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Topic # 34934 1-Jun-2009 12:33
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Just had a couple of angry telephone conversations with some outfit calling themselves "Mobile Service Desk" supposedly based in Australia.  I've also had two un-eventful calls to Vodafone (Currently only processing 'Essential Services').

My wife started to get unsolicited "IQ Test" sms messages on the 15th May (Starting with one with a 'pin' number and a min 30 later a 'you're signed up' message.  Both of these timestamped at just after 5am.

I was made aware of this yesterday, but only after she had recieved 8 of these 'subscription' messages, at a cost of around $28.

According to 'Mobile Service Desk' she would have had to enter her mobile number, then enter the PIN sent via text, to subscribe.

The rogue operator will not provide me any proof of her signing up,  and a IP address must be requested by Vodafone.  Vodafone say they cannot do anything as it's external to their network.

Let's look at the facts



  • My wife did an 'IQ' test via Facebook on the 15th using the "IQ Test" application

  • She never finished doing the test as her computer crashed

  • She never entered her mobile number anywhere

  • She never entered a pin number to subscribe to any service

  • Both original subscription messages came in at around 5am (including signup PIN) when we were fast asleep in bed!

  • "Mobile Service Desk" will not provide any proof of her signing up to me

  • Vodafone will not do anything to prevent other customers from this rogue operator

  • Vodafone will not refund the $24.88 charged on my wifes account (Still, I will keep trying)


If anyone from Vodafone in authourity is reading this, I would love to hear from you.  Also any others affected by this 'subscription' service.

Cheers,
Grant

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Reply # 220353 1-Jun-2009 12:51
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The TDR website has an excellent page on what to do if your phone company isn't taking ownership of your complaint.




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  Reply # 220355 1-Jun-2009 12:52

Is she being charged for the service? If she is then she has entered her number in the application at some point. TXT the word STOP to the originating number and it will stop.



The process is well known and can be viewed at www.vodafone.co.nz/premiumtxt.



The process is as follows:



Customer signs up for service (either online or on the mobile).

Customer receives a TXT to the mobile asking if they're sure they want to subscribe (this is free).

Customer confirms they wish to join the service.

Customer receives a welcome TXT with unsubscribe options (STOP) and price for service and an 0800 number for contacting the service operator.

Customers who want to opt out TXT the word STOP to the number.



Any problems, contact the service provider - if you no longer have the 0800 number you can ring 777 for the number but the 777 operator can NOT refund your money or stop the service because Vodafone does not operate the service.



If you TXT the word STOP and the TXTs continue, you need to ring the 0800 number and get it seen to. If they cannot help/decline/don't answer you can ring 777 and escalate the problem to the Premium TXT team inside Vodafone who will contact the provider and see what's going on.



So TXT STOP to whatever number is sending the TXTs and/or give them a call.



Cheers



Paul




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Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


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  Reply # 220359 1-Jun-2009 12:58
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I have done many traces myself where customers have advised they did not reply with the PIN and every signle case the customer has.

Not saying in this case as I have not looked at this example

John



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  Reply # 220370 1-Jun-2009 13:34
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Paul,

As a provider you should be taking more ownership of things like this.

No, she did not subscribe to this service.  For a start, the so-called 'PIN' security was sent just after 5am when we were both tucked up in bed, followed approx 1 min 30 seconds later by a confirmation she was subscribed.  Unless we have a poltergeist, or we're both going completely mad, there is simply no way she subscribed to this service herself.

As a responsible provider you should be doing more to prevent these dodgy external providers.
I absolutely don't believe you can't stop them, nor do I not believe you can't refund the charges.

Our contracts (two of them) are with Vodafone.  You are charging us for these services, and we dispute it as my wife did not subscribe.  The traffic is on your network, and appearing on your bill, so Vodafone should be taking more responsibility.

Simply stating 'Vodafone does not operate this service' is a cop-out.  You have charged us for it, and we did not sign up for it.  Our contract is with Vodafone and never has been with any external provider.

