Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent
05-11-2012 06:32:45 AM
Wingrider, I *did* take some time from my busy schedule and did quite a bit of reserach. I posted about it already in this thread.
I'd add that local television stations have been conducting investigations into this situation and have come to the same conclusions: No user interaction is required for the "slammer" to add a recurring charge to one's phone bill. Again, this was confirmed by an AT&T support representative.
they are only one of thousands of stations, consumer rights groups and other investigations that have occurred on this issue. Have seen numberous basic waysof you "agreeing" to the charge, which in turn authorizes them to bill your mobile account
1. download a "free" ringtone/wallpaper/etc and in the fine print of the "agreement" it states by doing this you agree to the monthly subscription
2. answer a "quiz/intellilgence test/survey" on one of the social sites which also triggers the authorization to bill by you
3. for your free update text "insert their phrase" to [enter any shortcode for texting] and what they don;t make apparent is you also agree to a monthly charges
4. you request information then you get a response "reply with the word "STOP" to cancel the X.XX a month charges - which is worded that if you DON"T text stop you agree to the monthly charge
Example number 4 is the example to your comment of "no user interaction is required" - if don;t do anything you are agreeing and authorizing them to bill your account, to prevent you are required to text "STOP" to the short code. So yes by your lack of interaction you agreed to the charge, this is true for the majority of the carriers
those are just 4 of the multitude of ways they get you to agree and they get more creative as time goes on. The Carrier, like a credit card company has no idea if the charges is valid or not, the charging company has your recieved your agreement by underhanded ways.
Best way to prevent this is to automaticly put a purchase block on the account and require a CVS code entered by the account holder to authorize the charges - which IS available already by carriers, it is just not automaticly applied, you have to request it. Best guess as to why it isn;t is that it is a inconvience to the account holder that actually utilzes purchases - like from the android phone and windows mobile phones.
As long as the company supplying the charge to the carrier can produce documentation that the end user agreed to it, the carrier will not refuse it unless there is a problem, you can pretty well be assured that all the companies out there get the end user to agree by plan english that is not read or underhanded ways. Just like a online / brick and mortar outlet will not refuse a retail purchase if the buyer has the correct authorization, as long as the authorization is there, then the purchase goes through.
The only thing I blame any of the carriers in this whole issue is they do not automaticly put a pin requirement on the account for purchases, require this and the companies that do the slamming will be put out of business fairly quickly, it will inconvience the account holder, but it will prevent the issue