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Posted Jan 21, 2012
11:01:51 AM
At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

I got a spam SMS from 31850 asking me to sign up for some quiz, I just ignored it, I've always heard not to reply 'STOP' to spamers because then they know your number is real and being spammers they don't care what you reply. I've seen messages on this board where people reply 'STOP' and it does no good.

 

Anyway, I just got my bill and AT&T let this "third party" (it's in quotes because they have to be in cahoots with at&t for this to happen) charge me $9.99 for their subscription. I don't have time to deal with it now but I'll probably have to take time out of my day monday call At&t.

 

I usually don't get upset over stuff but I can't believe that AT&T lets someone sign me up for a  $9.99 a month charge without consent, without a password or pin or an email or anything.

 

By the way, you are all now signed up for my subscription service.  Please read this sentence to confirm.

 

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Oct 29, 2012 12:19:22 PM
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Edited by jamileh on Oct 29, 2012 at 12:20:28 PM

Hey folks, 

 

There's a lot of heated discussion around this and I want to step in with a couple key points. 

 

First and foremost - these forums are here to help. I know topics like this can get people frustrated and heated but this is a community of peers and courtesy is imperative. Please keep in mind that everyone here is here to help or to get help. This is not a place for name calling and nastiness. 

 

Secondly - Scammers like those talked about in this thread typically use confusing jargon and sneaky tactics to get you signed up for their service. 

 

The best defense you have against these companies is to make sure that purchase blocker is applied to each phone line. This is a free service and will not allow 3rd party purchases to be made against your account; regardless of if you (or a family member) accidentally agree to terms and conditions from these companies. 

 

Here is a post from earlier this year that provides more information about purchase blocker and how to prevent 3rd party charges: http://forums.att.com/t5/Wireless-Billing/3rd-Party-Subscriptions-amp-Purchase-Blocker/td-p/3095123

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At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Jan 21, 2012 11:14:55 AM
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AT&T doesn't just "let" them charge you. Somewhere somehow it was authorized onto your monthly bill by either you or a mobile user. I have seen it done accidentally, it's happened to me before accidentally.

Call AT&T, have them remove it and request a free purchase blocker. Once they activate the purchase blocker it won't allow any purchases and you don't have to worry about these third party charges anymore, accidental or not.

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Jan 21, 2012 11:35:15 AM
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I don't see how I have possibly authorized this, I got a message saying take this quiz at some website before I got through reading it I got another message saying I scored 107 then another with some weird fact about handwashing, I never replied I never went to their website or to AT&T's website or even looked at my account untill I got billed and I'm the only one that ever touches my phone.

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Jan 21, 2012 11:43:59 AM
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I just googles the short code, I'm not the only one this has happened  to

 

I can't believe AT&T lets this happen

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Jan 21, 2012 1:54:14 PM
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johnray wrote:

I just googles the short code, I'm not the only one this has happened  to

 

I can't believe AT&T lets this happen


Deep within the wall text that you are presented is the " I agree to be charged" text, contrary to what you believe no carrier will let a 3rd party company put a charge on your phone bill without you authorization.

 

This is a common trick by the "free" ringtone, wall paper, etc sites that are presented to the cell user. As a matter of siple fact there IS a opinion poll on facebook that has the agreement built into it.

 

ATT did not let it happen without your authorization.

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Jan 21, 2012 2:55:35 PM
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I don't understand what you mean by "Deep within the wall text that you are presented is the " I agree to be charged" text" I didn't sign up for anything or hit any submit button anywhere.

 

I havn't been to any free ringtone or wallpaper or any other sites If I ever purchase anything on my iphone it is through apple's app store and that's been a long while ago and it's tied to my email address, I don't care anything about ringtones or wallpaper, at&t is the only website that i've ever given my number to.

 

Out of the blue one day I got a spam text saying 'enter this four digit code on website to sign up for fun facts challenge quiz for $9.99 a month and it had a phone number, It didn't say what website to go to nor did I  go to any website or enter any code. I'm not the kind of person to sign up for anything and never give my number out.

