young lad and this will be hanging over me for the rest of my life. I’m still paying off that six grand off.
“I shouldn’t be punished for the naivety of failing to report my mobile missing, or for the criminal acts of others who are the ones profiting from this.”
Corey has been a Vodafone customer all his adult life and his contract includes unlimited UK calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet for £17.50 a month.
He took his handset when he jetted out to Ibiza for a week-long trip on September 6th, but the handset went missing on the 9th.
Assuming the phone could not be used, he carried on partying and visited his local Vodafone shop to report it stolen on the day he flew home, September 13.
He cancelled the contract and took out a new one, leaving the store with a new phone.
But he was horrified a few days later when a bill for £6,439.76 landed on his doormat.
The included his £17.50 contract fee £0.41 for messaging and mobile internet and £5,348.56 for calls with £1,073.29 in VAT.
Corey says Vodafone offered him little assistance in clearing the debt, so he decided to face up to his mistake and took out a loan to pay it back in November.
But on December 4 he received a second demand for £12,450.35 because, according to Vodafone, the first bill did not cover the whole period before the number was cut off.
This bill breaks down as £17.50 for the contract, £10,350.11 for calls, an admin fee of £2.94, a late payment fee of £4.17, a copy bill charge of £2.54 and VAT of £2,074.36.
Corey is now in negotiation with the mobile phone giant over the second bill but says the firm has been of little help.
He is furious that the company allowed such a huge bill to be accrued without cutting off the phone.
Corey added: “Vodafone has been negligent in allowing such ridiculous call charges to go uncapped.
“They are really useless at helping out. They will just hang up or say they will contact you in three days.
“I can’t afford to pay the rest so I have to fight it.
“They won’t give me a final date on when this will be resolved, if it even will be.
“I have a new 24 month contract with them. I can’t even leave them. I have been a customer with them all my life and I get this.