Claiming prizes online..

If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true.

“Win an iPad2. All you have to do is fill in your name and address such that we can send it to you, oh and include your cellphone number such that TriviaQuiz can send you premium charge text messages to your cellphone at $3 a hit.

Oops, we shouldn’t have told you the bit about the premium text messages.”

And there lies the problem. These ‘you’ve won a prize’ websites never tell you that what you have actually won is a $3 charge for every text message they elect to send. In fact, they don’t even tell you that you will get ANY premium rate text messages.

When you get these calls, you can stop them, but for every call stopped, another will take its place because your cellphone number has been distributed among many.

If your cellphone has the ability to extract email IDs and website addresses, don’t bother because it will not find them. Can they be found on the Internet anywhere? What do you think?

If you use ‘Pay as you go’, you will notice the premium charges way quicker than if you are on a contract where your bank pays out whatever is owed at the end of the month, and you have a better chance of intercepting these charges before they get way out of hand. Worst case is that you may have to cancel your number and set up a new one. Best case is that your provider will be able to put a block on these kinds of calls.

Personally, I think that national governments should legislate against this kind of crap. Freedom of choice is accepting premium rate calls daily. Getting them out of the blue is NOT freedom of choice.

To all Canadians. You are great people and extremely friendly as nations go, but please learn to complain, and not just when you get back home to your captive family audience. Get on the phone or go to the store(s) and tell them what you think and how they should fix the problem. It is the only way that anything will get better.

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