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Old 04-11-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
VictoiseC
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cell phone text message scams & rip offs! how to stop them?
Hi! Well, I haven't had a cell phone for ages like some of you & don't know much about text messaging (haven't used it). I recently got a new phone with Verizon. I just watched this news story about these rip offs, how a little girl of 7 opened a text message and was charged $40+ and her father spent 4 months battling paying.

and of course, now I just received a bill with two $9.99 charges. We called Verizon and they said it was someone called Flycell.com. I did not did not! order anything from them, I don't know them, etc. etc. I didn't even open the darn messges! Verizon says I have to pay. Period.
When my dh told them no one signed any terms of agreement or order anything they said it didn't matter. How can that be????

Anyone know this flycell.com? It's videos and sports. Never saw it til today, after the bill came. How do you prevent this?


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Old 04-11-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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That's crap, I'm sorry you have to deal with it. I've never had issues with txt spam on my phones (fingers crossed) but my friend has. He also has Verizon (as do I).

This is what worked for him:

1. Keep calling Verizon, be persistent and calm and just continue asking for a supervisor every time someone tells you they can't take off the charges. Work your way up the chain and eventually you'll get to someone who will take the charges off. I think you basically have to annoy and pester them til they get tired (they work on the assumption that you'll get tired first and give up).

2. Also immediately call and completely disable texting on your phone (if you don't want to use it). You won't be able to send any texts, but your phone also won't be able to receive them and you won't get charged. I've got two friends who did this and it's worked so far.

Good luck! That's how I handle almost anything customer service related: play dumb, sweet as honey, calm and continue asking for the next level up of supervisor til I get what I want (and then some).

ALWAYS immediately ask for the name/ID of the person you are currently talking to and write it down to use as reference on the next person/next call.
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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I just googled them. Did you download a ringtone or wallpaper for your phone? they do that as well. if you did you would have been charged. but if you didn't fight Verizon, call them everyday and record the calls and ask to speak with a manager every time.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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I agree with the above. Always document the day, time and who you spoke with. Be calm, and listen carefully. Always ask to speak to the next person up if the person you're talking to isn't able to help.
One hint.. sometimes the person you are talking to can help. Sometimes that person can speak to the manager & get it credited.
be polite and firm, yelling and losing it will only let the company win.
I work in a banking industry that handles credit cards. Believe me, it today's world, being polite, asking specifically for something, and why. Also, ask for proof you ordered the item. The charging company must provide proof you ordered the item, ie: day and time it was charged.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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If they billed your debit card, call your bank and have them open up a case to get your funds back. I worked for Wachovia for three years, they have several teams of people who do that all day, every day. Personally, I used the same at Wells Fargo, and they got my money back on a much larger, false charge.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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Most likely it would have been billed to the cell phone.

I have had verizon for years and the one thing that keeps me happy with them when all my friends tell me i am crazy to stay with them, is that whenever i have had trouble with something on my bill they have always been very good about taking it off of there. I had to fight a little bit at one point but after the guy i was talking to looked at my history he knew that there was no way the charges they were applying to me could be correct. it may help that i have about all the services i could possibly have from them attached to my phone but they really are usually pretty good.

I would definitely call and talk to someone else. I don't think that you will have to work the people over too hard... just be reasonable and make your case. They aren't unreasonable and they want to keep their customers. If you did download a ringtone or wall paper or something from that site though, whether you knew you were going to be charged or not, there won't be much that can be done to have the charge corrected.

a lot of times people (mostly kids) get sucked into the "free ringtone" offers that are splashed on the tv... for some reason flycell sounds like a name i have heard of associated with those commercials.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:41 AM   #7
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Hi all! Well, thank you so much for taking the time to write all that down!

Excellent information. I've wracked my brain trying to figure what I could have done... I didn't order any wallpaper or ring tones. The only thing I've ever done is at New York Magazine, I 'sent to my phone' the address and phone of two restaurants. That was before I realized you get charged for things like that. I now notice New York magazine isn't doing that anymore.... maybe they were connected to flycell. and
had complaints or something.

Anyhoo, Verizon took the last charge off but said the first was too old. I'll have to think about if I want to fight further. Darn, it's hard to be calm and collected... I have to admit my dh handled the whole thing and he doesn't always stay as calm and collected as he should. (not that he gets nasty, he's not that stupid). The trials of modern day living... ha... THANKS AGAIN, BIG THANKS!
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