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Help!!! Scam text nightmare :(

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lalala, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Can anyone help me with some advice?! I've got in tonight to my monthly mobile bill. I have nearly passed out - the bill is over £400!! My son's phone is on the same bill, as of June, when I got him changed from PAYG to contract (ironically, to have more control over what he was on). Checking through the bill, there is over £250 in texts! They are on the bill as '#Multimedia Services recvd' and there are 6 different numbers.
    It seems that a text came through when he first got the contract changed, it was for an adult **** website/link (he is 12!). He basically ignored it, but I found it when checking his phone and had a rant and got him to delete it. He was really upset, insisting he hadn't been looking for **** or texted anything, it just came through to his phone. I changed the parental controls on my providers' website so that no content like this could get to his phone. Well, it now transpires that these messages have continued to come in and he has just deleted them when they did. But they have been charged at £1.50 each! I called Orange in a state, but the girl was no help.
    Don't know what to do/how to stop them. I feel sick at the thought of trying to pay for this bill! Has anyone had the same or know how to block these things? The bill has logged up to 46 coming through per day! And all AFTER I changed the parental thing.
     
  2. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Can anyone help me with some advice?! I've got in tonight to my monthly mobile bill. I have nearly passed out - the bill is over £400!! My son's phone is on the same bill, as of June, when I got him changed from PAYG to contract (ironically, to have more control over what he was on). Checking through the bill, there is over £250 in texts! They are on the bill as '#Multimedia Services recvd' and there are 6 different numbers.
    It seems that a text came through when he first got the contract changed, it was for an adult **** website/link (he is 12!). He basically ignored it, but I found it when checking his phone and had a rant and got him to delete it. He was really upset, insisting he hadn't been looking for **** or texted anything, it just came through to his phone. I changed the parental controls on my providers' website so that no content like this could get to his phone. Well, it now transpires that these messages have continued to come in and he has just deleted them when they did. But they have been charged at £1.50 each! I called Orange in a state, but the girl was no help.
    Don't know what to do/how to stop them. I feel sick at the thought of trying to pay for this bill! Has anyone had the same or know how to block these things? The bill has logged up to 46 coming through per day! And all AFTER I changed the parental thing.
     
  3. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Don't pay it, there is a freephone number for Orange, if no joy initially, keep asking to speak to the supervisor. I have had 8 months of hell with Orange, threaten to speak to MP, police as your son is underage and receiving unsolicited texts, BBC Watchdog.

    PM me if I can help any more.
     
  4. jeswes

    jeswes New commenter

    No real advice but lots of sympathy. It makes me so angry that these companies send out this rubbish and people can accidentally get charged. Phone companies are notoriously bad at customer complaints but i would think you have a strong argument so I would keep pursuing it.
     
  5. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Lapinrose, I pay by DD; it doesn't come off till the 25th, so I don't know whether to block the payment or not? I've done some hunting on the net - 4 of the numbers are under a company called Switchfire, and 3 are Bluestream (7 altogether!) so I don't even know if I can fight Orange on it.
    Getting in a real fuddle so not even thinking straight - what's PM? (blonde, I know) [​IMG]
     
  6. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    my son (14) had a similar problem and we sorted it ithis way:
    phone the provider giving them details of the scam texter
    try and find a text from them and reply "STOP" to it

     
  7. I would cancel your direct debit, and make arrangements to pay the portion of the bill which you can account for and letting Orange know what you have done to ensure that they have a record. Although phoning is much more immediately satisfactory, I would attempt to keep your contact with them written so that you have a record of everything they say. Also, it's probably worth posting details of your situation on the mobile phone board on the MoneySavingExpert forums as I have seen plenty of people get sound advice and help from people. If you do a search on the site for 'unsolicited texts' you will find information on how people have tackled their providers and how to take things further if need be.
     
  8. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Remember to check the terms and conditions of any text-vote schemes you may want to participate in, including competitions on TV. Often you're agreeing to receive all sorts of things that cost you...
     
