Talk about a failure to communicate.

When a British woman on vacation in South Wales bought a cheap mobile phone because her own cell couldn't pick up the local signal, she never expected to be slapped with a bill for the equivalent of more than $42,000.

Yet that's just what happened to a horrified Anne Roberts of Devon who thought she was just buying a £20 pay-as-you-go phone.

“I had a text from the bank saying I had to pay funds in," she told The Sun. "I put my card in the machine and found I was £27,210.72 in the red.”

A technical glitch had mobile phone giant Orange siphoning off the equivalent of $187.20 an hour or more than $31 every ten minutes from Roberts' NatWest bank account. Orange had charged her account 792 times.

With a bank account overdrawn by more than £27,000 and collection agencies calling, Roberts was forced to cut short her holiday. It took two days to straighten out the mess but Orange finally apologized and refunded the money.

"We have identified a technical issue resulted in multiple card payments being taken from her account for the purchase she made in our Carmarthen store," an Orange spokesman told The Daily Mail. "We understand this situation has been upsetting for Mrs Roberts and we apologize unreservedly for the inconvenience it has caused."

Last year, Celina Aarons was slapped with a $200,000 bill when her deaf brother, who communicates via text message, traveled to Canada without an international plan, reported NPR. She usually paid about $175 a month for his service and eventually T-Mobile agreed to lower the charges to $2,500 and gave her six months to pay.

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  • Don't Wait To Charge

    Charge your phone frequently. Recharging when the phone is almost dead too often will make the battery do more work and lower its life expectancy. Charge when your phone is 40 percent full, not 10 percent.

  • Don't Vibrate

    It takes more energy for the phone to vibrate than to ring.

  • Kill Unnecessary Apps

    Apps running in the background of your phone will make it run out of juice faster. Shut down all the apps you don't need to keep it going a little longer.

  • Turn Off Wi-Fi

    If you don't need to download big files, and you aren't performing some crucial task online, turning off WiFi will let the battery rest.

  • Disable Location Services

    Apps that use location are constantly communicating with cell towers to pinpoint where you are. While they're doing it, your battery is dying. Turn them off in settings when you need to get that last bit of life.

  • Dim The Screen

    Dim the brightness of your screens to give battery life a boost. Lowering the default brightness will ensure that the phone uses less charge over time.

  • Lock Your Screen

    Locking the screen on your phone not only keeps strangers from snooping, but will also keep the phone from turning on--and using power--if it accidentally brushes up against things.

  • Get Accessories

    While some people already tote around chargers in the dire case that their phone might die, an easier way to prepare is to outfit your phone with a "battery extender case" that packs a spare battery within its skin. When your phone's battery runs out, it will draw power from the case battery.

  • Get A New Battery

    After two years, there's a good chance your battery is running on its last legs. At this point, it might be better to replace it in order to get the full battery life you once had.

  • Put The Phone In Airplane Mode

    Even when you're not up in the air, putting your phone in Airplane Mode will keep the battery from dying, as it prevents the phone from receiving and sending signals. Of course, when it's in Airplane Mode you won't be able to call, text, or get online, so this may be a last resort.

  • Keep Your Battery Cool

    Overheating can damage your phone's battery cells and make it die faster after a charge. Keep your phone out of the sun and other hot places. A phone that gets too hot while in use could be experiencing some kind of charge malfunction and should be checked out.

  • Turn Off Push Notifications

    The function that allows your phone to automatically download new email, and notifications from third-party apps, also makes your battery run out faster. If your phone's almost dead, go to settings to turn off this feature.