Take some ownership!






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  Reply # 220371 1-Jun-2009 13:39
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johnr: I have done many traces myself where customers have advised they did not reply with the PIN and every signle case the customer has.



Not saying in this case as I have not looked at this example



John


John,

Both messages came in at just after 5am


  • 'PIN' txt at 5:02:10am  on 15/05/2009

  • 'Thankyou for joining' txt at 5:03:31am on 15/05/2009




Interesting as we were both asleep at 5am... and the so-called 'PIN' is required to be entered to subscribe!

There is simply no way that this 'service' was subscribed to.



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  Reply # 220373 1-Jun-2009 13:41
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cokemaster: The TDR website has an excellent page on what to do if your phone company isn't taking ownership of your complaint.


Thanks... FairGo has already been contacted, the TDR is my next point of call unless Vodafone take ownership to sort the issue.

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  Reply # 220376 1-Jun-2009 13:47
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Does you wife have her mobile number on Facebook?

Did she click the button allowing the IQ application access to her private information?

Better go back to that application and read the fineprint. She might have automatically subscribed at that moment.

It's quite complicated. These SMS probably come from overseas. Vodafone will be charged for by the originating network, so they are just passing the information they receive.

I agree those SMS applications are a scam. But the provider here is just passing it on...

Have you tried the STOP reply and see if it stops?






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  Reply # 220380 1-Jun-2009 14:07
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freitasm: Does you wife have her mobile number on Facebook?

Did she click the button allowing the IQ application access to her private information?

Better go back to that application and read the fineprint. She might have automatically subscribed at that moment.

It's quite complicated. These SMS probably come from overseas. Vodafone will be charged for by the originating network, so they are just passing the information they receive.

I agree those SMS applications are a scam. But the provider here is just passing it on...

Have you tried the STOP reply and see if it stops?


Just spoke with Telecom.  0800 number owned by some outfit called 'Sybase 365'.

Yes, her number was on facebook, now removed.  I txt STOP IQ yesterday to 3415, but only after they'd sent 8 messages.

My beef here is she did not subscribe to the service.  The 0800 number told me she had to physically enter a pin code before the subscription would occur.  It didn't.  the PIN was sent after 5am on weekday, followed by a congrats you're subscribed.  The person on the 0800 number tells me they don't even have a website, so how on earth could a pin number be entered?

Certainly, I can understand Vodafone stance IF the customer had subscribed, but by the providers own terms we hadn't (no PIN entered).

Surely Vodafone can ban such scam services from their network?  How does the billing work?  The 'scam' service bills Vodafone, so Vodafone bills the customer?

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  Reply # 220387 1-Jun-2009 14:19
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This happened to my partner a few weeks back.. something about a facebook iq test and then the txts just started rolling in.
Blew out her pre-pay account.. bye bye $10-$20 in MINUTES. It stunk of a scam and reminded me of the 'dial home' scams back in the 1990's when modems would dial 0900 type numbers in.. far flung places.

Somethings never change, I'm getting older and see history repeating, because back then the telco providers didn't much care as.. they were getting paid, the upstream was getting paid.. the economy spun a little faster because of the actions of their silly customers. But please... fill in some form.. and they will place another +1 next to this call ticket and.. will do something about it will it gets over a few thousand complaints.

But keep this in mind Mr V, someday soon I will be a sole decision maker, or major influencer, in a choice between telco/ip/voice providers. It is then I will secretly get my own back on whichever I view as the greater of which ever evils I have to choose from. It is just a crying shame that Telecom is an evil of biblical proportions that its always going to be Vodafone over Telecom. Unless Vodafone starts crucifying babies or something more horrible.

Its good to be back on geekzone.

Fred.




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  Reply # 220389 1-Jun-2009 14:22
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Here is the fine print from the quiz.



