Unauthorized Cell Phone Charges? You’re Not Alone!

Were you charged on your wireless cell phone bill for mobile content subscriptions or services (i.e., ringtones, games, joke a day messages, premium text messaging services, SMS text alerts, horoscopes, etc.) that you never authorized, ordered nor wanted (nor ever received)?

If you were, you are definitely not alone. Thousands of cell phone subscribers have shared their stories and experiences about this emerging problem facing cell phone customers and users nationwide. And they are not happy.

Mystery Charges? Phantom Billings?

Cell phone users have complained about mysterious or phantom charges appearing on their cell phone bills and accounts out of the blue, charges they claim were never authorized, for mobile content services and subscriptions they never heard of, from mobile content companies and merchants they often never knew existed, and for products they never wanted nor ever even received. These customers are upset, and rightly so.

They claim that money has literally been stolen away from them by their mobile telephone carriers and wireless service providers, from billing agents and billing aggregators and the mobile content providers or merchants, all of whom share in such premium SMS content revenues.

The “Third Party Charge” Wild Goose Chase

Cell phone customers say that when they call to complain (if they are lucky enough to find contact information and are able to actually speak to a human — a rarity) they are usually told that they simply must have authorized it. Ya right. They then are sent on a wild goose chase from carrier, to billing aggregator and to content provider, each of whom blame the other for the unauthorized third party charges.

Sometimes credits or refunds are given, usually weeks or months later — after persistent calls, complaints and customer threats — and then typically only partially, with the customer getting credits and refunds for only a small portion of the unauthorized charges. Of course, the customer will have spent considerable and valuable time uncovering, understanding and disputing the fraudulent charges.

The Cancellation | Un-Subscription Problem

Unfortunately, the charges are typically recurring (renewing each week, month, etc.), so the cycle repeats, unless the customer is lucky (and persistent enough) to be able to cancel or unsubscribe from the mobile content subscription that the cell phone customer was never subscribed to in the first place. Ironic, isn’t it?

The cell phone customers say that they are told to send an outgoing or reply text message (which typically costs them more money) to the content provider’s five (5) digit short code with words like stop, end, cancel, quit, unsubscribe, etc. Some users have reported getting more unauthorized charges (and more SMS text spam) after doing so. Others have reported being told that they were never subscribed to such services (well why were they being charged then?).

Some users are told that before they can cancel they need to provide their cell phone numbers and other personal information (addresses, etc.) to the billing aggregators and agents and mobile content providers — the same companies that charged them for products and services without authorization or permission (or spammed them with SMS text messages, etc.).

Tip of the Iceberg?

And these are just some of the stories we have heard…

If you were you charged on your wireless cell phone bill for mobile content subscriptions or services (i.e., ringtones, games, joke a day messages, premium text messaging services, SMS text alerts, horoscopes, etc.) that you never authorized, ordered or received, remember this:

You are not alone!

If you haven’t been hit yet with these unauthorized charges, god bless you (though, please keep your fingers crossed). If you are like everyone else and haven’t shared your story yet, please do so below.

–Report Unauthorized Cell Phone Charges–

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 9:08 pm and is filed under Cell Phone Complaints In The News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. By using this blog, you agree to the Terms and Conditions. Under the Terms and Conditions, you agree and understand that your use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship, and that the contents of the blog does not constitute legal advice. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Note: We DO NOT send SMS text messages or charge you for third-party mobile content services. We have simply created a forum for consumers like you to share your cell phone billing issues with others. If you were charged on your cellular phone bill for mobile content services (i.e., ringtones, text alerts, games, etc.) you never order or authorized, you may also contact an attorney at www.ClassActionConnect.com.

69 Responses to “Unauthorized Cell Phone Charges? You’re Not Alone!”

  1. Geoffrey Bays says:

    I just got two months of $9.99 thumbplay charges on my Verizon bill and it took three phone calls to get it removed, assuming that it is removed. I sent a text to 48000 saying ‘stop’ and that hopefully stops the issue. This is just plain fraud. I will be working to stop it.

  2. Tim says:

    To unsubscribe to any premium text message charges you have already, you will need to obtain the short code for the service. This is normal a short code next to the charge for the service on your bill. The short code is normally five to six numbers long. You have to send the message “STOP” or “CANCEL” to the premium text message provider from the phone that obtained the charge. Once you’ve sent them the text message within five minutes you will receive a message from the premium content provider telling you how much they are going to miss you and that the service has been terminated.
    Okay, now you know about prevention and stopping premium text messages. Here’s a few other things you need to know. The likeliness of you receiving a credit for premium text message is very slim. You can ask your cell provider for a credit off of your cell phone bill, but they’re only going to tell you the charge came from a third party and it’s not a charge from them. That’s somewhat true, but most cell providers get a hefty percentage of proceeds from premium text messages charged to you.

  3. Judy says:

    I have AT&T and noticed I have fraud charges from Cellfish/Cellflirt charging $9.99 monthly and also Mobiletone Portal charging $19.99 monthly. We have also been having overage charges that are outrages! We are going to drop AT&T and probably will not give them one more penny! I am collecting fraud data on these problems that is how I came by this website. Thanks to all of you who posted your similar problems!

  4. Judy says:

    To Tim Comment #52 THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU,I had no idea how to unsubscribe, we have been charged for a year or more, I used you info and it worked 🙂

  5. ROBERT EISERT says:

    I never subscribed to PredictoMobile LLC for any services whatsoever. They are charging my AT&T Mobile account $9.99/month. I am next going to e-mail them to cancel this “service”.

