Love-struck 12-Year-Old Given 1,700 Phone Bill- Daily Mail Newspaper- Exclusive News Story- ***July 2012***

We were contacted by a father who wanted to expose how Vodafone had allowed his 12 year old son to run up a 1,700 phone bill after he had fallen in love and made regular calls to a girl.

The story was sold as an exclusive to the Daily Mail to help the father recoup his money. Read the story below.


They say that true love conquers all.


But there are always hurdles along the way. In 12-year-old Oscar Rushen's case, the hurdle was a 1,700 phone bill, run up in only a month as he chatted to his 13-year-old girlfriend on his father's mobile.


The schoolboy now relies on Facebook while his father Dennis who cut up his SIM card when he found out battles with Vodafone over the bill.


Mr Rushen, who is divorced, accused the network of being greedy, saying it should have intervened when the 10.50-a-month contract suddenly went up to hundreds of pounds a week.


The 65-year-old said: 'When I saw this massive bill, I thought there must be a mistake. 'It turned out there were sometimes several calls a day and they could last more than two hours.


'Part of the problem is Vodafone don't post bills any more and they don't even email them. 'You have to go online to see them so the onus is on you to check.


'But if your bill is 80 to 100 times higher than normal questions should be asked. They are just greedy.' Oscar struck up the relationship at the start of March after meeting the girl, called Charlie, at a youth club near his mother's home in Banham, Norfolk.


Unable to meet regularly because of the eight miles between Banham and her home in a nearby village, the pair began a telephone romance.


Mr Rushen, who lives in Attleborough, Norfolk, discovered the price  of their love a month into  the relationship.


The racing car driver manager said: 'I went straight to a Vodafone shop and they told me to write to customer services. 'In the end I told him to give me his SIM card. I cut it up and told him I wasn't paying any more.


'When we went into a shop shortly afterwards he bought me a bottle of Coke and asked if he did that every day for the rest of my life would it be enough.'


Oscar Rushen said he did not realise that he was racking up such an enormous mobile phone bill.


Mr Rushen, who has been with Vodafone for 15 years, said he would be cancelling the 12-month contract, which was in his name, when it ends this month.


He has now given his son a pay-as-you-go phone. Oscar said: 'I didn't realise how it worked. I'm 12 and I don't know much about it. I feel really bad for my dad. 'Charlie's phone is with O2 and when she went over her limit they shut it off.


'I didn't realise Vodafone were the only people who don't  do that.' The 10.50 deal comes with 300 free minutes per month and unlimited text messages. Any extra calls cost 35p per minute.


A Vodafone spokesman said that the company was looking into the case.



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