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Money Woman 'gobsmacked' after $75k phone bill

18:53  14 february  2018
18:53  14 february  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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A grandmother and small business owner is taking on her telco after receiving a whopping $75,000 phone bill.

Deborah Williams has run a vacuum cleaner shop for 14 years, and her previous phone bill for the business was just over $300.

So when she got the new one from telco Commander in November, she was "absolutely gobsmacked".

She asked to see the call log, which Commander provided after a three-month wait.

The log showed hundreds of expensive calls made to foreign countries - with multiple calls taking place at the same time.

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It even registered calls from Ms Williams's fax, which has no phone attached to it.

Commander demanded she pay.

Ms Williams said she had been sent disconnection notices, despite the fact that the bill is in dispute means the telco was not allowed to issue them.

"We were disconnected at one point," she said.

She contacted the telecommunications ombudsman, but was told to withdraw her complaint because the bill was over $50,000.

The ombudsman suggested she seek legal advice if Commander didn't waive the bill.

"That bill should just go away," she said.

"We've paid all our other bills, we paid the normal fees that we should pay, it's only those fraudulent calls that have not been paid, everything has been paid or paid on time."

  Woman 'gobsmacked' after $75k phone bill © A Current Affair Luke Sutton from the Communications Consumer Action Network said it was the first time he'd heard about a situation like this.

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He said Commander had a duty of care to act, rather than ignore Ms Williams's concerns.

"We encourage the provider to work closely with the consumer and get this dispute resolved, and this is especially important in cases where there is fraud, or scam charged on the bill," he said.

Ms Williams said she was resolved to fight the bill until the issue was resolved.

Commander has now promised to resolve Ms Williams's issue by tomorrow, saying in a statement the company took fraud awareness seriously.

"While privacy requirements restrict us from discussing the details of the customer without their written permission, we are confident that we can resolve this complaint to the satisfaction of the customer, and we apologise that this was not done earlier," a spokesperson said.

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