  6. joel says:

    I cancelled my verizon broadband and one of my cells on 6/23/11. My cell ia still active & verizon says it will stay that way until the end of their billing cycle on 7/19/11 and bill me for service I don’t use.Good luck collecting, verizon.

  7. Virgin no more says:

    Virgin Mobil, like another said, is just a big scam. I had a small plan and I just paid 20 dollars. all was good. then I decided to switch to a 30 dollar plan, so I added the $30, it didn’t show up so I thought i didn’t top-up right. SO then I click switch plans to the $30 one. Not only can i NOT switch plans, it took 60 bucks! And I still cannot either restart the month or switch plans because my “account balance” is $0.00 and they wont freaking do anything either >=[

  8. Eileen says:

    I was just charged $5. twice by the “Love & Crush calculator” thru my Rogers cell phone, third party…I called to have it reversed and I was also given the party line by the sounds of things – Can’t remove it as I approved it thru the phone or online. When I called the # to have it stopped I was told that my cell # was not valid. Asked why I was getting the third party billing – they re-entered the # and found it… What a surprise.. now I’ll wait and see if it’s on next months bill…

  9. LS says:

    I work for a text messaging company and know it’s very easy for a dishonest person/company to place unauthorized charges on your cell-phone bill. What these people do is get a legitimate premium service approved on the carrier, then all they need is your phone number (and they can get that from anywhere – doesn’t have to be from you) and the abuse can begin.

    Carriers get about half of the profit and the rest ( called a ‘payout’ ) goes to the content provider that triggered the charge.

    I’d advise everyone to call your cell-phone provider and request a premium block for your account because it’s only a matter of time ’till one of these companies obtains your phone number and starts unauthorized charges

  10. Dianne Clark says:

    I have bveen charged $5 a week for a “Your Lovers Name” text message that I did not subscribe to. I have tried to cancell it and it kept coming. I got a text message from a random number beginning with 3 “0”s that confirmed my cancellation and stated thatRogers would be providing a credit. The credit did not happen and I got billed again. I called Rogers and they were useless. They said it was a third party and it was not their responsibility to track down the third party. But somehow they don’t have asny problem collecting the money fo this thord party. I said “I want to know where I signed up to allow Rogers to collect money from me, on behalf of a third party.” I said “If I have another charge on my account, I will be contacting my lawyer. I am sure it will not be difficult to find others who would like to form a group and launch a class action law suit together”

    Who is with me????

  11. LUANN STONE says:

    T Mobile slammed more than once, they refuse to reimburse all charges, then reaaply fees the next billing cycle…over it! They require me to verify SS # along with name and address when I inquire on my account, yet allow a 3rd party to steal 10.00 from me monthly. Tmobile steals the 10.00 and hands it to the thieves, after they take their cut.

  12. Andre says:

    Same story. Alerts sent at 12:18 AM, 2:08 AM and 10:28 PM. All asking to unsubscribe or be charged for something I never applied for. Roarmoble Alerts, WhenTube and Clubstar.

  13. Mouth says:

    Over two months 3 “premium services” attached themselves to my account for $50. I called Verizon and told them I wanted all $50 back. They said no. I told them if they could not prove I requested the service, I would take them to court. The Verizon rep then proceeded to tell me that on Aug 4th I received a text and that if I pressed anything but S-T-O-P letters on my phone, I authorized the charges. I asked him if it was ethical to charge my 60 year old mom who doesn’t have texting on her phone under these circumstances. He started to explain how I could “unsubscribe”. I explained what a judge was going to do to Verizon for committing text fraud against a 60 year-old blind woman. I told him that if Verizon could allow some strange company to charge me $50, then I could reverse the charges and block them. Verizon gave me my $50 back for 2 months and told me it would never happen again.

  14. Blondi 1210 says:

    32028 BibleVerses & 26443 MLBSMS The story is just begining. “Support@premium-customer-care.com / 855-855-(7115) 26443 MLBSMS & (5199) 32028 BibleVerses: Called an canceled (5199), other(7115) stated unknown #; left msg for ret call: Will update if they respond: Both charges from same company showed up on my bill, w/o permission, for a person whom has never sent a text in his life; doesn’t know how and doesn’t want to know. Besides, his phone is a basic flip where to text you have to use the tap method which is tedious for a skilled person and impossible for someone who has never sent a text.” ** If anyone has dealt with this company unsuccessfully plz let me know.

  15. Patty says:

    I was charged 9.99 on my last bill for the celebrity exp. some porn thing i think. and the other crap ? i watch football once a year if that and i hate family guy why would i have it ? wtf this is on my sprint.

  16. Patty says:

    what alerts? I have never gotten any! i can’t even unsubscribe cuz i have no way i know of to access these so called sites.

  17. ronnicquia bennett says:

    im being over charged for phones i returned an reconnection fee.

  18. Angry senior says:

    Verizon wireless cell phone prepaid service scams seniors.
    Alert notice to all Verizon wireless cell phone users.
    Verizon wireless cell phone service claims it can take all the money in your account if you fail to renew annual account within 24-48 hours.
    They did this to us. My wife has a Verizon wireless cell phone which had $116.77 balance on the phone when it was shut off.
    I notified Verizon wireless service and was told we missed the annual renewal day by 48 hours. The service claims they can keep (steal) our $116.77 balance because we did not renew on time.

    This is how Verizon wireless cell phone prepaid service scams seniors.

  19. robsosn rodrigues da silva says:

    eu quero cancela não quero mais essas mensagens obrigado..

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