 

 before I even finished reading the text I got another one saying 'you scored 107 you are pretty smart $9.99/mo reply HELP for help or STOP to cancel

 

, then another text about only 1 in 3 people washing their hands after using the restroom.

 

After the second message I thought these guys have me on their spam list and I worried I would start getting messages from them and have to call at&t to block them if STOP doesn't work but I never thought AT&T would actually charge me the $9.99 without contacting me first.

 

Even if I were to sign up for something with a third party at&t should not start charging me just because some third party gives them my phone number and says I signed up for it, they should contact me somehow and get my password or something. That's why I blame at&t.

 

 

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Jan 21, 2012 3:40:24 PM
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Thats not how it works. If its authorized by the mobile user it will be added to your bill. Blame AT&T all you want but they didn't let it happen, it was authroized by you or a mobile user whether you would like to believe it or not. Instead of continuing this conversation thats leading nowhere, you should contact AT&T and have it removed, credited, and add the free purchase blocker that I was telling you about. AT&T created that purchase blocker so even if you accidentally authroize a purchase, it wont go through. It's a preventive measure.

 

Customer service is open on the weekends, It will honestly take about 10 minutes to complete.

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Jan 21, 2012 4:26:23 PM
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That's exactly how it works, It's exactly how it happened to me, I just spent a few minutes googling 'premium sms scam' and it's happened to a lot of people the same way with 3 text messages. I never search for anything like wall paper or ringtones on my iphone or anything else for that matter, the screens to small, and never give my phone number out or sign up for any text messages or anything I'm just not that kind of person, there are only five websites I visit everyday, I don't stray from them unless I have a reason like today. and it is impossible for me to have accidentally authorized a purchase, most days I hardly even touch my phone now that I have an ipad. I just read where google had to pull some apps from their store because they were signing people up for premium sms in other countries but it didn't affect north america and I havn't downloaded any iphone apps in a while.

 

I don't see how another mobile user could have authorized it without my password, I live alone and no one has ever even touched my phone other than me and the lady at the apple store.

 

anyway I thank you for your comments and help, I plan on calling customer service tomorrow or monday when I have more uninterupted time, At&t customer service has always been very nice and helpful to me, I'll ask about the purchase blocker and see if it's right for me.

 

I hope at&t adds the ability to block all premium 5-digit sms messages soon like verizon if they haven't already.

 

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Jan 21, 2012 4:55:00 PM
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Mentor
Edited by johnray on Jan 21, 2012 at 5:39:14 PM

Thanks wingrider01,

 

That looks like what I got hit with except I didn't participate in any quizzes or anything, they got my number from somewhere else, I did sign up for facebook so I could see some pictures my cousin took in Mexico but I never used facebook since, and I certainly never entered my phone number in any site.

 

Reading those articles I didn't see where anyone's service provider  asks the user for confirmation, all they need is the phone number, which is wrong in my opinion.

 

In a few of the articles it reminded me of the service where you text a certain code to a charity and they charge your phone bill, you know like after an earthquake or something. when that happens does at&t confirm with the user? maybe that's what this is, a $9.99 text message they are fooling at&t with saying I replied to and signed up for.

 

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Jan 21, 2012 6:41:56 PM
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Edited by Phil-101 on Jan 21, 2012 at 7:52:49 PM

I found some more info online about this, it's called cramming, they've been doing it on landlines for a while and now they're doing it to cellphones and the provider doesn't have to confirm it with you when they are going to add third party charges to your bill, they do it because they get paid to. One article is here. 

 

all the bad guys seem to need is your phone number and your service provider will be glad to betray you and add charges to your bill without asking you first. At this time it's our responsibility to look at the bill and hope the charges aren't hidden to well, instead of the service providers responsibility to confirm it first, so wrong. I've read about several class action suits as well as the FCC trying to change rules so maybe everything will change.

 

here is another article with a video

 

 

anyway, i'll call customer service tomorrow, I'm sure it will all work out for me

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Jan 22, 2012 3:48:55 AM
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johnray wrote:

Thanks wingrider01,

 

That looks like what I got hit with except I didn't participate in any quizzes or anything, they got my number from somewhere else, I did sign up for facebook so I could see some pictures my cousin took in Mexico but I never used facebook since, and I certainly never entered my phone number in any site.

