Katie Bryan, a maths teacher from Lighthorne, Warwickshire, was visiting her South African-born boyfriend’s family when she downloaded the music to her iPhone via iTunes.
When the 43-year-old returned to the UK, she discovered that her bank account was more than £2,000 overdrawn as a result of a direct debit to phone company Orange of £2,609.31.
The multiple-track ‘best of’ CD of the legendary American singer-songwriter's greatest hits for £8.99, ended up costing her £2,609.31. Her HSBC branch later reversed the payment, putting her bank account back in credit, but the telecoms giant insisted she pay the full four-figure bill.
Ms Bryan said: ‘It was a lunchtime get-together with my boyfriend's family at a house where we were staying near the Kruger National Park. I'd had a bit of wine but not too much.
‘People were playing music through their iPads or on phones through an iPod dock. It wasn't a particular song that I wanted to hear. I'm really not that big a Neil Diamond fan.
Ms Bryan said she had been sent a confusing, scrambled message by Orange regarding downloading, but not been told how much it would cost.
As she downloaded the tracks, including Song Sung Blue and other all-time favourites, she received a message from Orange informing her she had used 10mb of internet, but still no information on how much it cost.
As the download proceeded, further messages warned that she had used 20, 50, 100, 150 and 250 mb. She now knows that the music download, which took 15 or 20 minutes, rocketed to 326 mb.
Ms Bryan added: ‘After I got home I took a call from Orange who mentioned that I'd run up a big bill. I actually laughed because I thought they were referring to my £94.68 bill for calls which is nearly three times higher than my normal £35.00 monthly account, but at no point in the conversation was the actual amount raised.
‘I knew nothing about it until I went online to reconcile my HSBC bill and saw this enormous overdraft. A letter from my bank was waiting for me when I got home. At first I thought I hadn't been paid, then I realised it was my phone bill.
Ms Bryan phoned Orange to complain about the bill and was told by a customer service advisor that the phone company would come up with a solution within a week.
She said: ‘I think Orange is preying on people who make a mistake while abroad. Why such a massive difference in cost? In England you would just pay the album price.
‘There is no way this huge bill relates to the actual cost to Orange.
‘You hear of people doing this and you think 'stupid person - why did you do that?' I do feel foolish.
‘But I also feel it is morally wrong to be expected to pay this sort of money for a Neil Diamond album’
Orange has now offered Ms Bryan a £400 bundle offer and taking £2,209.31 off her bill. They also apologised for the stress they had caused.
An Orange spokeswoman said: ‘We have spoken to Ms Bryan and offered a significant reduction in her bill and she is happy with this resolution.’