Re: At&t let a third party charge me $9.99 without my consent
11-03-2012 07:11:02 PM
Really - you might wnt to check your "facts" SMS messaging is at a all time high with all the social sites around, currently estimated at a 142 BILLION sms/mms message sent a year and that is only numbers for the US - does not seem to be as "archaic" as you assume.
Bottom line - read each and every line of the terms of service that the "free" sites send you when you download that "free" wallpaper, ringtone or picture, or take that "free" quiz on the social media sites, those swarmy companies use a multitude of tricks and word games to get you to agree to the charges, some even word it so that if don't respond to the terms you agree to teh charges.
It is no one's fault but the end user if they don;t read what they are agreeing to before they try to get something for nothing - TANSTAAFL - There ain;t no such thing as a free lunch. If the offer or "freebie" looks to good to be true - it probably is and there are hidden catches in the terms.
Call att or what ever carrier you use and request the free purchase block on the line, be pro-active instead of reactive. Sorry but it is not a "It is a sad state throughout the service provider industry, their business models are designed to make profits from its customers." - that is the business model of any for profit company, I don;t run my business as a charity, I run it to make money for myself and to be able to pay my employees, this is not jjust in the carrier provider business model, but it is universal in every business model in the universe - we are not in it for the warm fuzzy feeling and the "fun" of running a business. We are in it to make money.
the test that is int he agreement - aka involuntarily is in there to cover a companies options when the end user decides NOT to read and understand what they are seeing, aka the majority of people that try to grab the "free" item or anser the innocent quiz
In the context of my post, I do not see where I claimed to be presenting any "facts". As in your signature, my post is purely my opinion that I am sharing from my perspective and experience.
SMS messaging is not "archaic" in its purpose, of which is communication. Rather it is an antiquated mess when it comes to functionality at the user end. When I first experienced issues with receiving unsolicited text messages, it was on a pay per message fee system. As a consumer that is highly concious of unnecessary financial costs, this greatly disturbed me. At the time (and I am not aware that if it has changed or not, because I don't use it) text messages were auto-retrieved with no option to look at what is available (inbox - web based email). All messages are retrieved regardless of who sent them. So I was unable to visually filter out unsolicited messages, before incurring the cost of any message of being marked as received by the wireless provider. This quickly led me on a course to disregard text messaging as a useful form of communication, if there was going to be a continuous potential for financial cost or need to micromanage everything I did on that medium. Of course decent service providers no longer charge for incoming messages (even better ones don't count incoming calls).
With smartphones, there are so many alternative forms of communication. I barely have a need to even make calls, maybe averaging 30-40 minutes a month of my family plan. Which is the second part of why SMS is "archaic", the pricing model. Why is it such simple form of communication costs so much? Is there truly such a great burden on the service provider to support this function? If so, then this would lead me to believe that how SMS operates is highly inefficient, as it is only transporting very small packages of "data". Yes I did mention "data", why has there been no advancement in this form of communication that would allow it to be calculated into the data usage of the customer?
Lastly my key purpose in highlighting "involuntarily", was to point at the obvious issue that there exists entities who have malicious intent to use such a billing process to steal. I am not sure if anywhere in your responses did you acknowledge a true understanding of some of posters concerns, "They did not voluntarily nor with any intent access or provide any information to a third party, with which a binding agreement is formed to charge a fee for a service or product via this form billing."
This scenario should not even occur. As, I have stated a premium function of billing third party services/products via this method, should be a delibarate request from the customer to the service provider. The customer should not have to request an additional feature, regardless of it being at no cost, to block this purchase functionality. When subscribing to a service, only what is the basic functionality of that service should be provided, any special functionality should have a choice to opt-in.