"Summary of Terms



Welcome to the Official Mobile IQ Quiz! After completing the mobile quiz, we will calculate your score and ask you to enter your cell phone number to gain access to your IQ results as well as a mobile content subscription. Depending on your carrier and cell phone manufacturer, the mobile content may include ringtones, games, wallpapers, or fun text messages. This content will cost as much as $19.99 per month and will be sent to your cell. If you would not like to sign up for the subscription content to your phone to see your results, simply click the Get Results link on the cell phone entry page to view how you did!"




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 220394 1-Jun-2009 14:30
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>If you would not like to sign up for the subscription content to your phone to see your results, simply click the Get Results link on the cell phone entry page to view how you did!"

My Head As_ploded in that sentence.




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  Reply # 220395 1-Jun-2009 14:30
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billgates: Here is the fine print from the quiz.



"Summary of Terms



Welcome to the Official Mobile IQ Quiz! After completing the mobile quiz, we will calculate your score and ask you to enter your cell phone number to gain access to your IQ results as well as a mobile content subscription. Depending on your carrier and cell phone manufacturer, the mobile content may include ringtones, games, wallpapers, or fun text messages. This content will cost as much as $19.99 per month and will be sent to your cell. If you would not like to sign up for the subscription content to your phone to see your results, simply click the Get Results link on the cell phone entry page to view how you did!"


All very well... but there was a PIN that supposedly had to be entered to subscribe in our case. The PIN was in no way entered, however my wife was subscribed.  This STINKS of a SCAM and Vodafone seem uninterested.

The outcome of this will help us decide wether to stay with Vodafone or leave, as our two on contract accounts will expire shortly..  The opposition is looking better these days.



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  Reply # 220398 1-Jun-2009 14:33
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FredDag: This happened to my partner a few weeks back.. something about a facebook iq test and then the txts just started rolling in.

Blew out her pre-pay account.. bye bye $10-$20 in MINUTES. It stunk of a scam and reminded me of the 'dial home' scams back in the 1990's when modems would dial 0900 type numbers in.. far flung places.



Somethings never change, I'm getting older and see history repeating, because back then the telco providers didn't much care as.. they were getting paid, the upstream was getting paid.. the economy spun a little faster because of the actions of their silly customers. But please... fill in some form.. and they will place another +1 next to this call ticket and.. will do something about it will it gets over a few thousand complaints.



But keep this in mind Mr V, someday soon I will be a sole decision maker, or major influencer, in a choice between telco/ip/voice providers. It is then I will secretly get my own back on whichever I view as the greater of which ever evils I have to choose from. It is just a crying shame that Telecom is an evil of biblical proportions that its always going to be Vodafone over Telecom. Unless Vodafone starts crucifying babies or something more horrible.



Its good to be back on geekzone.



Fred.


Hi Fred,

Will be interested to hear if you had similar to us.. A PIN code sent at some strange hour (which supposedly needs to be entered) then around 90 seconds later the confirmation (and no one has entered a PIN to subscribe).

Same here.. these other new networks look mighty nice right now.  Telecom have been more helpful than Vodafone in this instance and I don't even have any accounts with them!

BTW:  It's looking like the service comes out of South Africa possibly (Sybase 365)... with the 0800 number being answered by some crowd in Australia calling themselves "Mobile Service Desk".


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  Reply # 220407 1-Jun-2009 14:46
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Certainly sounds like a scam company (not VF) but the IQ quiz people. I guess from Vodafone's part, they should prob blacklist this particular IQ quiz company, if they can do it legally.




Do whatever you want to do man.

  



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  Reply # 220409 1-Jun-2009 14:48
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Yes, seems it.. Look here

http://www.hellopeter.com/comp_comment.php?company=Sybase+365

There's some posts indicating the exact same (or similar) theme to our scenario. Except in our instance no mobile number was entered (instead they have scraped it from the Facebook profile and subscribed my wife automatically to this sms scam).

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