Family has to pay €1,400 after son sends 722 texts for sick baby Pia
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    Family has to pay €1,400 after son sends 722 texts for sick baby Pia

    "He did it with the best intentions and thought: the more text messages I send, the better for Pia," the boy's mother said.

    A Walloon family has to pay over €1,400 after their 14-year-old son sent 722 text messages for the sick baby Pia.

    “He did it with the best intentions and thought: the more text messages I send, the better for Pia. But he did not realise that every text message cost two euros,” said Corinne, the boy’s mother in Het Nieuwsblad.

    The family of 9-month-old Pia set up a national text messaging campaign to raise enough money to obtain Zolgensma, a new gene therapy capable of curing spinal muscular atrophy.

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    “I also sent a text message myself and I immediately received a message from my operator saying that the text message had to be paid for,” she said. “Now I have an invoice of more than €1,400. I would like to help people in need, but within my financial possibilities. I don’t think that children should be allowed to participate in these kinds of actions,” Corinne added.

    Corinne has contacted Orange in the meantime. “The operator informed me that they could not stop the payment and therefore could not refund the amount. I am going to raise this with the Ombudsman for Telecom,” she said.

    In the meantime, Corinne’s son’s number has also been deactivated for the time being. “My son suffers from dyspraxia, a coordination disease, and cannot live without his mobile phone. Orange demands a commission of €250 before reactivating the number,” she added. The father of the boy has filed a complaint with the telecom watcher BIPT.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times