Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mobile phone ringtones scams

Last year my partner was having trouble with her mobile, she was being charged for a service, via her mobile phone company, that she did not ask for. A ringtone company was taking several pounds a week from her account with the mobile phone company. I got on to the company and complained to them. I was told that the mobile phone company could do nothing about it because it was not in their power to be able to stop this and that my partner should text back 'STOP' to the company concerned. This did not satisfy me so I did a little digging and found out that texting 'STOP' only stops that particular company from taking money from her account. After chatting to OFCOM I was advised by them that we should have text 'STOP ALL' as those types of companies are, more than likely, just one of several companies owned by the same scam artist/s. I then contacted the mobile phone company again who admitted that OFCOM were correct and that she should have text 'STOP ALL'. We then asked for the money back that was taken from her account with the mobile phone company; they said that they couldn't do that. I then sent off a letter of complaint to OFCOM, my MP and my MEP. Within a matter of a week the mobile phone company agreed to pay back every single penny that was taken out of her account and blocked those types of scams from taking money out of her account. What a miraculous change of direction from her phone company who, initially, said they could do nothing about it. My partner was pleased but I wasn't. I wanted to take them to court and sort out this scam once and for all.
So I waited, and waited until, eventually, last week I noticed that £4.50/week was being taken from my account for ringtones that I never subscribed to. I, of course, contacted my mobile phone company and pointed out to them what was happening. Guess what? Same old, same old. I have now sent them a letter asking for my mobile to be blocked from those types of services and to have my money returned. I await, with relish, for their reply.
This is a con which the government and the mobile phone companies are more than aware of yet they will do nothing to counter this scam which, I calculated, is costing Europeans millions of pounds per year. I will keep you updated on how I get on with this fight.


  1. I stick to 'pay as you go' as they don't seem to bother us lot. Plus if I ever get regular nuisance calls that I can't shake off then I just change sims for a £1 or free from Tescos etc. It also allows you to make use of the latest offers on paygo deals and a single text to all your contacts lets them know your new number.
    That new captcha log in thingy is dire. Am I supposed to be able to read those words lol
    I've had to start copy and pasting my comments to avoid re typing when I can't log in.

    1. I'm with O2 and after I went on their >£10 deal to get free minutes and free texts [which means you have to buy £15 worth of top up-what a con!] I am now starting to have problems. When I was with Virgin on pay-as-you-go I had no problems.
      Are you talking about the letters you have to put in to post on the blogs? If you are, and know how to get rid of it, then please tell me.

    2. That new captcha log in thingy is dire. Am I supposed to be able to read those words lol

      I just keep reloading them until a legible one appears.

  2. Nightmare.

    These companies care not a jot how much they make from people as long as they make money. Nothing else matters to them.

    MSPs, MEPs and even MPs are useful when it comes to getting things done.

    I've found the threat of an member's letter to be effective. As is a letter to the press. The Sunday Post's customer complaints page has been known to work wonders.

    If you don't think it will compromise your situation, you might let us know which phone company it is, so we can avoid it.

    Although I, like Monty, stick with Pay As You Go and buy a, wait for it with a sick bucket nearby, "freedom freebie" giving me better value than just £10 worth of calls, texts, internet.

    Vodafone is a nasty money grubbing, set of tightwads, who bribe their way out of paying tax by paying for "dining experiences", but their frontline staff aren't bad, and it's not their fault that their London bosses would make any decent person vomit.

    1. Tris,

      I'm hoping that O2 will give me the runaround so that I can take them to court. They all know this is going on and don't give a monkey's f**k about their customers getting ripped off.

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