For the last 3 months I have received EXORBITANT phone bills (in excess of $130 when I'm usually capped at $50). I reluctantly paid them all thinking I must have exceeded my data limit (even though that seemed ridiculous!). I also didn't have time to read through my bill closely.
Last night I received a text msg from Optus saying I've spent an additional $51.79 on usage not covered in my plan. I've received that same text msg, for the exact same amount, at the same time of the month for the last 3 months.
I finally had time to look closely at my past 3 bills and noticed at least 10 charges each time under 'content services not included in your plan'. These charges are from 'Waala Mobile', 'iGirls Mobivillage', 'Waala Mobivillage' & 'chefbook' - services I have never heard of, nor used.
I understand these are premium content subscriptions and I have certainly not authorised them. I rang the helpline attached to these charges on my bill (all have the same phone number) and followed the recorded prompts to cancel my subscription. I also logged into "My Dashboard" to reduce my 'Premium SMS Spend Control' from the default $200 to $0.
My question is, have I done enough to prevent me from incurring further charges in the future? Also, since I DEFINATELY did not authorise these services, is there a way I can be refunded for these charges I incurred over the last 3 months and those I am expecting to be charged again this month?
Hope to hear from you soon,
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Firstly, yes you've done what you needed to do. A limit of $0 means they can't charge you again unless you change that limit again in the future.
Secondly, if you want a refund you need to dispute them. Easiest way I've found is through chat. The representative submits a dispute to the third party who then need to make contact with you (I believe it has to be a phone call) within 2 business days. If they deem it appropriate, they issue the refund back to Optus which then lands on your bill as a credit. Optus don't actually refund it themselves though.
From what I've seen on here, most people have been successful in getting a refund. Most of them get it straight away though where as you're 3 bills in so the third part may claim given you paid it, it's proof you accepted it. I don't agree with that statement, just a heads up.
Chat is here - http://yesopt.us/chat2us
You may still get a few residule charges. These scams tend to sign you up for a 'subscription' all of which comes due if you cancel. The premium limit only protects you against future scams.
You should also have sent STOP to the number(s) involved.
Like a lot of the people on this topic I have been slugged with a massive bill for 1900 services. My usual bill is $30, this month it was $130. Turns out that I have had 13 Premium SMS's from a German source @$6.60 a pop for "LuckyAussie" srvices . I acknowledge receiving these but I have no idea what they are for, I fancy a lottery. I am not sure because I recognised them as (what I thought was) a scam and simply deleted each SMS unopened. Ironically, if I had opened any of them, I might have acted sooner.
I have now SMS'ed "STOP" to the source and received an acknowledgement supposedly stopping the stream, time will tell. All I have to do now is sort out my budget to find the extra $100!
Always be aware that this can happen. Check what these SMS's are for and, if appropriate, SMS back "Stop". It may cost you one SMS charge ($0.00) and a few seconds but can save you a fortune on your next bill.
Yeah, its more than annoying (and my disdain at Optus' complicity and profiteering from the scam has often been posted) but you seem to have stopped short in fully dealing with the issue?
1) FWIW the 'services' are generally information based (like a monthly SMS for your star sign forecast and luckiest colour to wear)
2) You should definitely send back STOP. However these scams tend to run on a subscription basis (so once you send STOP the remainder of the 'subscription' tends to come due (so you get slugged the $100 anyway)
3) Contact Optus and request your Monthly Premium SMS Limit is set to $0 - all customers should do this on day 1. It will stop the scam happening ever again.
4) While talking with Optus request they refute the charges. Optus will do this. The scammers never reply. Optus will recredit the $100 on your next bill - this can takea few days for them to sot through.