A warning

wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
As some of you guys might know, I've been pretty inactive lately. I'm currently working for Bell Mobility (one of the largest phone companies in Canada) as a customer service agent. A lot of the calls I get are about short code programs.

What's a short code program, you ask? Remember those commercials or online advertisements that tell you to text a 4 or 5 digit number to win crap, get ringtones, or get apps? For the love of God and all that's holy, DON'T SUBSCRIBE to these programs unless you actually want to pay 3 to 10 dollars for every single text they send you. It's not your cell phone company billing you these outrageous charges. The companies that provide these programs bill your phone company, then the phone company needs to make up for it by passing the bill to you.

So unless you actually want to pay outrageous fees, don't subscribe to them. Please save a poor call centre sap the earache and save your money.

Comments

  • marineatbn03marineatbn03 Spring Hill, FLPosts: 2,670 ✭✭✭
    Sound advice.
  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    Thanks Wayne
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,019 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I never do that anyway, but seriously, thanks for passing that on!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    wwhwang:
    As some of you guys might know, I've been pretty inactive lately. I'm currently working for Bell Mobility (one of the largest phone companies in Canada) as a customer service agent. A lot of the calls I get are about short code programs.

    What's a short code program, you ask? Remember those commercials or online advertisements that tell you to text a 4 or 5 digit number to win crap, get ringtones, or get apps? For the love of God and all that's holy, DON'T SUBSCRIBE to these programs unless you actually want to pay 3 to 10 dollars for every single text they send you. It's not your cell phone company billing you these outrageous charges. The companies that provide these programs bill your phone company, then the phone company needs to make up for it by passing the bill to you.

    So unless you actually want to pay outrageous fees, don't subscribe to them. Please save a poor call centre sap the earache and save your money.
    Should this business practice be regulated to prevent the consumer from being gouged?
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962 ✭✭
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    I used the word "regulation" with intent to provoke thought about whether or not they are necessary to create a healthy marketplace for consumers. Is the value of high profits for this, or any company, more important than preventing consumers from being damaged by the method used to garner those profits?
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
  • wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
    I meant for this thread to just be a friendly warning to all forum members to stay away from short code programs and to tell them that it's not the phone company **** with your bill. However, it seems that some people insist on making a political case out of it.

    Btw, you'd be surprised how many grown 20 to 45 year olds that don't have kids still somehow subscribe to the same short codes every month by themselves and yet call customer service demanding that we send a stop order to the short code companies every month and for us to erase the charges.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Yeah this stuff has been going on for some time now. The same is true with a lot of scams that deal with construction and what not. Thanks for the warning.
  • Wayne, what's up man? Good to see you active on the forums.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    jthanatos:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
    "...Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig. ... Because I believe that regulated capitalism is the best possible way to run an economy, and because no business has ever regulated itself by limiting profit to protect consumers until they were required to do so. There was no insult, only a simple question to provoke thought.
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
    "...Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig. ... Because I believe that regulated capitalism is the best possible way to run an economy, and because no business has ever regulated itself by limiting profit to protect consumers until they were required to do so. There was no insult, only a simple question to provoke thought.
    Not you, the "repug" comment.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    jthanatos:
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
    "...Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig. ... Because I believe that regulated capitalism is the best possible way to run an economy, and because no business has ever regulated itself by limiting profit to protect consumers until they were required to do so. There was no insult, only a simple question to provoke thought.
    Not you, the "repug" comment.
    Oh yea, I wondered about that...what the hell is a repug anyway?
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
    "...Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig. ... Because I believe that regulated capitalism is the best possible way to run an economy, and because no business has ever regulated itself by limiting profit to protect consumers until they were required to do so. There was no insult, only a simple question to provoke thought.
    Not you, the "repug" comment.
    Oh yea, I wondered about that...what the hell is a repug anyway?
    "repuglican" = play on repugnant republican. Brought to you by the same folk that use terms like 'demoncrat', 'libtard', 'teabagger', and 'CON-servative'. Why discuss issues when you can just call those that disagree with you cute insult names?
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    Sorry, I didn't mean for it to become "political". I just thought it would be interesting to take a case of what appears to be obvious price gouging and to discuss the pros and cons of regulating the business in question to prevent the practice. Sorry, I don't see that as being "political", but rather economic.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    jthanatos:
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.
    Well, I am a "repug", though I don't have a card, and I would be OK with regulations. As with any new government, I would, however, like it to be a last resort. Per wwhangs post, consumers are already blaming the cell companies and not those that make the ads. Public image and goodwill are also driving forces for company in an economy. Give the markets time to react to an issue themselves before adding new government rules. Also, there would have to be research done to ensure that proposed changes would actually protect those that already fall into theses schemes.

    Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig.
    "...Side note, why did you jump right to not only drawing a party line in the sand, but also insulting a signifigant percent of US voters? It just seems like a cheap dig for the sake of a cheap dig. ... Because I believe that regulated capitalism is the best possible way to run an economy, and because no business has ever regulated itself by limiting profit to protect consumers until they were required to do so. There was no insult, only a simple question to provoke thought.
    Not you, the "repug" comment.
    Oh yea, I wondered about that...what the hell is a repug anyway?
    "repuglican" = play on repugnant republican. Brought to you by the same folk that use terms like 'demoncrat', 'libtard', 'teabagger', and 'CON-servative'. Why discuss issues when you can just call those that disagree with you cute insult names?
    Oh. Another one of those not so cute little words that just prevents cognitive thought from forming, because the recipient is already either angered or irritated.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Reg's can be a slippery slope. Are some useful and a good idea? sure. Reg's to protect consumers from a-hole ad/cellphone/text scams would probably help... Then again, the big ugly pics that they wanted to slap across cigarette boxes are also reg's to help "protect" consumers.