 

Reading those articles I didn't see where anyone's service provider  asks the user for confirmation, all they need is the phone number, which is wrong in my opinion.

 

In a few of the articles it reminded me of the service where you text a certain code to a charity and they charge your phone bill, you know like after an earthquake or something. when that happens does at&t confirm with the user? maybe that's what this is, a $9.99 text message they are fooling at&t with saying I replied to and signed up for.

 


for this type of billing the 3rd party puts the agreement page in, it maybe worded in the vaguest possible form but once they get it, itis pass to the carrier and it is all weel and good. What you want to do is request a Purchase Block on the line in question, it is free

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Jan 22, 2012 7:47:06 AM
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here is a video and an article some guy wrote explaining exactly what happend to me, and how some guy got to be rich scamming people doing this. I got a text asking me to sign up for someting, I didn't reply STOP, so they automaticaly signed me up, I really didn't have time to reply before the premium text came.

 

 

 

AT&t let this happen, and AT&t sent me a bill for it without my authorization, even if I authorized a third party to bill me, which I didn't, at&t should check with me first, I should authorize it with AT&T because at&t is the one billing me.

 

I've read articles and other things I can't mention here because my last post got ediited for it, were people didn't even get a text, they just started getting charged out of the blue, It's a scam, I'f I had you're phone number I could send at&t a bill and they'd bill you without asking you.

 

 

 

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Jan 22, 2012 9:27:59 AM
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johnray wrote:

here is a video and an article some guy wrote explaining exactly what happend to me, and how some guy got to be rich scamming people doing this. I got a text asking me to sign up for someting, I didn't reply STOP, so they automaticaly signed me up, I really didn't have time to reply before the premium text came.

 

 

 

AT&t let this happen, and AT&t sent me a bill for it without my authorization, even if I authorized a third party to bill me, which I didn't, at&t should check with me first, I should authorize it with AT&T because at&t is the one billing me.

 

I've read articles and other things I can't mention here because my last post got ediited for it, were people didn't even get a text, they just started getting charged out of the blue, It's a scam, I'f I had you're phone number I could send at&t a bill and they'd bill you without asking you.

 

 

 


last post for me here, you need to understand that you authorized it in some way shape or form, the companies that do this build the end user agreement for the charge so that if the end users does not full understand what is going on they tend to agree - there has beeon one case where the 3rd party built the agreement so that if you responded to the text message that was randomly sent you agreed to the subscription. This issue occurs not only at att but on just about every carrier in existance. What you explain is the classic example, another is offiering "free" downloads of ringtones, wallpapers and other items for the phone, download one and you have agreed to their ,omtly subscription

 

Is it underhanded by the 3rd party - you bet it is and very poor business practice, but they don;t really care, a lot of times the customer does not even realize it. All carriers will work with you to reverse the charges after the fact but unfortunately there is no regulations in place to prevent the 3rd parties from continuing. Talk to ATT CS, explain the situation then put a purchase block on your account.

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Jan 22, 2012 3:29:15 PM
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Thank you for all your comments wingrider01. I hope none of my posts sound like I'm too mad or anything, I just didn't know this could happen, and I can't imagine it happening to anyone and they not being surprized, I'm absolutly sure AT&T will handle this when I get a chance to call them, their customer service has always been helpful to me.

 

aparently you can authorize the charges by not doing anything, It's what happened to the guy in my last post. I got a text saying sign up for a quiz $9.99 or reply stop, before I even finished reading I got another text saying how good I did on the quiz. so by not doing anything I was subscribed, but I didn't care, there was no way he could get my money right? he didn't have my credit card number, my only concern was if he was going to keep spamming me, I never thought AT&T would give him my money but By not doing anything apparently I authorized it in the eyes of the scammers and AT&T accepts that as authorization to charge me. I can't understand why anyone would think that is right.

 

another customer in this thread did reply stop but he was still charged $9.99, .

