A Vodafone customer has spoken of his shock at being charged more than £8,000 for fraudulent calls after his phone was stolen, despite having taken out an insurance policy.
Kaveh Lajmir was hit with the huge bill after failing to comply with the terms of his policy and then falling prey to a little-publicised loophole.
The Guardian reported that Lajmir's phone went missing (he wasn't sure if it was lost or stolen) while on holiday in Barcelona. He didn't report the loss for four days, having figured that not only was it likely to be protected by on-board security measures, but that he had the insurance as a back-up.
However, the terms of the policy meant he was only protected against call costs incurrent after reporting the loss. This meant he was liable for the bill racked up by whomever found the phone, removed it, and then called premium-rate numbers repeatedly.
Vodafone noted that although it normally cuts off a phone when it has unusually high levels of spending that suggest fraud, there is a 72 hour delay in it getting details of spending when a phone is used overseas. The company has now agreed to reduce the total bill to £5,404.