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235 posts

Master Geek


# 17908 17-Dec-2007 15:51
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Okay

Sitting at home Saturday night my g/f got a text from VF (some shortcode 4162) saying that she has been charged some $30 premium for something to do with a short code 4277.

She just rang VF CS and just told me "they reckon it's an internet thing where you put your phone number in and they send you stupid things and charge you for them!"

Obviously she didn't register for it so someone else has so I asked her what they'd do and she said "They are going to investigate and put a block on it though it looks like I might get stuckwith the $30 unless they can track it. Will have to wait and see."

WTF???

I would've thought that unless you were registering from the actual phone being charged, you've logged in either on the net (user/pass) or over the phone (pin), that only then could you be charged for a service.

WTF???

I'll wait to see what happens before I go ballistic. It's the second time she's had trouble, she got caught up in the multiple billing and got charged 4x for the same international call and they wouldn't fix it, come on VF!!!

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  # 100446 17-Dec-2007 16:00
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This has happened in the past, there was a service online or in Australia where you could actually sign up other people and they would get charged!

There was no comfirmation text, asking if you wanted to sign up, you just got signed up!

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  # 100450 17-Dec-2007 16:17

rscole86: This has happened in the past, there was a service online or in Australia where you could actually sign up other people and they would get charged!

There was no comfirmation text, asking if you wanted to sign up, you just got signed up!


Do you have a source for that information? I haven't heard of anything like that.

The process for these premium services (and I think this applies for Telecom as well as Vodafone but I can't be sure) is that customers sign up for a service - they then receive a confirmation TXT. They must reply to that to join the service. They are then sent a "welcome to the service" message which will include details on how to opt out (typically sending the word STOP to a shortcode number) and contact information for the provider of the service.

Once you've stopped a service you should receive a confirmation TXT to say it's all over. If the billing continues then a call to the provider should get it sorted. If that doesn't happen you should ring Vodafone/Telecom where appropriate and get it escalated.

Nobody should be able to sign up someone else in New Zealand without that person receiving a TXT and then replying to it and receiving another TXT. If you get a strange TXT saying you're signing up for something you don't want, DON'T RESPOND TO IT and that should be that.

Hope that helps - PM me know if you don't get a resolution and I'll escalate it myself.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


 
 
 
 


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  # 100458 17-Dec-2007 16:28
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Hi Paul, sorry it was not happening in New Zealand, it was happening in Australia. (I should be a bit clearer in future :D)

It was NOT affecting New Zealand customers at all, AFAIK. It was a website that asked you to enter a cellphone number to get 'information', eg horoscope, loever etc etc, but you were able to but in another persons cellphone number as the confirmation was done via email and not to the charging cellphone.



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Master Geek


  # 100467 17-Dec-2007 16:58
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Thanks for that Paul, I will ensure my she sees your message tonight when I get her in front of the screen and keep this thread updated.

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  # 100472 17-Dec-2007 17:30
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PaulBrislen:
rscole86: This has happened in the past, there was a service online or in Australia where you could actually sign up other people and they would get charged!

There was no comfirmation text, asking if you wanted to sign up, you just got signed up!


Do you have a source for that information? I haven't heard of anything like that.



Who operates the 98999 service Paul?

I updated my E65 firmware while the Rugby World Cup was on and while I was playing with the firmware went into the Download menu and while looking around saw a RWC scores application listed. I had a look at this and there was no mention of any charges. A few seconds later I received a TXT from 98999 thanking me for signing up to the RWC package and that it would cost me $5 per week until I cancelled by sending STOP to 98999. There was no double opt it option, I was instantly signed up to this despite never agreeing to pay $5 a week for a service that I wasn't actually interested in subscribing to. Sending STOP immediately stopped the service but I felt like I was scammed at the time.




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  # 100477 17-Dec-2007 17:51

sbiddle:
PaulBrislen:
rscole86: This has happened in the past, there was a service online or in Australia where you could actually sign up other people and they would get charged!

There was no comfirmation text, asking if you wanted to sign up, you just got signed up!


Do you have a source for that information? I haven't heard of anything like that.



Who operates the 98999 service Paul?

I updated my E65 firmware while the Rugby World Cup was on and while I was playing with the firmware went into the Download menu and while looking around saw a RWC scores application listed. I had a look at this and there was no mention of any charges. A few seconds later I received a TXT from 98999 thanking me for signing up to the RWC package and that it would cost me $5 per week until I cancelled by sending STOP to 98999. There was no double opt it option, I was instantly signed up to this despite never agreeing to pay $5 a week for a service that I wasn't actually interested in subscribing to. Sending STOP immediately stopped the service but I felt like I was scammed at the time.





No idea I'm afraid but I'll pass all that on to the team in the morning. You are supposed to ALWAYS get the double opt-in and the option to back out BEFORE the money starts changing hands. If not, it's in breach of our rules as I understand them.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


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  # 100822 19-Dec-2007 11:37
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I can think of a few ways to get charged for something by mistake, and most people wouldn't notice at all, as its happened to me many times when in a hurry.

If going onto Telecom WAP, and go to check the weather (for example) for my town, once I click on the *TIMARU, I see the weather and get charged the 35 cents. After that, what I *should* do it keep pressing back until back at the home page...

Because if you just press end once finished looking at the weather, the next time you connect to WAP it will go back to that last page and you will get charged again!

I believe I have also done this a few times downloading ringtones/games on Telecom/Vodafone too, where once game has completed downloading, I just "hang up", but the next time I go onto WAP it starts at the download page and I get charged again for it. Moral here is disconnect from WAP back at the home page.