 

that's not my biggest gripe, my problem is AT&T and other service providors lets the third party charge us without our consent. If some third party app tells apple that I bought some smurfberries, apple asks me for my password they don't just automatically charge me without consent.

 

even if I wanted this subscription and asked the third party for it, AT&T should confirm it with me.

alot of the articles you posted were people entering their phone number into a website and didn't read the fine print that was too small to read, you could argue they authorized the charges with the third party but they didn't authorize it with their service provider.

 

then the third party sould send us the bill not the service provider, then you could just ignore it not pay the bill and it would go away, the subscription would stop, I can't ignore this, I have to call at&t and get my money refunded, some poor saps get talked into autopay and probably never notice their bill.

 

It's like if I went to pay my car payment and the bank charged me $20 extra dollars because some mechanic claimed he rotated my tires, my bank would be on the phone with me first even if he did the work.

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Jan 24, 2012 3:55:06 AM
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call and have a purchase block placed on the line

 

you really want a carrier or a charge company to call you every time that a 3rd party charge is attempted on your account? As with online credit card tranasctions if the retailer has all the information needed to process the charge the online retailer will not contact you to verify that you actually authorized the charge, unfortunatley all the information is avaialble to the disreputable firms that practice this via public domain search sites. I can take a phone number, do a RNL (reverse number lookup) on it and find out exactly what carrier the number belongs to, the geographical location that the number block is issued to and if I had a subscription or was willing to pay a one time charge the billing address of the number in question

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Jan 24, 2012 7:39:38 AM
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What I really want is a carrier that doesn't allow third parties to charge me without my permision, It's only happened to me once so I wouldn't mind if they called me every time but an email confirmation or a password would be fine, just like with apple or every other honest company, you can't even sign up for a free email newsletter without a confirmation. or an internet forum. I don't remember but when I signed up here I probably had to confirm by email.

 

as for online retailers, I generally use paypal I have to give them my password and then I get an email receipt instantly. My credit card number isn't as available as my phone number. Amazon does have my credit card information but they ask for a password if I buy something.

 

AND I DON'T GET CHARGED FOR SOMETHING FROM A TOTALLY DIFFERENT COMPANY I DIDN'T ASK FOR OR IT'S FRAUD. but in AT&T's case they think it's perfectly fine.

 

Someone did get my credit card info once and tried to charge me for some Girls Gone Wild videos they sent to my house, they also signed me up for a Disney movie club and some book club. My credit union blocked it imediatly and never charged me. and on two other occasions a purchase out of the ordinary they called me to confirm.

 

 

here is what the contract states.

 

'I understand that wireless devices can be used to purchase goods, content, and services (including subscription plans) like ring tones, graphics, games, and news alerts from AT&T or other companies. I understand that I am responsible for all authorized charges associated with such purchases from any device assigned to my account, that these charges will appear on my bill (including charges on behalf of other companies), and that such purchases can be restricted by using parental controls available from an AT&T salesperson, at att.com/wireless, or by calling AT&T.'

 

notice it says "all authorized charges" I would take this to mean I authorize them somehow with at&t, not 'anybody in the world that has my phone number can authorize them' . if that's going to be the case, purchase blocks should be opted out of, not in, you should have to call to have it removed, not added.

 

If AT&T is going to let third parties charge us they should vet them the way apple does AND require us to put in a pin or password.

 

there are two more  customes in this thread this has happend to without them doing anything to authorize it. I'm not the only one who doesn't like this practice.

 

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Jan 24, 2012 10:46:46 AM
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johnray wrote:

 

AND I DON'T GET CHARGED FOR SOMETHING FROM A TOTALLY DIFFERENT COMPANY I DIDN'T ASK FOR OR IT'S FRAUD. but in AT&T's case they think it's perfectly fine.


 



Noone likes 3rd party charges, but they exist and until they are gone the only way to prevent them is through the purchase blocker. AT&T doesn't condone these charges, please stop trying to imply that. Every carrier has to deal with these third party subscriptions, I have verizon and have had one show up on my bill. I've had cricket and had one show up on my bill. These exist and who knows how long they will continue to exist, this is old news.

