A New Zealand man who recently emigrated to Brazil has had a rough start to his stay in the South American country.

Only shortly after arriving in his adopted home, Kiwi Kristos Tsitsiridakis was hit with a $998 2degrees mobile bill and then had his phone stolen shortly afterwards.

The 31-year-old had moved to Brazil to be closer to his partner, who he met while she was studying English before returning to her homeland.

Tsitsiridakis said he first became aware of his massive phone bill when he checked his 2degrees account only a few days after landing in Brazil.


Caught off-guard, Tsitsiridakis contacted the 2degrees support team to find out if there had been a mistake.

2degrees says that it warned Tsitsiridakis on numerous occasions about data use and has subsequently offered to wipe 40 per cent of the bill.

Tsitsiridakis phone bill shows the cost of the charges. Image/Supplied.
Tsitsiridakis phone bill shows the cost of the charges. Image/Supplied.

Tsitsiridakis said 2degrees sent him a breakdown of when he used his data, but he questioned the accuracy of the information.

"They sent me a spreadsheet with times, and according to them I used it at 1.43am when I was sleeping," he said.

Tsitsiridakis wants his bill fully wiped as has happened in other cases.

Asked for comment, 2degrees spokeswoman Katherine Cornish said that the company had warned Tsitsiridakis on numerous occasions about the charges associated with international data use.

"When he arrived in Argentina, we sent him a welcome text with the rates for the country. He used a small amount of data and received an alert to let him know that he was incurring costs for data," the spokesperson said.

"When he arrived in Brazil, he received a welcome text with a specific alert telling him that the country he was in had high data roaming costs and with a recommendation to set a spend control, and instructions on how to do that."

Cornish said Tsitsiridakis then also received notifications when he was using data.

"All in all he received 12 messages from us either about the rates or telling him that he was incurring charges," she said.

"As a goodwill gesture we have offered a discount already - around 40 per cent off the bill with an option to help him develop a payment plan for the balance."

What messages?

Tsitsiridakis was surprised when told 2degrees had sent him a total 12 messages about his data use.

"I can categorically state that I did not receive 12 messages," he said.

"I received one text message when I arrived, letting me know of the data rates and such. Then, I received one email once I had gone over my credit limit of $750."

He said that if he had known how much he was spending, there's no way he would have let it get so high.

He said that if the messages were sent, there might have been a tech problem that meant he never saw them.

He said he noticed something similar when he attempted to connect to his Facebook and Snapchat accounts, which are protected with two-step verification. Upon trying to log in, he was told he would receive verification text messages on his mobile phone but nothing came through while he was abroad.

Stolen phone

To make matters even worse, Tsitsiridakis had his phone stolen shortly after arriving.

"I was in a taxi with my partner, and it fell out on the seat," he said.

"It wasn't until I got back to her place that I realised it had fallen out. We called the phone twice, and there was no answer but it did ring. Then we decided to get hold of the taxi driver, but he did not answer. I tried my phone again, and it went straight to answerphone."

He said he tried to locate it via My Samsung, but it had already been turned off and never heard back from the taxi company nor the driver.

He said he then had to get a new phone, which meant spending even more money he didn't intend to.

Despite this tough start to his stay in Brazil, Tsitsiridakis remains optimistic about the experience.

"To be honest, apart from my phone being lost and this ridiculous bill, I'm loving everything else," he told the Herald.