Beware Blinko and all other ringtone providers. I recently discovered a 7.99 charge on my son’s part of our many paged cell phone bill. He’s a clever guy and insisted he’d been very careful about avoiding sign ups for paid services, so it appears he was either scammed by a ringtones provider or we were slammed with a ringtones subscription. Sprint actually confirmed that we had not downloaded anything with the service and – incredibly – could not tell me the company that had signed us up.
After getting Sprint to remove last month’s charge another appeared this month. Texting 42222 appears to have “unsubscribed” us from the service we never subscribed to in the first place and Sprint removed the current new charge but refuses to remove older charges I’d not noticed. I think I now got them to block the possibility of this happening again, but I’m very pissed that Sprints “default” position seems to be to assist these scamming Ringtone S.O.Bs.
I’ve learned that ringtones and downloadable phone content is a 4 BILLION dollar global industry (yes – four billion). Incredible, especially since so much of this industry is driven by teens who are either scammed into subscriptions or foolishly spending their parent’s money.
The industry is plagued by scams, the most common of which gets teens to sign up their phone for a ‘free’ ringtone but then have the account trapped in the fine print to pay a monthly charge. If this isn’t bad enough the phone companies, who are making huge profits themselves off this garbage, are not at all helpful in tracking down the scammers or applying appropriate credits.
UPDATE: Class Action Suit against Blinko:
Blim & Edelson, LLC
53 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
UPDATE: Based on all the comment I recommend anybody affected by these Ringtone Scams contact the FCC commissioners as follows. Be sure to indicate your phone company and detail how they failed to address your complaints. In my opinion it should be illegal to bill these services without a written, signed authorization from the account holder.
Chairman Kevin J. Martin: KJMWEB@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: Michael.Copps@fcc.gov
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: Jonathan.Adelstein@fcc.gov
Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Robert McDowell: Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov
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