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Jan 24, 2012 11:30:43 AM
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I'm not trying to imply anything, I'm stating as a fact that at&t could set up a system to send me an email so I can confirm a third party charge before they apply it to my bill. I'd be happier if they didn't let a third party charge me at all, the third party can bill me, that way if it's a scam I just ignore it and not pay instead of having to call at&t, and I wouldn't have people telling me I did authorize it and then tell me it's just fine if at&t lets some third party claim they sold me a product and then at&t bill me for it without my authorization.

 

if for some reason there is some strange law that says they have to let third parties bill us, I can't imagine that the law says they can't confirm it with us first.

 

I don't care that every service provider does it, that doesn't make it right.

 

why does it have to be a purchase blocker? why can't it be a purchase confirmer, and be there from the begining?

 

 

I bought a phone from at&t's website a long time ago and had it added to my bill, I had to enter my password for that and I don't remember but they probably emailed me a receipt instantly.

 

 

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Jan 25, 2012 6:26:52 AM
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johnray wrote:

I'm not trying to imply anything, I'm stating as a fact that at&t could set up a system to send me an email so I can confirm a third party charge before they apply it to my bill. I'd be happier if they didn't let a third party charge me at all, the third party can bill me, that way if it's a scam I just ignore it and not pay instead of having to call at&t, and I wouldn't have people telling me I did authorize it and then tell me it's just fine if at&t lets some third party claim they sold me a product and then at&t bill me for it without my authorization.

 

if for some reason there is some strange law that says they have to let third parties bill us, I can't imagine that the law says they can't confirm it with us first.

 

I don't care that every service provider does it, that doesn't make it right.

 

why does it have to be a purchase blocker? why can't it be a purchase confirmer, and be there from the begining?

 

 

I bought a phone from at&t's website a long time ago and had it added to my bill, I had to enter my password for that and I don't remember but they probably emailed me a receipt instantly.

 

 



it is a confirmation - to accept the charge and allow it to go through to your phone bill you need to enter a PIN that you get  for confirmation, they just call it a "purchase blocker" for the simple fact it blocks the purchase unless you confirm it.

 

Why is it not there? Who knows, why do you have to activate a number of features that carriers supply at no charge, becuase that is the way things work, companies will drop it to the lowest common denominator to make it easy for the end user to do something.

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Jan 31, 2012 1:22:06 PM
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Edited by PhilRatio on Jan 31, 2012 at 1:24:07 PM

I just got the corporate bill today, and 6 of our 40 lines were hit with a third party charge, $ 9.99 each, and all from different companies.  I went online, placed the charges in dispute, then called AT&T billing.  They refunded all of the charges, including taxes, and then offered to put block on all 40 lines to prevent it from happening again.

 

While the call took a while for all the lines to get blocked, it wasn't that bad.  AT&T should still evaluate the benefit of doing business with these scammers, if not for the customer satisfaction issues even the cost of tying up a rep with me for that long.

 

Just for fun, we did call the third-party, who claimed they "helped people manage their cellular phone service", but could not explain how to use their service.  The nice, if not frustrated, lady said that she could only take a message or cancel the service, not actually provide any service.  At least she has a job in this economy.

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Feb 2, 2012 2:23:47 PM
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I don't get why a few of you are not comprehending that the OP got charged through no fault of his own. It's pretty common knowledge that you should just ignore spam messages but here, ignoring it got both him and me charged. My charges came from short code 25870 but it is basically the same thing. AT&T refunded my money but something needs to be done about these shady companies charging without permission. Not replying does not mean it's ok to charge me.

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Feb 4, 2012 7:05:20 AM
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Killbomb wrote:

I don't get why a few of you are not comprehending that the OP got charged through no fault of his own. It's pretty common knowledge that you should just ignore spam messages but here, ignoring it got both him and me charged. My charges came from short code 25870 but it is basically the same thing. AT&T refunded my money but something needs to be done about these shady companies charging without permission. Not replying does not mean it's ok to charge me.


