SIA passenger billed $1200 for inflight Internet

An SIA passenger has been charged US$1,171.46 for using the inflight Internet on a flight from London to Singapore.
Jeremy Gutsche, a Canadian entrepreneur, purchased the 30MB package for US$28.99 but he busted the 30MB limit. He claimed that he used the internet mainly for work emails between naps and just viewed 155 pages.
His article about his experience has been picked up by several media around the world.
This is not the first time we hear about bill shock although most of the bill shock stories come from data roaming and not inflight internet. But they are mostly the same. User either didn’t sign up for the package or exceed their allocated limits.
SIA offers 2 price plan for their inflight Internet: volume-based at US$9.99 for 10MB and time-base at US$11.95 for 1 hour.
Personally, I think SIA’s price plan is ok. After all, you are accessing Internet at an altitude of 39000 feet. It is unfair to say that SIA is overcharging for their internet.
The problem here lies with the user. Jeremy claims that he only send a 4mb email and view 155 pages. It is unclear what are the file size of the 155 pages. If the file size is small, then I doubt the inflight Internet charge can chalk up to $1200. I guess most likely something is running in the background. Maybe his computer is doing some system update? Or maybe there is a malware in his computer and it is sending data without the owner’s knowledge.
You would assume a CEO of a website would know more about this sort of thing. No use complaining about it after you receive the bill. It is clearly a user error.
Counting the number of pages view is a terrible way to gauge data usage. And you are assuming that’s the only thing that your computer is doing. If you don’t know exactly how much data you will be using, I suggest you subscribe to a time-base package instead.

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