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Vodafone has decided to waive the bill of a man who ran up a mobile broadband bill totalling thousands of pounds while on vacation in the Alps.

Will Pierce went to the French ski resort of Meribel with his son, who he chose to keep entertained by downloading programmes to watch at night.

According to the 42-year-old, he downloaded several episodes of Top Gear for the boy and Kavanagh QC for a friend he had been staying with.

When Mr Pierce returned from his trip, the bill came to an astonishing £21,716.

"There's no warning when you log on how much it will cost a minute or a counter on the screen telling you what it is costing," he told the Daily Mail.

"If you ran up such a bill on your credit card while overseas you'd get a call checking that it is you who is spending so much."

The European Union's new data laws will mean that wholesale charges for data roaming will not cost more than €1 (92p) per Mb from 2010.

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