No, what you do not understand is that the majority of the 3rd party companies that engage in this practice embed their verbage for the end user authorizing it in many ways -- from "Get a free ringtone / music / wall paper" with a 2 page agreement before it downloads that someplace in it has "I understand by downloadig this rigntone I agree to a monthly subscription cost of XX.XX that will be billed through my carrier" statement - and it works becasue the majority of the population does not take the time to actually read what they are agreeing to. Or my personal favorite since my daughter got hit with it - a mobile survey on facebook that if you took it you agreed to a monhtly reoccuring subscription service.

 

As far as "not replying" it depends on how the 3rd party company words the agreement - properly worded in the correct terms it IS valid as a agreement, it happens all the time in some issues that send a email stating "If I wish to opt out of this I understand I must send in this document, if I do not send it in I agree to it".  No response is as valid as a response, it happens evey day in life.

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Mar 6, 2012 9:38:54 AM
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This happened to my mother. She got the texts, ignored them, and started to get billed. In fact, the texts arrived while she was asleep.

She didn't sign up for anything (near as we can tell) and doesn't even have a facebook account.

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Mar 6, 2012 9:43:46 AM
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Killbomb wrote:

I don't get why a few of you are not comprehending that the OP got charged through no fault of his own. It's pretty common knowledge that you should just ignore spam messages but here, ignoring it got both him and me charged. My charges came from short code 25870 but it is basically the same thing. AT&T refunded my money but something needs to be done about these shady companies charging without permission. Not replying does not mean it's ok to charge me.


I get it. I agree with you.

 

You know what I'd like? I'd like ATT to show me the agreement they say they read in circumstances like this.

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Mar 6, 2012 10:22:37 AM
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wingrider01 wrote:

Killbomb wrote:

I don't get why a few of you are not comprehending that the OP got charged through no fault of his own. It's pretty common knowledge that you should just ignore spam messages but here, ignoring it got both him and me charged. My charges came from short code 25870 but it is basically the same thing. AT&T refunded my money but something needs to be done about these shady companies charging without permission. Not replying does not mean it's ok to charge me.


No, what you do not understand is that the majority of the 3rd party companies that engage in this practice embed their verbage for the end user authorizing it in many ways -- from "Get a free ringtone / music / wall paper" with a 2 page agreement before it downloads that someplace in it has "I understand by downloadig this rigntone I agree to a monthly subscription cost of XX.XX that will be billed through my carrier" statement - and it works becasue the majority of the population does not take the time to actually read what they are agreeing to. Or my personal favorite since my daughter got hit with it - a mobile survey on facebook that if you took it you agreed to a monhtly reoccuring subscription service.

 

As far as "not replying" it depends on how the 3rd party company words the agreement - properly worded in the correct terms it IS valid as a agreement, it happens all the time in some issues that send a email stating "If I wish to opt out of this I understand I must send in this document, if I do not send it in I agree to it".  No response is as valid as a response, it happens evey day in life.


I called ATT customer support. They were able to (repeatedly) confirm what it is that we are witnessing:

 

Any third party can arbitrarily bill me (you) without any prior consent. Really. The response? "Because they are a third party, we at AT&T have no control over that. You need to contact the third party to dispute the charges." Yes, even in cases like we are decribing, where texts arrive with no prior associated action and where no response was given.

 

As wingroder01 stated, you can easily stop this from happening by calling customer support and getting the Purchase Blocker put on your line(s). It is free, and details about it and other controls can be found by looking up Smart Controls and/or Parental Controls on AT&T's site. (I'm not allowed to post HTML links here.)

 

I asked, and was told that AT&T makes no checks at all what agreements have been made between the user and the third parties in situations like this, contrary to what use wingrider01 is certain is the case. Even the rep that I spoke with at AT&T agreed that this was a pretty foolish policy and was equaly baffled as to why AT&T did it this way. (AT&T is not the only provider with this policy/practice. Near as I can tell, it is pretty standard across the industry. 

