Five questions about: Bill shock


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The Independent Online

Bill Shock? Is he from the Coalition Cabinet?

No, it's the term used when you get a bill and the amount demanded is considerably higher than you expected.

When does that happen?

When people go on holiday and use their gadgets. Problems arise if people forget to plan ahead before using mobile internet or a data connection to go online overseas. You can get stung by charges that will be much higher than you pay at home, especially if you plan to travel outside Europe.

What can I do to avoid huge charges?

For starters, don't download films, games or music abroad. Do it through home wi-fi before you leave. But the most crucial thing is to turn off data roaming on your phone or tablet. Look up your model on the internet before you travel to find out how to do this. It will stop the automatic downloads of updates, which can really cause a huge bill.

What else?

Find out about data roaming bundles or buy a local SIM when you arrive abroad for cheap-rate calls.

Can I get more info?

Ofcom, the regulator, has made a series of helpful videos explaining how to avoid racking up bills. Go to

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