DON'T CLICK ON GAMES ADVERT
I went to visit a friend of mine this week who suffered severe memory loss after he took gravely ill last year and nearly died.
When he woke up after being in a coma large chunks of his memory had disappeared. He couldn’t remember parts of his children’s lives and thought the Prime Minister was Tony Blair.
He’s got a great sense of humour so I told him he still owed me £1,000. He can see the funny side of his memory loss, explaining how he thought everyone used the old bulky Nokia phones and didn’t know what an app was.
Looking back, these were halcyon days before apps and iPhones – and they compare more favourably still when I share my experience with EE, the UK’s largest 4G network, with you.
This column isn’t normally the platform for consumer complaints but this one is relevant and highlights the pitfalls of modern technology.
I don’t play computer games. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Unchartered may be blockbuster games but I’ve never played them. I don’t even have any games on my iPhone.
So imagine my surprise and anger when my wife queried a bill with EE and discovered we’ve been paying £2.50 a week since August after subscribing to something called the ‘Bounce.mobi Gaming Portal’.
For a start I’ve never heard of it let alone ever played it.
We contacted BounceMobi and their response was as follows: “Our records show that you interacted with one of our advertisements. This took you to our subscription page where you then confirmed your subscription on Wednesday 24th of August 2016 at 07:43:53 PM whilst browsing on your phone using a data connection. I have attached a picture of the type of subscription page which you interacted with in order to subscribe to this service.”
So apparently I’m £100 out-of-pocket for “interacting” with an advert I have no interest in. I Googled it and there was message board full of furious people just like me.
So I took to Twitter to complain about EE and was direct messaged by a woman called Jess, who ‘helpfully’ sent me a link to a story about third party premium charges.
I told her it was shameful and disgusting and she replied: “We like to allow our customers to use their phones as they wish within reason, which does allow for third party charges.”
Unbelievable! If you type in ‘third party premium charges complaints’ you start to realise the size of the problem.
I contacted Ofcom’s premium rate regulator, Phone-paid Services Authority, which has issued some hefty fines to a number of companies. A spokesman told me that the company is being investigated but he said he couldn't comment further because he didn't want to prejudice the case.
Over to BounceMobi to give us their side of the story. More updates to follow.
- If you’ve had a similar experience email me at firstname.lastname@example.org