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MIA Sphere extra charges

Ali19

Hello.

Ive recently reviewed my monthly post-paid bill. I have been charged extra for some 3rd party service 'MIA Sphere'. Never even heard the name. My bill has been doubled to $86. Ive contacted Optus live chat support half a dozen times and no help whatsoever!!!!!!!

Please fix this extra billing issue. Absolutely horrible support shown by Optus Live chat regarding this.

Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

bennya

Hello Optus,

My name is Benny and I am a father of three very young children. Recently I have been receiving some sort of SPAM texts to my mobile phone from some what I have now found out to be a content provider, called MIA Sphere, Gamesaine 2 & Prizesaine which do Triva things I have been told.

Firstly I have never subscribed to anythng like this and I don't play games on mobile phone or do Triva etc. Our famly struggles to pay rent and buy nappies and pay daycare each moth and we have been scammed through our bill for $110.0-0 AUD. I have called Optus and they can;t refund us an dno one can tell us when and how these services were put "illegally", on my account.

I want a refund Optus as the companies I called MIA Sphere, Digital Turbine and Gamesainew on 1300 998 509 and Prizesaint on 1300 858 056 don;t ever answer?

Optus if you do business with them surely you must have ABN numbers for them?

OPTUS WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING YOUR CUSOTMERS TO BE SCAMMED BY THESE UNSCRUPULOUS CRIMINALS.  Optus our family struggles month to month and  we can't afford to be robbed of $110. That's the money to buy the milk for our little baby you have taken from our fmaily.

SHAME ON YOU OPTUS. SHAME ON YOU FROM ALLOWING OUR FAMILY TO BE STOLEN FROM.

BENNY

Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

Toomey

So sorry no one has been able to take care of this for you guys. We can definitely dispute the charges and make sure no future costs can be incurred. Feel free to send me a private message with your phone number, full name and DOB to get that sorted.

 

These issues are a big problem in the telecommunications industry, it's something my team provide support and feedback for regularly. Services like these sometimes subscribe you through banners and advertising on your mobile. This can occur in apps or through your web browser. Unfortunately, you may have inadvertently accepted the subscription this way. Your comments have already been tagged so we can track social media traffic on the topic. Something definitely needs to change so innocent people aren't affected. In the mean time, my team will investigate and make sure your funds are returned. 


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Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

bennya

Hi Toomey,

Mate thansk for your e-mail. 

Can you please elaborate on how exactly I have I inadvertently signed up for Trivia and mobile phone games?  Could you explain to us all mate how the system works so we all have a better understanding of how one can avoid this ?

Also the games charges on my phone say 5.30am & 6am all the time when I am very well and truly fast asleep at all these crazy gaming times.  As stated only I have access to my phone so



Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

Gen_R

Hey bennya - we've just replied to your other thread here.

 

So with premium content, generally speaking it would fall under three categories.

 

1. Voting for competitions ie The Voice, Sunrise / other televised events.

2. Direct Carrier Billing ie purchasing content online, Netflix, Stan and Google Play, Apps that offer in app purchases, and Facebook for instance.

3. Premium SMS subscription.

 

The latter usually happens when browsing the Internet, using free apps that offer in app purchases of have ads. As the app is being used an add may be clicked and a screen pops up advertising the content, the price and the terms of service. If this add is clicked then the number is subscribed and shortly after an SMS is sent advising the subscription, the price and also the process to opt out in future. 

 

It's generally advised to SMS back STOP to the message received and contact the company to dispute the charges if the user believes they didn't proactively sign up for the service. 

 

We're more than happy to help if you'd like to block charges like this in future. 

 

Please shoot a PM through the link Toomey has provided. 

 

Regards,

Jordan

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Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

Ausierob

Dear Jordan, 
Your description on how we the hapless Optus customer signed up for these services is not what has been done here.

 

The Industry Code (document C637_2011-Variation-No.1-2014.pdf) on the Communications Alliance Ltd site, section 4.4 clearly states such Premium Content Providers must use a double opt-in approach. This is not done. But they use an automatic opt-in to which Optus has provided the content provider with the hapless phone user automatically and without explicit approval to the content providers.
People are being scammed via fraudulent Facebook links that "Automatically" sign them up to these very expensive nothing provided services, where Optus (and Telstra) provide the details and methods to immediately bill the unsuspecting target.

 

I see Optus as a willing co-conspirator to these fraudulent practices As Optus provides the mechanism to these scammers, Optus does the billing, Optus does the collection of money, Optus does the distribution of such money to these scammers, and Optus takes direct financial gain as a form of fees from this fraudulent activity, Optus does nothing to ensure that such claimed charges have been approved by YOUR Client, and when the Optus customer questions how these unknown charges got on their "Optus Invoice", Optus claims no responsibility, that the client has to go to these blind companies to resolve. Companies that Optus cannot or will not provide their legal entities other than an email address or help line (which is a paid service provider, and nothing to do with the billing scammer) to which the help line simply provides the same email address to write too.

this practice is shameful, it is hurting families and likely the aged who have no way to understand and deal with the misdirection and double talk done by both Optus customer support and the impossible to contact Conent Service provider.