    Once regulating with a gov't hand becomes an option, sometimes it's just the knee-jerk, go-to response, which I think in many cases is unnecessary.

    I would point to already existing truth in advertising laws and other reg's that already exist as a fix. Maybe a new guideline for how those apply to text message campaigns and fee disclosures. I think it always comes down to individual responsibility though. Certainly, a mis-representative seller should be punished. But since that is already illegal, I think it's covered.

    You always gotta know/ask what you're buying and at what price.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Reg's can be a slippery slope. Are some useful and a good idea? sure. Reg's to protect consumers from a-hole ad/cellphone/text scams would probably help... Then again, the big ugly pics that they wanted to slap across cigarette boxes are also reg's to help "protect" consumers.

    Once regulating with a gov't hand becomes an option, sometimes it's just the knee-jerk, go-to response, which I think in many cases is unnecessary.

    I would point to already existing truth in advertising laws and other reg's that already exist as a fix. Maybe a new guideline for how those apply to text message campaigns and fee disclosures. I think it always comes down to individual responsibility though. Certainly, a mis-representative seller should be punished. But since that is already illegal, I think it's covered.

    You always gotta know/ask what you're buying and at what price.
    Right. That is a tricky line to walk... protecting the consumer from those that have more money and power vs protecting the consumer from himself.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    jthanatos:
    Gray4lines:
    Reg's can be a slippery slope. Are some useful and a good idea? sure. Reg's to protect consumers from a-hole ad/cellphone/text scams would probably help... Then again, the big ugly pics that they wanted to slap across cigarette boxes are also reg's to help "protect" consumers.

    Once regulating with a gov't hand becomes an option, sometimes it's just the knee-jerk, go-to response, which I think in many cases is unnecessary.

    I would point to already existing truth in advertising laws and other reg's that already exist as a fix. Maybe a new guideline for how those apply to text message campaigns and fee disclosures. I think it always comes down to individual responsibility though. Certainly, a mis-representative seller should be punished. But since that is already illegal, I think it's covered.

    You always gotta know/ask what you're buying and at what price.
    Right. That is a tricky line to walk... protecting the consumer from those that have more money and power vs protecting the consumer from himself.
    ...and that's the crux of it, I think...government's role is to prevent predatory business practices without becoming a predator in the process.....
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, protect the rights of the consumer while not stepping on the rights of those who are selling
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.

    What an A$$hat comment! Thanks for making it easier to stay away from here!
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    fla-gypsy:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.

    What an A$$hat comment! Thanks for making it easier to stay away from here!
    If you have an argument to make, why not just make it? Unfortunately your reaction demonstrates exactly why it's difficult to discuss complicated topics on the internet without acrimony. It's really easy to throw insults around, but sometimes it's very hard to make your case without them.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    JDH:
    fla-gypsy:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.

    What an A$$hat comment! Thanks for making it easier to stay away from here!
    If you have an argument to make, why not just make it? Unfortunately your reaction demonstrates exactly why it's difficult to discuss complicated topics on the internet without acrimony. It's really easy to throw insults around, but sometimes it's very hard to make your case without them.

    I'm too busy surviving this administration to waste my breath on more assinine liberal arguments
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    fla-gypsy:
    JDH:
    fla-gypsy:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.

    What an A$$hat comment! Thanks for making it easier to stay away from here!
    If you have an argument to make, why not just make it? Unfortunately your reaction demonstrates exactly why it's difficult to discuss complicated topics on the internet without acrimony. It's really easy to throw insults around, but sometimes it's very hard to make your case without them.

    I'm too busy surviving this administration to waste my breath on more assinine liberal arguments
    Yes, yes, the world would be so much simpler without all those pesky "liberals" and their arguments. Look on the bright side, though, if you would only invest in the makers of Excedrin, then you can actually make a profit from all the headaches these "liberals" give you.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    JDH:
    fla-gypsy:
    JDH:
    fla-gypsy:
    blurr:
    I'm thinking 'yes' JDH. They are like commercials somewhat targeted at kids and young teens, so they make their hundred bucks before the bill paying parents find out and shut it down. Don't say regulation or the card carrying repugs in here will start foaming at the mouth.

    What an A$$hat comment! Thanks for making it easier to stay away from here!
    If you have an argument to make, why not just make it? Unfortunately your reaction demonstrates exactly why it's difficult to discuss complicated topics on the internet without acrimony. It's really easy to throw insults around, but sometimes it's very hard to make your case without them.

    I'm too busy surviving this administration to waste my breath on more assinine liberal arguments
    Yes, yes, the world would be so much simpler without all those pesky "liberals" and their arguments. Look on the bright side, though, if you would only invest in the makers of Excedrin, then you can actually make a profit from all the headaches these "liberals" give you.
    Lol! My next stock purchase... ;)
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,570 ✭✭
    Aaaaaand.... this is why we can't have nice things. With one casual insult, we can no longer actually discuss regulations and their benefits and pitfalls. Instead we have engage in full on pissing contest warfare.

    image
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    jthanatos:
    Aaaaaand.... this is why we can't have nice things. With one casual insult, we can no longer actually discuss regulations and their benefits and pitfalls. Instead we have engage in full on pissing contest warfare.

    image
    A pissin contest, eh? OK; two beers, 10 minutes - may the best man win
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    JDH:
    jthanatos:
    Aaaaaand.... this is why we can't have nice things. With one casual insult, we can no longer actually discuss regulations and their benefits and pitfalls. Instead we have engage in full on pissing contest warfare.

    image
    yuck yuck yuck.
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