Shocked at £1,500 phone bill

A shocked Mourneview family were trying to cope with a massive £1,500 phone bill in 1989.

They were floored when they heard how much their 17 year old son had spent dialing a chatline service.

The exact bill was £1,570.41 and the father was angry that the chatline - which allowed callers to talk to girls in England on a one-to-one basis - could be used by youngsters to run up enormous bills without parents knowing.

He explained that his son was 16 and unemployed when he started calling.

The father continued: “He said a friend told him about it and thought it cost 10p a minute to use.

“He is a quiet lad and doesn’t socialise much and I think this was a way of beating the boredom but it just got out of hand.”

The son used a staggering 30,644 telephone units during just three months and its height his telephone ‘addiction’ was costing as much as £221 per week.

The family had to enter into an arrangement with BT to pay the bill and the father put a lock on his phone.