I checked my Vodafone bill today and found that I’ve been charged £5 for receiving a premium rate text message, see below.
|Date & time||Number or description||More details||Normal cost||You pay|
|Wed 28 Mar 22:24||Text Info Service||1 text||4.166||4.166|
|Total of 1 text received||£4.17||£4.17|
I never had received such message in the past so I wasn’t aware of what is going on.
I did a quick search to find out that it is premium rate text message which I received for something for which I wasn’t aware of.
The next question was why did I receive this text message when I haven’t subscribed to receive one?
So I browsed through the message to find out this message.
You have been charged £5 for the game. Unlock code: 829265. For Support: 0203 283 8828 http://inapp.txtnation.com
Seems that they sent an unlock code for a game, I’m not sure which game.
Next in the investigation was to find out who txtNation are. I found out from their website – http://www.txtnation.com/ that they are the service provider for mobile billing, sms etc.
While I was on their website a support chat window popped up, so decided to check out if I can find out more details. But it was useless, they asked for my number so that they can call me back, which they never did.
Next, I called txtnation on 0203 283 8828 to find out more details and they provided the details of the next in the chain who sent this text message.
And it was http://flexion.se who provide billing solution to their client.
txtNation also provided me their e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. I sent e-mail to Flexion to find out for which App details.
To my surprised I received immediate reply from them.
And it turned out that the app was “Pocket God” – http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/reviews/96061/?lang=en.
Now the last mystery is why this app has used a premium rate text messaging service to send unlock code?
Pocket God app costs $1.99 and they screwed £5 for sending unlock code? This seems to be unethical isn’t it?
Next in the investigation was to find out the App developer who happened to be “Advanced Mobile Application Ltd” – http://www.amamobile.com. they develop Games for mobile phones and screw around £5 for sending unlock codes from unsuspecting customers?
So why to stop buck here, I decided to contact them to find out if this is normal practice for them to send unlock code for an app via premium text message?
I’ve sent an e-mail to their customer services on email@example.com and waiting for their reply.
In this whole chain of premium text message one surprising thing is that all of the companies are based in London.
If you have subscribed to receive such messages then you can send STOP text message to the sender (85080 in this case) to stop receiving such messages in future.
The best option is to call Vodafone customer services on 191 from your mobile phone, select option 1->5 and speak to a representative. Ask them to block sending/receiving all premium rate text services.
There is a problem though. I think they will also block the premium number phone calls as well. I’m not sure on this though, I’ll have to check it later.
Blocking this services will also block some of the useful services which you might be interested in, so it is your call to find out best option for yourself.
I don’t use any of such services so I decided to block all premium rate messages both incoming and outgoing.