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A British holidaymaker racked up a staggering R112,428.51 (£5,000) mobile phone bill after he switched on his phone to retrieve Cape Town hotel details from an email, according to the UK-based Independent newspaper report.

James Stevenson arrived in Cape Town on holiday and switched on his phone to retrieve hotel details from an email.

Mr Stevenson, 44, the director of a recruitment company living in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, said: "All I did was to find an email after a 12-hour flight with a one-year-old. This all took place in the airport and Vodafone has confirmed it was less than an hour of roaming, their minimum time breakdown. Vodafone say there is nothing they can do."

He said his holiday was spoiled due to the stress: "Vodafone were dismissive, and I spent the holiday worrying about this bill."

He challenged Vodafone, which said it is unable to help, and have suggested he takes the case to Ofcom.

Roaming charges will be banned across Europe from June 2017, with an interim cap being brought into place from April 2016. But confusion over charges outside Europe is widespread – with mobile phone users left aggrieved when they run up unsuspecting bills.

The charity Citizens Advice believes mobile phone providers should offer  opt-in warnings to people in danger of running up significant charges.  

A spokesman for Vodafone said: "We’ll look into this as a high priority and will be in contact with Mr Stevenson to discuss the outstanding amount."

Holidaymakers gets huge internet roaming bill after oversea trip.

Craig Lowe, founder of execMobile, which provides products and solutions for mobile connectivity, answers some common (and important) questions around staying connected abroad. For more read: Everything you need to know about connecting abroad

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You are here: Home Technology Phone Bill shoots to R112,000 after British man switched on his phone in Cape Town