Mum issues warning after her son's homeschooling video calls left her with an £800 bill

Google Meets, homeschooling, computer,
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A mum has warned parents about the Google Meets call to divert option after her son ran up an £800 bill during homeschooling.

A mum has warned parents to be careful after her teenage son accidentally ran up an £800 bill after he diverted a Google Meets video call to his mobile phone during a homeschooling during lockdown (opens in new tab) lesson.

The horrified parent discovered the huge bill after her son redirected his Google Meet lessons from his laptop so he could listen via the call audio on his phone.

And the shock charge prompted mum Lyndsey Hodgkin to share her warning on Facebook so parents or children who currently use or who are being donated a laptop for homeschooling (opens in new tab) can avoid being faced with a hefty charge as she has.

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On the Facebook group Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas, she wrote, 'If anybody’s children are using google meet for their school work, please make sure they never choose to attend the meet by laptop and then select to listen to the audio on their mobile. 

'My teenager did this for a week and now we are left with an £800 mobile phone bill all because he thought it would be better to listen like that. 

She explained, 'It apparently calls America as that’s the country Google Meet is from. The mobile provider has said they will refund half but we have to pay the rest as the charges were made and they had to pay for them too.'

Facebook users were quick to point out that the boy was only charged as he dialled into an international call rather than use the feature over broadband - can you get a discount for homeschooling? (opens in new tab)

After sharing her dilemma, one user explained, 'It’s free if you just use it on a laptop, it’s only if you dial in using the American phone number like a conference call that you pay for the international phone call.'

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But in choosing the audio on the phone option, Lyndsey explained, 'He is nearly 16 was offered the option and foolishly just thought it was a good idea. He didn’t know. Normally people use that option for if there is interference or their laptop speakers aren’t working properly.'

Lyndsey said that after sharing her dilemma on the EE Facebook page, her case has been transferred to their care executive resolution team.

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.