 

There are many ways in which this can happen. A great many examples are ones similar to the IQ test floating around Facebook and other sites. In these circumstances, the user via some level of carwelessness winds up agreeing to something that allows these bills to be put in place. I'd go so far, based on nothing but my unscientific observation, to say this is probably true in a majority of cases; just as wingrider01 stated.

 

However, I am also inclined to agree with the OP and others here that there are most certainly cases of the end user being an unwitting and unparticipatory victim. In other words, it is possible for the end-user to do nothing at all and get "slammed" with these charges on their bill, oustide of the end-users control. I think they are telling the truth, as I'm pretty sure that *I* am also being truthful. I've witnessed it first hand. And, as you can see above, my conversation with an on-duty rep of AT&T confirmed it.

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Mar 6, 2012 1:51:49 PM
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It happened to me too! It probably happened to most people. Why can't ATT clearly present " purchase blocker" as a free option not under parent control? Or even set it as default? I'm sure most people hate those unauthorized charges, or were unaware this until some of the charge is noticed. I'm sure ATT reps spend a lot of times deal with angry customers who found out those charges, I had to deal with it more than a couple of times with different accounts.

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Mar 12, 2012 12:47:21 PM
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jorn_k, yours was the best response in the thread. I encountered the same thing today in looking at my bill. Mine was a $9.99 charge for horoscopes. I got a spam text several days ago about this saying to reply STOP if I didn't want it. As someone else said, I ignore spam rather than use UNSUBSCRIBE and I did the same thing here. There was no user agreement for free ringtones or anything like that that others suggest I agreed to. There was simply a spam text that I ignored. I called AT&T and, to their credit, they immediately removed the charge.  When I asked how this could happen without my authorization, I got the same answer you did. My failure to text STOP in a reply was interpreted as my agreement to the charges. She said that unlike email spam you don't want to simply ignore text spam like this.

 

She suggested and I agreed to Parental Controls on my phone. I also had it added to my wife's phone. AT&T then sent emails with PIN codes for each phone that would allow a purchase over the phone. I've never made a purchase (on purpose) using the phone so I don't know how it works. The PIN issued isn't very convenient so I'm trying to find out how to change it which is how I ended up in this thread in the first place. Not having much luck so I guess it's another call to customer service.

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Mar 13, 2012 3:35:53 PM
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gary11112 wrote:

jorn_k, yours was the best response in the thread. I encountered the same thing today in looking at my bill. Mine was a $9.99 charge for horoscopes. I got a spam text several days ago about this saying to reply STOP if I didn't want it. As someone else said, I ignore spam rather than use UNSUBSCRIBE and I did the same thing here. There was no user agreement for free ringtones or anything like that that others suggest I agreed to. There was simply a spam text that I ignored. I called AT&T and, to their credit, they immediately removed the charge.  When I asked how this could happen without my authorization, I got the same answer you did. My failure to text STOP in a reply was interpreted as my agreement to the charges. She said that unlike email spam you don't want to simply ignore text spam like this.

 

She suggested and I agreed to Parental Controls on my phone. I also had it added to my wife's phone. AT&T then sent emails with PIN codes for each phone that would allow a purchase over the phone. I've never made a purchase (on purpose) using the phone so I don't know how it works. The PIN issued isn't very convenient so I'm trying to find out how to change it which is how I ended up in this thread in the first place. Not having much luck so I guess it's another call to customer service.


You did agree to something in some way shape or form, the companies have been challenged and each time they have been able to supply documentation on the agreement - do a little search engine scanning.

 

 It can be something as simple as "by taking this survey / quiz you agree to a monthly charge to be submitted to your carrier"  or By downloading this ringtone you agree to a monthly subscription charge to be added to your phone bill"

 

A purchase block would have done the same thing that parental controls do also - it requries a PIN to authorize purchases

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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Mar 13, 2012 8:36:31 PM
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This is crap.  The DEFAULT should be the purchase blocker and then allow us to purchase with a password or somehting.  I would think this would be a more pro-active move on the part of AT&T and show that they actually cared about their customers, and didn't cater to the third-party billing.  It's not like they get something financially for this - OR DO THEY???

Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent

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