  9. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Thanks for the advice, it's helping me calm slightly - I've been so upset since I opened the bill (so has poor mini-la, he thinks its all his fault). I phoned Orange straight away and explained it all: the woman basically gave me a couple of premium-rate numbers to call for the two service providers she said the texts originated from. No comment on how they came through on a child's phone despite parental controls. I've now gone through the previous month's bill and there are 37 in total for June. Unfortunately, that coincided with mini-la getting a new android phone with the contract, and I assumed it was him downloading songs etc when I saw those. I know that's a lost cause for that month (through sheer bl**dy ignorance on my part!). I'll have a look through the MoneySavingExpert site, thanks. i also looked up the Phonepayplus website. Will phone them tomorrow and lodge a complaint, and contact my MP. I really am enraged that this trash can be sent indiscriminately to kids!
    I will hopefully have stopped blubbing by then and be in fight mode [​IMG]
    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  10. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    As my son deleted them as they came in, we have no text to reply to. we are now waiting for one to come in to send a STOP text to.
    The strange thing is, he said he hasn't been aware of any coming in in the last while, yet even on the last day logged on the bill (4th Aug) there are 46 of them!!! He would have totally remembered 46 **** text messages bombarding his phone a day last week, surely?! Wondering now whether the parental control is stopping them reaching his phone but the company is still charging for them being sent. Don't know if it works that way; so furious about this!
     
  11. You may also be able, depending on the phone, go to messages, then settings, then multi media, receiving options and then on mine it says hime network and foreign network where you can select reject.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    0800 801080 number for freefone for Orange, contract phones.

    You can be on there all day whilst they sort it out for you!!
     
  13. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Thanks for the freephone number [​IMG] I don't feel very positive about this; from reading through forums and various websites, I think I'm going to be held liable for this - I may be able to fight the 100-odd that I'm being billed for from after I changed the parental setting, but I don't think I'll be able to do anything about the hundreds of others.
    I've gone through his phone settings and turned off basically everything, as I don't know what I'm looking for! I've hunted for a number somewhere for one of these texts but there's nothing. And nothing has come in so far (assuming because of the control - this will at least let me check whether Orange have logged any of the texts in the last few days and we've def not recieved them).
    I feel like a complete f***wit for not realising what these were last month when I saw them on the bill and letting this happen.
     
  14. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Well I have now been on the phone since 9am! First try with Orange was rubbish - guy was an ****! Kept talking r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y to me when explaining why the charges where there: 'it's like being in a restaurant and you pick something to eat; at the end you get the bill'. I cannot believe how obnoxious he was!! I kept explaining that we didn't subscribe to anything to get these, but his only real response was who else was going to pay Orange for the texts, someone has to?
    Managed to get through to one of the 2 companies, Bluestream. They sent 29 texts last Thursday, costing near £50, according to the bill (it seems they didn't even come in to my son's inbox though). Insisted they had been initiated by son going on an adult website. Said Orange would confirm WAP data. However, second Orange guy was great. Started off with the 'you need to pay' etc, but confirmed that son's phone is not authorised for adult content so he could not have accessed this material. He then managed to contact Bluestream also, who denied to him that the numbers were even theirs. Nice-Orange man advised me to contact Ofcom/PhonepayPlus. So I have made a complaint. Still waiting to hear from second company (the £215 bit of the bill!). Am also trying to get in touch with MP for help.
    I hardly slept last night worrying about this bill! Thanks for all the advice given here, its let me do loads of research before I phoned anyone, which helped greatly (only me bursting into tears with nice-orange man spoiled the overall professional demeanour!) [​IMG]
     
  15. Have sent you a pm.
    Have had similar issue with my sons phone (14 yrs old).
    Logged complaint with phonepayplus, awaiting to hear. Have a £180 bill !! Virginmobile at the moment not interested in any refund.
    Any advice on how to resolve this would be much appreciated.
     
  16. Blimey. I was tempted by Orange's Sim-only contract for £7 a month that includes calls, texts and data use, but this kind of story makes me think again!.

     
  17. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Your son is too young to enter into any form of contract with the company and I'd try along the lines of moral outrage and sending **** to a minor. Tell them you will be contacting the police. A lot of times if you are assertive they back down. My union has a number for free legal advice for non work related issues so try yours and they will know what to do.
     
  18. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    Thought I'd post this - it might be the problem
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15600697
     
  19. lalala

    lalala New commenter

    Chappers_cobbler I have sent you a PM, hope it helps [​IMG]
    Re: contacting the police, I actually told both companies involved that he was a minor. They were not particularly interested. However, when I did submit a complaint on PhonePayPlus, one of the companies phoned up straight away and refunded their part, as they 'did not want to be connected with under-agers'. Other company still not bothered apparently, as I haven't heard a thing from them..
    Joli, I had a look at that link you gave - I am seriously swayed that is what has happened, as it was literally in the first day or two of him getting an android phone that it started (he had a PAYG previously, with no problems).
    Starting to think I'd be better getting out my old basic 'brick' and using it. Far less trouble!
     
  20. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Whilst it is inexcusable that criminals are able to 'milk' phones in this way with the apparent collusion of big phone companies, I can't help but wonder why you felt a 12 year old needed a phone of this type ...
     

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