Cell Phone Apps With Hidden Charges

Cell phone subscribers, check your bills carefully. Some phones come with pre-loaded applications that are NOT free and you could be getting billed for ‘services’ you have never subscribed to, used or signed up for.

We added a new cell phone to our plan about six months ago.  I had not looked carefully at the bills – until now. It turns out we had been charged $2.99 a month for a ‘service’
we never subscribed to or accepted terms of service for.  We didn’t even know what it was and certainly never used it.  We were fortunate that our service provider credited us for the $2.99 charge for the entire six months it was billed to us.

These charges are not made by the service provider – they are billed THROUGH the service provider by the 3rd party providing the ‘service.’  In my opinion, a company I pay for service isn’t efficiently protecting me as a consumer by allowing a 3rd party to bill me through them – it opens up too much possibility for fraud.

Something a lot of customers aren’t aware of or don’t think about:  you can have, free of charge, an application/purchase block put on individual phone numbers.  You can still purchase an application or item through your phone BUT you have to use a PIN number to do so.  In my opinion service providers should  automatically require a PIN number. It would save both themselves and customers a lot of trouble.

I highly recommend activating PIN use on all your phones. There are entirely too many cute little “free” applications out there that charge you once you have them.

As for the phone manufacturers who install these 3rd party applications on phones, shame on you.  People can download applications of their own choice if they so desire and don’t need phone manufacturers cramming their  choices down consumers throats.  Which raises another question….just what do phone manufacturers gain by installing certain applications which are likely to end up costing consumers money….think about it.

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