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scottjpalmer
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  #220606 1-Jun-2009 21:42
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PenultimateHop: I am wondering why telcos couldn't offer a "Premium SMS Barring" service, much like toll barring or 900-number barring.? This seems like a sensible value-add, particularly where the mobile user might be a child.? In this case I think it would be a sensible service to offer.




Sounds like a great idea to me, very similar to 0900 barring really . . .

EDIT: Geez I must be tired, totally missed the middle part of your post saying the same thing :-)

ZollyMonsta

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  #221062 2-Jun-2009 20:12
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Ticket has been logged with Premium Text Services.. Looks like we'll be having the charges wiped.
A dodgy outfit called 'Mobile Finger'.

I still believe that there should be an OPT IN for these services, not by entering a PIN but by contacting vodafone or by doing it via the My Vodafone site.

Oh, Fair Go very interested also... Watch this space.

RedJungle
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  #221209 3-Jun-2009 09:55
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Ideally I think one of the opt-in's should come directly from Vodafone and spell out exactly what the cost involved will be. This would ensure it's not all in the hands of a (potentially dodgy) 3rd party.

Of course, the cost/benefit case for Vodafone to implement such a system would I'm sure be negative.




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openmedia
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  #221293 3-Jun-2009 13:13
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The local double opt in requirement is one of the best ways to run these services, but I thing the message asking you to confirm subscription should include details of pricing for the service.

As for this service, I'd want an explanation of how you were subscribed without sending the confirmation message.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


paradoxsm
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  #221408 3-Jun-2009 18:55
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I got burnt by that mobile finger one, never signed up, got random messages and still awaiting my $9 credit (3 x $3 sms messages)


see "http://forum.vodafone.co.nz/index.php?showtopic=2463"

I spoke to mobile finger "helpdesk" and threatened direct legal action, next day the 0800 number was promptly disconnected, funny that.

That "iq test" one off facebook also had some browser hijacking scripts (just try and leave the site and not sign up, it will open piles of pop-ups and try to insert a BHO) and of course, the "product" offered is utter crap like 90% of these sms services.

I have a full file of examples of these, might pass them tvnz and TSO's way.

honem
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  #222897 9-Jun-2009 03:55
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Interesting :)

When I was a Telecom 123 CSR I would of credited you the $28 or so dollars straight off.

I had a ton of customers who have unknowingly signed up for an SMS subscription service. Usaully it would be their first time doing so - either they did it being un aware of the costs involved or their kid did it for them. Text Short codes they were called when i was working there.

Possibly the most insidious one I've personally dealt with was one to win an Xbox. It was so prevalent that there was not only a site wide email about it but an Informer about and even (if I recall correctly) a training session on it. I do believe we even reviewed the Television ad on it - it had the details of the contest in 80 pt text on the screen ("You can win an Xbox sign up now") while the terms and conditions of it was only in 5 or 6 pt text on the screen.

There was a Fair Go story done about this already. Apparently there is something in some kind of contract they sign that states they do need to inform people about the costs involved and the fact it was signing them up for a SMS subscription service. As noted above they usaully get around this by having that text really really small and hard to see (especially on a TV ads thats only on the screen for a small amount of time).

Ok I got to say my Text Short codes rant :D

Now to brass tacks : Should you get the $ 28 refunded ?

Absolutely.

Getting past the whole "but you willingly signed up for it" type of argument for a minute here.
Looking at your account history are you and your wife the type to do this sort of thing ?
Are there text messages sent from your phone at that time and date ?
Can they prove that a text message was sent from your cellphone number to the subscription service at that time of the morning ?

I mean if I was the Vodafone CSR rep on the end of the line , you and me could of had this really long conversation. There could of been a raelly long and costly investigation to prove if you had willingly signed up for the serverice or not.

Wouldn't it be cheaper and faster just to credit you the $28 and save aus all that fuss and bother ?

PS I've actually credited bigger amounts before. $28 is nothing




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paradoxsm
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  #223818 11-Jun-2009 01:04
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I'm still waiting for my credit refund, will be making a call tomorrow to get it back from Vodafone.

Not good, Vodafone are billing ON BEHALF of the service provider but seem to run for the hills when that provider breaches the service agreement. I had the same thing on Telecom a couple of months back, they refunded me and sent through a dispute to the content provider whom were dealt with.. easy.



ZollyMonsta

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  #223847 11-Jun-2009 08:15
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Still no courtesy call from vodafone after the complaint was made... Will be calling back again to find what has happened.

ZollyMonsta

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#227492 22-Jun-2009 19:52
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<edit> PaulBrislen:
These services are double opt in. That is you have to sign up AND respond to a TXT message to get them started. If that hasn't happened in this case then we will need to escalate it, but as I said early I have yet to see anyone in that position. Every single person who has passed over my desk has indeed signed up for the service on offer.



Hi Paul,

Hoping you can help.  I managed to get hold of the call centre the following day and lodged a complaint with the Premium Text Services department.  I got a call back shortly afterwards and was given a complaint number (which I can provide you) and was told that these charges would be dropped ($24.88).

