Check Your Verizon or Other Wireless Bill NOW!
Unwanted downloads isn’t the only business with growth projections that take advantage of consumer ignorance. A number of company’s have established their business on providing ringtone services that we never signed up for. The only way I found out we were unwilling subscribers was by taking the time to read our phone bill. Over $20 was added to our bill for a services I had never heard of. It turned out to be a subscription so if I hadn’t found it we would have continued to have it on every monthly bill. Reviewing old Verizon Wireless bills I discovered that we had been charged every month since last year.
The Verizon rep was willing to remove the charge and stop the subscription but hesitated when I said this charge as part of a scam. During my first call the rep never bothered to review previous phone bills to remove charges while I could still reverse them. Apparently, by providing the billing of this service, Verizon receives sizable revenue. So the phone company's don’t really care how these ring tone company’s obtain their customers as long as they receive payments for providing the billing.
The Verizon rep did describe what happen. My wife received a text message welcoming her to a ringtone service and asked her if she wanted to cancel this service. She never had any connection to this company yet, she had to select No on one of the screens or she was considered a new subscriber. The trouble is my wife doesn't have a smart phone and doesn't even know how to use text messages with her phone. She remembers getting some kind of unrequested message and that she routinely deletes text messages without reading them. Ignoring these messages apparently is the same as agreeing to their terms.
Apparently, Verizon isn’t the only wireless company allowing these scams. The day I started to write this a friend alerted me to the same problem he experienced with Sprint. He didn’t have the same quick attention II had removing the charges and was fighting his $60 USD bill.
Researching other ring tone services wasn’t as easy but eventually led me to similar websites full of complaints, class action lawsuits, patent trolls and behavior so obviously deceptive that many investors hid behind generic limited liability corporations.
Ultimately, the responsibility falls with wireless companies like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Cellular One, AWCC, U.S. Cellular and for some reason Cincinnati Bell kept showing up. Sadly, these companies have not received enough complaints to stop their participation. All we can do it let our family, friends and neighbors know to check their bills and tell their family, friends and anyone who will listen.