A Vancouver woman is speaking out against Telus after she racked up almost $37,000 on her monthly cell-phone bill during a trip to Egypt.

Alanna Fero visited North Africa for a couple of weeks and took her brand-new iPhone with her. She says that before she left, she talked to Telus several times about what sort of voice and data plan would be appropriate to avoid a huge bill.

When she learned about the total on her bill, Fero said, "I burst out laughing .... Somebody had to have hacked into it or something; there's no possible way that I, in two-and-a-half weeks, ran up a $37,000 bill."

She says she asked a Telus staff member to investigate what happened.

"They just put someone else on the phone who said, ‘No ma'am, this is your bill and Africa is expensive.'"

But Telus spokesman Shawn Hall says that the phone company noticed a spike in Fero's data use almost immediately after she left Canada. The company cut off her service, and representatives spoke to her over the phone.

"She asked us to turn the data back on," he said.

Hall says Fero used about 1,600 megabytes of service during her trip.

"That's a lot -- an average song is about four megabytes," he said.

"You can't go overseas and expect that the data plans and the wireless rates that you're going to get are going to be the same here. You travel to North Africa and the rates are going to be a lot higher."

But Hall says that Telus wants to work with Fero to reduce her bill.

"Bottom line, we want to talk to this customer and sort it out. We know it's a huge bill; we want to talk to her and figure it out," he said.

With files from CTV British Columbia's Brent Shearer