Rating: The GoMo guide to stopping premium rate texts
How do you stop premium Rate text services when ‘STOP’ doesn’t work? GoMo News appears to have unearthed a problem with Dada Mobile‘s service. No fewer than eight readers have so far complained that they are unable to stop the service and one has just told us his bill has reached $100.
This scenario is spookily familiar to us here at GoMo News. Back in 2008 (and wearing a different journalistic hat at the time) we encountered a problem with Tanla Mobile. The experience revealed that you have to know exactly how the law works in your own country.
This GoMo News hack lives in England and the law is surprisingly opaque. For example, if you go to your existing network provider and ask the company to prevent premium rate text messages arriving from a particular number, the operator can’t do it.
That’s because you have entered into a contract with the content provider and it is up to you to end that contract.One operator suggested changing the phone number – great if you can afford to do so!
In theory, with any premium rate service all you have to do is create a text message containing the word ‘stop’ or ‘stop all’ and send that back to the shortcode which is sending the PRS text messages.
Doing this should end the delivery of such messages but what happens when it doesn’t? The standard solution is to phone up the service provider.
In the UK you can do this by going onto the regulator’s – Phonepayplus‘ – web site and entering the shortcode number. The system will then tell you from which company the test messages are originating.
Curiously, in this particular instance one reader is claiming the texts are originating from 63232. GoMo News tried this with Phonepayplus and it has no knowledge of that particular code in the UK.
Another problem is that the regulator frequency provides a premium rate phone number for the service provider’s helpline. So if you are chasing a payment for £1.50, it can cost you £3.00 to stop the texts arriving.
The best option is to complain to your country’s regulator and if enough complaints are received, the body will investigate. GoMo News has no idea which is the country regulator for the Telus operator mentioned by readers. Which country are you in???
When our complaint was finally taken seriously, the regulator discovered that 458 requests to ‘stop’ simply hadn’t been processed owning to a “system failure”. Something similar is probably happening with Dada.
The other main complaint from readers is that the Dada service declares that their mobile phone number is not subscribed so it can’t remove them from the recipients list.
This is another familiar ploy. A mobile operator will frequently associate more than a single telephone number to your account – so you can have a different number for receiving faxes, for example.
Orange customers in the UK were offered a ‘Line Two’ service specifically so that subscribers could give a different number to friends and family and the same handset would ring.
This is possibly the excuse which will be offered to those who can’t unsubscribe. We await your further comments and wish our readers the best of luck.
If you want to view our readers’ complaints go here ‘DRM-free mobile music site Dada offers Christmas bonus to new subscribers‘
And there’s a good summary of this particular hack’s battles over premium rate texts here on The Scream.