Wednesday, April 23, 2008 Cell Phone Scam

I wrote a short article back in March, Okay, I admit I’m Not a Computer Geek, to explain my inability to add a neat music program to my blog. I never did figure out how to make it work here; but was able to add it to my Facebook page easily.
“I got as far as the Pin code, which I did receive on my cell phone; however, once I entered it on my computer it took me to a site which explained how my “free player” would only cost me $9.99 each month. You see, this is another example of how the English language is used differently by one generation to the next. My use of the word free doesn’t include a reoccurring bill at the end of the transaction each month.

I closed the site and decided I must have taken a wrong turn, that there really is a free player somewhere floating among the Ones and Zeroes; I’m just not geek enough to have seen the sign at the fork in the road.”

Yesterday Lucy went over to pay the cell phone bill and to question an added charge which showed up for $9.99 which would be on each months billing. The folks at the T-Mobile store explained how we were billed by Predicto Mobile for “games” signed up for on some kind of promotion. That made it more interesting since neither of us are into gaming, much less on our cell phones.

Lucy called me and asked had I signed up for anything lately and the only thing I could recall was the music player and how when it got to the part where they wanted $9.99 for the “free” player I declined. The folks at T-Mobile must be familiar with this because they told Lucy, “once they get your cell phone number, regardless of whether you sign up or not, they automatically start billing you. Lot’s of folks never notice the change and pay.”

Lucy had them deduct the $9.99 on the spot and wouldn’t you know, I got a text message telling me that Predicto had been cancelled. I don’t use the text message function and just delete them as they come in. If I wanted to email a message I have my computer; I got a telephone to talk to folks, how’s that for being unique? Here’s the trick, never type in your cell phone number on something that’s supposed to be “free”. The interesting part is the playlist on my Facebook page still works; wonder if the $9.99 will show up on next month’s bill?

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