Now I don't know at all about this, just my theory from what customer reps have said, that they can tell that a game has been downloaded, but not which game. So its about half and half when it happens and I ring up to complain to whether they credit me back, or just say too bad. If they could "see" which game or ringtone was downloaded then they would see same thing was downloaded twice and believe my story and give me credit.

 
 
 
 


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  # 100826 19-Dec-2007 11:53
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Thats just bad UI design...actions resulting in charges to users (or destructive actions) should require confirmation or at the very least require the user explicitly setting the UI to preform the action by default after informing them fully of the consequences.

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  # 100830 19-Dec-2007 12:06
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Fraktul: Thats just bad UI design...actions resulting in charges to users (or destructive actions)...


Destructive actions.... Like deleting or overwriting something on my phone, I've nearly had that before too resulting in being charged for nothing...

I downloaded a truetone alert tone once, and after a period of time I decided I'd like the full length truetone ringtone too, so I downloaded it, but after the part where it says it will cost me $x.xx, it came up with a message like "filename already exists, overwrite?". This is good it asked me rather than just overwriting it.

Well obviously I wanted both tones, and didn't want to lose one for the other, so I said no. I then went off WAP and found I had been charged even though it wasn't downloaded. I rang Telecom who were great about it, they put me on hold and replicated what I did, and said it was an area needing attention and gave me credit back. I've never tried to download both an alert tone and ringtone the same "theme" since, but I assume this has been corrected now.

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# 100839 19-Dec-2007 12:44
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Vodafone's billing system is screwed. This is the 5th month running I have had to ring up and get my account 'fixed' for various random charges, seeing multi-thousand dollar credits on a two mobile, two datacard bill is now normal for us.

I would not be suprised if you end up dealing with this for weeks or months afterwards, like we have. 

I don't understand how their system can be so screwed. Only last week I was told that the TXT service to get your bill value was always incorrect and to use the online system, which when we tried kept timing out, and showing incorrect values, or charges with no details - and the kicker, the value kept going up while we were online and no one was using their phones, but the details of calls and data never changed.

Some pitt stop! 




Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.



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Master Geek


  # 100851 19-Dec-2007 14:17
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Update:

She told them she got the texts without confirmation or registration.
They didn't say whether they could find out who or where it's coming from and said not to reply to it and they will investigate.
The $30 on her bill will be frozen so it's not on her account pending an investigation.
She asked them to tell her what day it was confirmed or whatever information they can give and they'll get back to her.
She requested they escalate it as we can't believe they let that get charged to the bill as it's unauthorised.

TBA



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Master Geek


  # 101044 20-Dec-2007 14:54
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Resolved

The offending site was MyLuvCrush, some sms horroscope from the US, it's now been blocked

Interestingly, the first we knew about it was Saturday night and VF said the charges were now up to $211 as she was getting charged $30 each time she received a sms <-- WTF???

How she got signed up and charged without confirmation is a mystery they are investigating who did this and how.

Amazing, $30 per message, that's some very fantastic pricing...

What really bugs me is that if I wasn't on her case to chase VF about this she'd have capitulated somewhere along the line and agreed to pay for it - as mentioned before she lost out $300 because she didn't chase VF up when she got charged 4 times for the same international call a few months back - and I know other people would also not chase these things up, to me it reeks of a scam.

Would be good if VF blocked this outright

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# 101047 20-Dec-2007 14:58
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How could a US Horoscope get into Vodafone NZ and charge in New Zealand?

Vodafone (and Telecom) can't of course dictate prices - but if a "partner" comes around and says "we'll charge $30 per SMS when using your network", well this should clearly set off some bells and alarms around the Vodafone HQ - but if not then what can we think of them?

This type of scam has been publicised here on Geekzone and other media outlets before. It's just simply a shame operators allow people to use their network for this kind of "service".




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  # 101053 20-Dec-2007 15:30
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freitasm: How could a US Horoscope get into Vodafone NZ and charge in New Zealand?

Vodafone (and Telecom) can't of course dictate prices - but if a "partner" comes around and says "we'll charge $30 per SMS when using your network", well this should clearly set off some bells and alarms around the Vodafone HQ - but if not then what can we think of them?

This type of scam has been publicised here on Geekzone and other media outlets before. It's just simply a shame operators allow people to use their network for this kind of "service".



I would stay it's standard business practice, looking at Vodafone's price gorging pricings on their website for other services. If anything Vodafone would be flattered, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.




Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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  # 101058 20-Dec-2007 15:53

exportgoldman:
freitasm: How could a US Horoscope get into Vodafone NZ and charge in New Zealand?

Vodafone (and Telecom) can't of course dictate prices - but if a "partner" comes around and says "we'll charge $30 per SMS when using your network", well this should clearly set off some bells and alarms around the Vodafone HQ - but if not then what can we think of them?

This type of scam has been publicised here on Geekzone and other media outlets before. It's just simply a shame operators allow people to use their network for this kind of "service".



I would stay it's standard business practice, looking at Vodafone's price gorging pricings on their website for other services. If anything Vodafone would be flattered, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


Please. Don't be absurd. This is not standard process and if something is introduced (like this "service") when we're notified of it, we will respond. Unless we're notified we're quite removed from the process so it's hard to spot. We rely, to some extent, on the companies signing up with us to manage those third parties that are offering services to be honest and upfront. We also rely on customers telling us when there's a problem. I saw this on another thread recently about CallPlus - if you have a problem, let us know and we'll raise a ticket and have a look at it. Nobody here is a mind reader (well, not a licensed one at any rate) so we can't tell what's going on by osmosis.

Glad to hear it's resolved - if you get charges you don't understand on anything ALWAYS call and push the matter for a resolution. You're as much a part of the solution as any other component so play your part and we can catch these things early on.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


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