Sally sort it out:ee Let our daughter rack up a £9,226 mobile bill abroad!

I have two SIM only contracts with EE costing around £28 per month for unlimited calls, texts and limited data. As one of the phones is for my teenage daughter, a monthly spending cap of £5 was agreed.

In June, she and my wife went to the Philippines for three weeks to see family. Ten days later I received a text from my bank, Barclays, asking me to transfer £3,329 into my account so that my EE direct debit payment had not bounced. When I logged in I saw that EE was trying to take £9,226.

Shocked and confused, I called EE and spoke with a woman who said she couldn’t see anything on the account, so I figured it must be a fraud. She asked me to contact my bank immediately, which I did and Barclays reversed the direct debit.

Eye-watering bills: Our reader received a £9,226 bill from EE and was told the spending cap didn’t apply to data – only calls and texts

Surprised to hear nothing from the EE in the following days, I tried to ring several times. Eventually I managed to talk to someone, who told me the sickening news that the bill was okay.

I contacted the executive office of EE, who said the bill affected many data harnesses used in the Philippines.

When I asked about the £5 spending cap, I was told it didn’t apply to data – just calls and texts.

I was asked to pay £500 to prevent the debt from being sent to a collection agency. Since I didn’t want debt collectors at my door, I reluctantly paid the sum.

NH, Lancashire.

Sally Hamilton responds: You suffered the kind of tummy bug after the holidays.

Data roaming is when a device connects to the internet through a local network and not to the customer’s usual provider. That means anyone sending emails, streaming movies, or checking Facebook abroad can be landed with additional fees.

These costs are back with a vengeance, even for those traveling to European destinations. After a five-year respite from the risk of horror bills, travelers should beware of using their devices again on the mainland. Rules introduced in 2017 meant UK travelers didn’t pay extra to use their mobiles abroad, but that no longer applies.

I can understand how badly you must have felt that the request for £9,226 came. So, I asked EE, which is part of BT, to look at your case again, find out what happened, and see if it could lower your monster bill.

It looks like your 14 year old daughter had agreed that the data purchase goes through a link on the EE website and confirmed them via verification text messages. In total, she bought 164 packages costing £57.10 a pop.

Even though she (unbeknownst to you) had consented to these purchases, EE agreed to cut the bill by £8,500 – over 90% – ‘Given the ongoing cost of living crisis, and as a gesture of goodwill”. Even though I asked, EE didn’t explain how you were misinformed about the £5 cap on your daughter’s phone.

Still, you were relieved to have the majority of the bill. You lectured your daughter and downgraded her to a payphone, but plan to complain to the communications ombudsman.

EE says it gives customers tools to manage spending for services not included in their regular spending limits, which can prevent add-ons.

Ernest Doku, at mobile comparison service USWitch, says providers should do more to warn customers of hidden data dangers, but recommends that they check contracts before traveling and consider buying data passes or upgrades. add-ons to help reduce costs.

Other steps include downloading maps, movies, and music before leaving home and turning off voicemail as this can incur high charges to play.

Using hotel or cafe Wi-Fi means being able to use data and make WhatsApp calls for free. But be aware that these connections may not be secure, so avoid online banks in these places.

The only surefire way to stop data bills putting a damper on a vacation is to switch a phone to flight mode — or leave it at home.

What happened to our family life policies?

My dad passed away in January and while arranging his affairs I found a paid premium insurance book for four life policies with Liverpool Victoria – two for my dad and one for me and my brother. I contacted the company – now called lv= – and was asked to send a copy of the book.

In May, after a lot of lawsuits, I received a letter stating that the policies are not in effect and if I needed more information I should send a copy of Dad’s death certificate. I am willing to do this, but only if it confirms that the policies have been found. Anyway, why can’t they tell me about my politics and my brother’s, because we are very much alive?

MO, Bromley.

Lv= told our reader that their policies were not “in effect” and should send a copy of their father's death certificate if they wanted more information

Lv= told our reader that their policies were not “in effect” and should send a copy of their father’s death certificate if they wanted more information

Sally Hamilton responds: The policies you unearthed were ones where insurance salesmen once went door to door to collect premiums of often pennies.

Many thousands have now been forgotten. You were hoping there might be some value in the ones you stumbled upon, but felt bewildered by LV=’s explanation.

I asked LV= to explain. He said the four shots, which dated back to 1965, had been traced and his team was waiting for your father’s death certificate before sharing information. A spokesperson apologized for not giving you details of your own policy.

He says: “We are sorry that this was poorly communicated and caused confusion during a difficult time. When we confirmed that the policies were no longer in effect, it means that the policies were no longer active because they were already paid.

He said your father’s policies, worth around £1,000, were paid out in the 1980s, as was your name’s in 1982 for £158. Wouldn’t comment on your brother without his permission. Although disappointed there was no windfall, you were happy to have cleared up the puzzle.

Always worth asking, as a few years ago LV= mounted a campaign which brought together 900 customers with lost policies worth £50 and £500 each.

Visit or phone 0800 023 4139.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Trie It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email [email protected] – Include telephone number, address and a note to offended organization, which gives them permission to speak to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for the answers given.


Last July, I signed up with British Gas for their protection plan, which included 100 days of free energy. In October I asked about this and the staff on line were very rude. My direct debit was then increased and I still haven’t received the free days.

CD, Cumbria.

British Gas will apply the offer to your account by the end of September and have updated your direct debit amount. A spokesperson apologizes for the behavior of staff online, which is addressed.

I ordered four pairs of shoes from Clarks, but only received three pairs. I spent weeks trying to contact customer services.

LB, Eastbourne.

Clarks contacted you to apologize for the mistake and gave you a refund for all four pairs of shoes as a gesture of goodwill.

We’ve been trying to cancel our Virgin Media broadband deal for five months. Despite writing them several times, we are still getting requests for payment, with the latest total being £86.13. We’re also still stuck with the Virgin Media Wi-Fi box.

DT, West Yorkshire.

A Virgin Media spokesperson apologizes and says an error was made in closing the account. The debt has now been cleared and someone has picked up the old equipment.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacted me on behalf of Willis Towers Watson saying I owed money from an old pension. But I was asked for an address 20 years ago to verify my identity, which I can’t remember, and nothing else would, I gave up.

HR, Peterborough.

A department spokesperson apologizes and says someone will contact you to discuss how you can verify your identity.

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