My wife recieved her bill just the other day.  These charges are still active.

I've just called 777 from her mobile and had an infuriating call with 'Mohammad' at your Egypt call centre.
Mohammad ensures me that there is no such thing as 'double opt in' and Vodafone will not be removing these charges.  I'm afraid to say the conversation got rather heated as this is different to what you posted earlier in the thread (see above).  I hung up.

Are you able to assist?

Once again, mobile number wasn't entered.  A text message came in around 5am with a PIN  to enter, shortly afterwards (around 90 seconds) a second text message congratulating my wife on signing up. No PIN was entered anywhere as we were fast asleep.

Regards,
Grant

bender
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  #227573 22-Jun-2009 23:06
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ZollyMonsta: 
I've just called 777 from her mobile and had an infuriating call with 'Mohammad' at your Egypt call centre.
Mohammad ensures me that there is no such thing as 'double opt in' and Vodafone will not be removing these charges.  I'm afraid to say the conversation got rather heated as this is different to what you posted earlier in the thread (see above).  I hung up.



This sounds like every call with them!


I'd like to support the option of a premium SMS block too.  This is a big problem for us on company phones to the point we've ended up having SMS removed for employees as they don't realise what they're doing when they txt a number that flashes up on TV for 10 seconds without clearly explaining the charges...

paradoxsm
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  #227578 22-Jun-2009 23:35
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More of them, I'd not suggest taking a legal recourse as it seems there is a blind eye being turned to this.

I still am awaiting my refund, tried calling the call centre that next day, tried twice, calls failed to connect offshore. Might try calling back and recording the calls although last time I advised them I was recording the calls, they told me they could record me but I could not record them and they hung up. hmmmmmm.

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  #227781 23-Jun-2009 20:27
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Paradox, check the phrasing of the message they use to advise you that they record calls. Often they phrase it as "calls may be recorded" - but don't say by who ;)

tripp
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  #227885 24-Jun-2009 10:15
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@ZollyMonsta,
I wonder if that is the same "Mohammad" i had yesterday when i called about my last bill and asked to be transferred to someone that could sort out my bill he told me he could sort it out, after explaining for the 4th time yesterday and 5 mins of back story he then says "he will email the billing department about it" I then snapped him out saying he told me he could sort it, he then told me its not his department, i started to get a bit pissed off as i just wasted more time explaining it to someone that can't help at all and told him to get someone to ring me that can help within an hour (after he refused to transfer me to his manager or billing). As yet no call

ZollyMonsta

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  #227915 24-Jun-2009 12:13
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mrtoken: @ZollyMonsta,

I wonder if that is the same "Mohammad" i had yesterday when i called about my last bill and asked to be transferred to someone that could sort out my bill he told me he could sort it out, after explaining for the 4th time yesterday and 5 mins of back story he then says "he will email the billing department about it" I then snapped him out saying he told me he could sort it, he then told me its not his department, i started to get a bit pissed off as i just wasted more time explaining it to someone that can't help at all and told him to get someone to ring me that can help within an hour (after he refused to transfer me to his manager or billing). As yet no call


Most likely. I've come to the conclusion:



  • The Egyptian Call Centre is the only people you will get to talk to anymore

  • The Egyptian Call Centre have no authority to make any credits to your account

  • The Egyptian Call Centre cannot transfer you to a New Zealander (You're stranded with them!)

  • The Egyptian Call Centre does not believe 'The Customer Is Always Right'.


I've now had two more calls.

Yes, Call number one (as usual) the CSR hung up on me.  Call number 2 I was put on hold a lot (up to 5 mins at times, probably hoping I would give up and hang up).  Still no budging, saying I have to take it up with the provider.  They will not listen about the 'dual opt in' process.  In the end it got heated (again!) and I asked to be put through to the complaints dept.  Got some 'American' sounding guy (probably in Egypt also.. with a fake accent) who took down more details to 'pass on' to the NZ office.

I doubt I will hear anything from Vodafone.  It seems they processed my complaint and said they won't refund (even though I am yet to see any proof of the 'dual opt in' process being met).  They did not even bother to inform me of this decision.

I'm beyond caring about the money now.  It's the principal of it.  I still refuse to pay the measley $24.88 and will take them to small claims court soon should they not remove these charges.  Yes, it will cost me $50.. but once again.. it's the principal of it.

As I see it, I have a contract with Vodafone.. so they should sort it out (not me!)  We have no contract with the premium text services provider as they appear to have breached Vodafone's own 'dual opt in' rules.

Perrin
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  #227922 24-Jun-2009 12:27
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Have you seen the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution site? I would guess that is your first port of call, rather than the Small Claims Tribunal. They have a lot of useful links too: http://www.tdr.org.nz/consumers/useful-links

Failing that you could look around local forums and blogs for similar complaints and try to find enough people so that the media or Fair Go are interested in doing a story.

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