 

optus needs to resolve this and immediately protect its "Valued Customers" from a scam that Optus takes financial gain.  

Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

PhilC

I can completely understand where you're coming from, @Ausierob however we simply provide a list of charges. In the same way your bank will provide a credit card statement with a list of transactions, this does not mean that fees and charges are due to the bank but rather this is a record of where and how you've spent your money. In the case of Premium SMS services we realise that the subscription process may be quite subtle and we're always more than happy to assist in stopping this from happening again in the future and disputing any charges you've not requested yourself. We would simply need to confirm the account details if that's okay?


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I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community. This guide explains how everything works on here and you should also check out our Community Guidelines.

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Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

Ausierob

@PhilC. Your analogy is not correct. For Your analogy to work would require that the banking system gives a vendor my account details directly and allows them to bill to that account without any proof that such was requested or approved.

Clearly this is not how the banking system works.  The vendor has to get the account details (i.e., account number, address, or credit card number, name, date, CSS) from the customer to which the Bank / credit company validates. Optus is not doing this, you provide the account details (phone number etc) to your unscrupulous partners (MIA is "appointed by Optus" to provide such services, A matter of pubic record) and allow them to bill your customer without the customer having provided any details. In my case I did not provide my name, phone number, nothing! How did they get this information? It can only have come from Optus. So unlike your invade analogy, YOU (Optus) provide the account information to these scammers. Furthermore YOU (Optus) do nothing to validate that the 3rd Party Scammer has the authorisation. Again, UNLIKE banking, where the vendor has to provide accurate account details for the billing to be allowed.

Also Your statement "the subscription process may be quite subtle" is rather telling. The subscription process is defined by the Communications Alliance (section 4.4 of C637_2011-variation-No.1-pdf) that states a double "opt-in" process is to be used. This is not done, and there is no record anywhere that show me and all these other people have actively responded to a message to "Opt-in" as described in the industry standards statement. 

 

I understand that you are doing what your employer instructs you to, in a "don't rock our money for nothing boat...  "

 

what at is lacking is anything from Optus is showing that we (your valued clients) are taken seriously. That "Hey, mate, we've got your back, leave it with us." That you (Optus) take these complaints seriously (say like a bank to freeze any questioned charges until it is investigated) and actively follow up and check the business practices Such as locking them out of the system until such practices are validated.

 

Your offer to block this from occurring again is just playing the game further. You have your split of the "money for nothing". We then multiply by a few million Optus customers and you're Quids in! Literally millions of dollars being siphoned from your "Valued Customers". In my case it was $52, which is a lower amount compared to other complaints raised here.  So $50 times say 30% of the unfortunate Optus customers (Suckers) would be in the 10s of millions of dollars.  Not bad for "Nothing" and you (Optus) are guilt free because we'll "Stop it from happening again" to you and each individual "after" they have also been stung...  

 

Not to good enough Mate! 

 

Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

bennya

MATE PHIL C FROM OPTUS , RE AUSSIE ROB,  Why do you keep defending Optus positionon supporting these Prizesaine and Gamesaine & MIA SPHERE scammers?  I don;t get it?

Neither Aussie Rob nor myself have any idea how we have been joined upto these scammer services ?  Your daying they are subtle is a JOKE or a secret code for SCAM.  It's a polite way of saying it becuase you work for OPTUS so you don't wnat to get in trouble for "ROCKING THE OPTUS SCAMMER MONEY BOAT", as Aussie Rob so elequently out it.  

 

Seriously through cutting through all the rubbish the reality is that these companies MIA SPHZRE, and GAMESAINE & PRIZESAINE are doing unethical things. You know it, we know it, eveyone knows it. Aussie Rob & I  are annoyed at OPTUS for cheatng us with these companies and lets be a bit realistic here.

These companies don't have A.B.N numbers, don;t have signatures with street addreses and phone numbers and are placed overseas hiding behind a faceless third party contracted "alleged", help or support desk. Even when the support desk writes to you they don't write to you with any details not even a name, so they are too freightened to write a name like TOM from XYZ

etc.

 

PHIL C don't you reckon it's suspicious tha the company hides like this?

Also whenever I have paid for goods or servcies there is always paperwork to support to support the sign up etc but here they can't show any signup paperwork or digital papework as there is none.

PHIL OPTUS SHOULD BE ASHAMED THAT THEY ARE INVOLVED WITH THESE COMPANIES.

 

 

 

Re: MIA Sphere extra charges

Toomey

The moderators of this forum are here to provide support to any one that needs it. We also tag and report on every comment that comes through. It's clear that PSMS charges are a big issue in the telecommunications industry right now, and my team are doing our best to provide support to any one that needs it, while monitoring social media traffic on the topic.

 

I'm really sorry I don't have all the answers you're after, all I can promise is that we will continue to do everything we can to help innocent people affected by this problem. It's clear that changes need to be made, hopefully with all the feedback we provide something can be done soon.


__________________________________________________________________________
I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community. This guide explains how everything works on here and you should also check out our Community Guidelines.

Did we answer your question? Please mark it as a Accepted Solution and be generous with that Kudos button Smiley Happy
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