Source AP ©

Canadian plan for Bell Mobility has high cost and little clarity

A Canadian oil field worker received a C$85,000 (US$83,460; 57,522  EUR) cell phone bill.

Piotr Staniaszek, 22, purchased a plan from Bell Mobility that allowed him to use the web browser on his phone for C$10 a month. But, he went beyond browsing to downloading music and movies from the phone to his computer, racking up C$60,000 (US$58,930; 40,616 EUR) in just one month.

Mark Langton, a Bell spokesman, said the plan purchased by Staniaszek was promoted as one to be used exclusively on the phone.

"Your cell phone is not the best way to download gigantic movie files and I think most people would know that," he said.

The company agreed to reduce his bill to C$3,243 Canadian (US$3,195; 2,202 EUR), but Staniaszek said he will argue for a bigger reduction.

Advocates and Canadian lawyers are calling the extreme case a prime example of confusing service agreements and high costs.

"This is an example in the extreme, but I suspect that there's lots of Canadians who have received bills in the sums of hundreds of dollars and thousands of dollars for services they didn't realize were extra," said Jesse Hirsh, a technology analyst.

Consumers have long-complained about the high cost of operating a cell phone in Canada and the criticism has only increased as data-intensive devices like the BlackBerry have become commonplace in the market.

A lack of affordable plans in Canada has hindered Apple's iPhone device from entering the Canadian market, even though carriers in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom already support the device.

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