Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Premium Text Scam

Just got my daughter's cell phone bill and it has a nasty little surprise. There was a $15 dollar charge for 3 "Premium" text messages. Yep, five bucks for each message. I called my daughter and asked her if she had sent any text with video, images...whatever, but she hasn't changed the way she sends texts since she got the phone months ago

So, I went to the Koodo kiosk at the Regent Mall and asked about this. According to them, scam companies get your cell phone number and send you texts...whether you want them or not. And charge you five bucks for each one they send you.

Somebody please tell me how this could possibly be legal. First, a text message costs less than a cent to transmit. Second, why are these people allowed to charge you for something you never authorized? And I'll get to a third point shortly.

But first, here's what likely happened. My daughter either entered a contest or replied to a special deal...like, "GET A FREE iPOD!" All you have to do is send in your name and you could win. But wait! How are they going to notify you of your winnings? Simple...they'll call you on your cell phone. So you have to give them your number. And that's what the contest is all about (if there is, in fact, a prize that's ever awarded). They're gathering cell phone numbers. And they're either using them to send you "Premium" messages or, more likely, they're putting your number into a list that they sell to people who will be charging you five bucks a message.

Lesson: Don't ever give your cell phone number out to anybody who isn't family, a friend or a business associate. If you come across a contest or other event in which they want your cell phone number, don't enter, don't participate...especially if the only contact information they want is your cell number. And for those of you with business cards (with your cell number on it, of course) who may be asked to throw your card into a bucket at a convention or other event so that you can win a new iPod: Don't do it.

And now to that third point I mentioned above.

I'm not sure exactly how these people make their money off sending us their texts and then charging five bucks for them. I mean, who gives them the five bucks? Well, I know who's sending me the bill for the five bucks...Koodo. I'm giving Koodo fifteen bucks for three scam messages sent to my duaghter through their service.

In other words, Koodo is collecting money on behalf of the scammers. Koodo is where the scammers are getting the money for ripping you off. I'll be taking this up with them.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

koodo and its ilk are subsidiary companies of the big ones like rogers and telus. this is how they get away with scamming without tarnishing their names. its also a way for them to get you back on a contract if you ran up a huge telus bill and couldnt pay. People then go to a "new" company and start a new plan and repeat

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger abraincell said...

well, i think they gonna lose another customer here... having the same problem with my son's cell this month, they waived the ph bill alltogether, but gave me 'soft' threat if this is happening again they wont waive the bill.... my son kept saying he didnt give out ph number or sign up for any games as i was talking to the rep on the ph. agree... kodoo is the scammer.... argh, so despicable and low

11:53 p.m.  
Blogger abraincell said...

well, koodo about to lose another customer. have same problem with my son's ph, he told me he didnt sign up for anything nor give out his ph to any site. koodo waived my ph bill for this month, but 'softly' threatened if this is happening again next month they wont waive it. i agree, what a despicable scam and poor customer service.

11:56 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home