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Italian billed 50,000 euros for downloading films via mobile phone


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday December 19, 2006

Bergamo, Italy- They have been "billed" the most expensive films in history: A well-known mobile phone company has charged an Italian man 50,000 euros (66,000 dollars) for downloading three movies from the Internet via his cellphone. According to a report Tuesday in Bergamo's local newspaper, the 30-year-old artisan, who has not been named, was convinced that his Vodafone "Connect 600" subscription allowed unlimited downloading.

"I would leave my PC on all night, believing that all traffic was included," the man was quoted as saying.

In fact, the plan allows users to download a total of 600 megabytes every two months, with excess traffic billed at two cents per kilobyte.

Given that compressed movies, on average, are about 600-700 megabytes each, and that each megabyte is composed of 1,000 kilobytes, it is not difficult to understand how he ran up such an astronomical bill.

The man has asked for help from Italy's consumer groups, who are advising customers to read contracts properly before subscribing.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency