Apparently the cellphone companies are all in cahoots with scammers to rip off their customers and the FCC is powerless to do anything about it. That’s right and it’s all nice and legal like. Have you ever gotten those unwanted text messages from some company offering you some service you don’t need or want? Yeah, we all have. Have you paid much attention to them or just ignored them like most telemarketing calls? I pretty much ignore them.
So here’s the scam. Whenever you get one of these text messages from some company like Flycell, offer anything from ringtone downloads to celebrity gossip or some other nonsense, if you’re like me you just ignore it. I mean logically, if it’s offering something and you don’t want it, ignoring it should be the same as saying “no I don’t want it” right? WRONG!!!! Somewhere in the message is usually a statement that says something to the effect “please reply if you DON’T want this service”. By ignoring the message, the company is assuming you DO want whatever it is they are promoting and charge it to your cellphone account. Which AT&T and most other service providers seem to allow with out any further confirmation.
Right now you’re going WTH!!! right? I know. After calling AT&T they removed the charges but said it wasn’t their system, it was the customers problem because that person (ie: me) didn’t respond to the text message. Is it just me or does that just seem bass ackwards? It means any Joe blow scammer can sign you up to any service via a mobile subscription and you’d never know it until the bill arrived. What a crock. They did say they could put a mobile purchase block on the line but that would also block purchases made from iTunes or the Apple App store which isn’t very reasonable if you’re an iPhone user.
This same type of thing happens on Facebook as well. Those wacky surveys that your friends are “supposedly” taking? Well pay attention to those if you’re playing around. NEVER give one of them your cellphone number or else. In many cases they ask for a cell number at the end of the survey which in most cases automatically subscribes you to some service.
……… and still wonder why I miss my StarTac from circa 1999 so much.