A mobile phone user who was sent an astronomical bill has won a battle with telecoms giant Vodafone to get his money back.
Freelance journalist and website publisher Neil Winton was hit with hundreds of pounds in data roaming charges by Vodafone after a trip to America.
But after threatening to take the matter to the Small Claims Court, the 66-year-old got his money refunded.
Mr Winton said he was shocked to receive bills of £550.55 for January and £238.39 for the following month after the two-week US trip in January - his monthly bill is usually roughly £70.
He calculated he had been overcharged by £627.45 by Vodafone for data roaming charges he was unaware he was incurring through his HTC Legend phone.
"I was told about all the great things the phone would do, but I wasn't told it would incur all these extra charges. I wasn't aware I could turn it off," he said. "As soon as you step across an international line apparently the charges suddenly rocket up.
"To be fair to Vodafone they did send out a message of some kind but it meant absolutely nothing to me. It talks in megabytes, if it had said I had consumed £50 worth of data I would have known what they were talking about but they used some sort of language that wouldn't mean anything to most people."
Mr Winton, from Findon, Sussex, wrote to Vodafone contesting the charges, instructing the company that it owed him the £627.45 that he felt were extra and unwanted charges for data roaming. After his first complaint, the company offered to cut the data content of the £550.55 bill by 25% and of the current bill also by 25%. It later offered a 50% cut.
Mr Winton instead threatened to take the mobile phone giant to the Small Claims Court, giving the company a deadline to respond before he started legal action. "About a week before my deadline expired, I received another call from the Vodafone director's office, agreeing to refund everything I had claimed."
A Vodafone spokeswoman said they could not comment on individual cases, but all of their charges were on their website for the UK as well as countries people might be travelling to, so customers could look at where they are going and what they would be charged.