A grandfather in southern Taiwan who used a smartphone for the first time last month and had been trying it out by playing with its various features and applications was shocked when a hefty phone bill arrived at the end of the month.
The 68-year-old man, surnamed Kuo (郭), from Chiayi County’s Dalin Town (大林) said his son likes to keep up with the latest gadgets, so after he bought a new iPhone5 in March, he gave the father his iPhone 4.
Kuo said he was happy to receive the device, as it was his first smartphone.
“I saw it had many interesting applications and I was curious about what these features could do. So when I had nothing to do, I played around with it,” he said.
However, when the phone bill for last month arrived in the mail, he said he was shocked to find he was billed NT$3,748 (US$127).
Kuo said that telecommunications firm Chunghwa Telecom has previously sent text messages to remind users of the fees applications are racking up.
“However, old folks don’t really understand the message. I had no idea it was so expensive and that when I was not using the phone to place calls, it was still connected to the Internet,” Kuo said.
“Most old folks don’t understand mobile online communications. The phone company should remind users about this,” he added.
Commenting on the case, a Chunghwa Telecom representative said that when users apply for new phone numbers, the service staff will ask customers whether they want to set a limit on certain functions, such as international roaming and mobile connectivity.
The representative advised the public to pay more attention to the mobile connection and the charges related to smartphone devices.