Welwyn Garden City boy, 13, racks up �3,000 phone bill on adult chatlines

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy racked up a �3,000 phone bill after he signed up to adult chatlines. Wendy Jones, who pays for her son Alex s �10-a-month mobile phone contract, told the WHT she had a huge shock after receiving the bill through the post. And although

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy racked up a �3,000 phone bill after he signed up to adult chatlines.

Wendy Jones, who pays for her son Alex's �10-a-month mobile phone contract, told the WHT she had a "huge shock" after receiving the bill through the post.

And although the WGC single mum-of-two admits it was the Sir Frederic Osborn pupil's fault, she is furious with phone operator O2 for not telling her about the sudden rise in costs.

She is now trying to reclaim the cash back.

And, after the WHT got in touch, the firm has halved the bill "as a gesture of good will".

The 55-year-old QE2 Hospital nurse said: "I'm annoyed credit card companies can let you know [if bills soar], but O2 can't.

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"It's scandalous."

Wendy, from Wren Wood, added parents in Times Territory should "be on their guard".

"He doesn't know who was on the end of the phone," she said. "It could have been a paedophile.

"It's very dangerous."

The Panshanger woman said Alex, who was given his 21-year-old sister's old phone for safety reasons after she left home, had never spent a large amount on his phone before.

The year nine student used the adult services late at night when Wendy was asleep and claimed to be 21 and 23 on separate occasions, while sending in photos of himself.

Wendy said: "He is not in the good books. But I don't think he realised what was going on. I can see the funny side though."

A spokeswoman for O2, which barred the number after the invoice and advised the Jones' to call regulators PhonePayPlus, said: "On February 17 alone, around 500 messages were sent and received from the mobile number over the course of the day."

She added in the terms and conditions of the contract it stated usage limits could not be set - whether incurred by you or anyone else - and bills must be paid.

O2 does, however, monitor phone usage for the purpose of controlling credit risk and fraud, and will contact users if any usage gives cause for concern.

* Should mobile phone providers be more strict? Call 01707 384180, or email simon.wesson@whtimes.co.uk

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