I got a text message today: "Your subscription for MySpace Mobile has auto-renew is on 11/11/12 Need help? Visit att.com/mobilepurchases"
I have been getting a lot of span recently as a text message, but this one had a att.com domain name so it caught my interest. I called up the support, and the lady told me that I signed up for some kind of Java MySpace mobile app. This sounded really strange, since I have been using iPhone since it came out, and iPhone never supported Java and never charged subscription feels for it's apps. I did not really cared about the $3.20 monthly charge which does add up over the years, if fome some reason it was me to install this app sometimes in 2005, although I doubt because I am really cheap when it comes to software, especially subscriptions.
After 5 minutes, of trying to get some sensible information how I can be charged for a java app when I am an iphone user, I got to the manager, but still no solid explanation. The only thing I was told that as a consumer I have the right to review my bill and dispute anything that goes 3 months back. The Att manager was not able to tell me when and how I made the purchase, making excuse that this is third party app, but that there is no contact information to the app provider. The funny part is that if I do a search in the app center I cannot even find anything that would resemble in name the app I have been generously paying for all those years. I did an internet search, and all the mentions about the "Cingular MySpace Mobile" date back to 2006, no mention of this app afterwards, so I suspect, it's been years since this app has been even available...
I did a quick search and it looks like I am not the only one who felt trap, applied to things like ringtones.
So let me sum it up: AT&T has been charging me for product that never works on my phone and that is not even available, the fee is small enough, and the only answer I get is that as a consumer I have the right to review my bill and dispute any charges.
UPDATE: two managers up, after all kinds of threats, and proving that this app is not even in the mobile app store, I am finally getting my money back, added up to $115 for all those years, and took me almost an hour on the phone... Apparently, anybody who has your phone number can sign you up for a recurring service that get's added to your phone bill, and if as a consumer you are not careful enough and review every dollar charge on your bill you only have 3 months to dispute this. There is a way to block this by pin, by ATT decided to turn this off by default, because obviously the revenue would suffer from not making all these mistakes, or kinds not able to make purchases without their parent's PIN.