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Children, mobile phones and ringtones!!

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Children, mobile phones and ringtones!!

The subject line says it all really, they do not mix!!!

We reluctantly succombed to my 10 year old son's ever increasing moans about having a mobile phone. I have said no for a long time now, but as his friends increasingly have them, he is being left out. Last year we bought him some walkie talkies so we could keep in touch while he was out playing, but the batteries never lasted long. Instead we decided upon a phone for him.

Imagine my surprise/ anger/ annoyance when coming downstairs on Xmas Day morning and finding him with all presents already opened :twisted: . He knows better and got a good b*llocking from me, needless to say the grandparents stepped in telling me I was being too hard on him :roll:

Anyhow, later on in the day this text message arrived. I took a look and found he had bought a ring tone from the ringtone king by sending a text message. Not only to one number but to about 4 or 5 different numbers (all incidentaly owned by rtk). Unfortunately, you do not only buy the tone, but are then subscribed to their services. I immediately replied to all of these messages with the word "stop" which is allegedly the industry standard message to prevent these texts from being sent. It didn't!! Yesterday, two more messages @ £3.00ea. That's it, I put my angry head on and off we went to the rtk website, icstis site and ofcom.

If you hunt deep enough in the rtk site (Disclaimer: other sites also offer this download service) you will find their terms and conditions:

Quote
"(a) Access to the Service. IN ORDER TO USE THE SERVICE YOU (1) MUST BE AT LEAST 16 YEARS OF AGE AND HAVE THE CONSENT OF THE SUBSCRIBER OF THE MOBILE SERVICE TO SIGN-UP FOR AND USE THE SERVICE ON THEIR BEHALF AND (2) AGREE ON BEHALF OF THE SUBSCRIBER AND YOURSELF TO BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS. "


On the rtk website, you have to sign up for the service and answer questions and provide your date of birth.Okay, so these can be forged by anyone, but this option is not available when you s"subscribe" by text.

You will also find on their website:

Quote
"CUSTOMERS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION ALSO HAVE THE STATUTORY RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM THE CONTRACT WITHIN 7 WORKING DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AGREEMENT ("WITHDRAWAL PERIOD"), PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR RIGHT TO WITHDRAWAL IMMEDIATELY TERMINATES IF YOUR FIRST USE OF THE SERVICE OCCURS BEFORE THE END OF THE WITHDRAWAL PERIOD. "


BINGO!!! Both "get out of jail free" cards on the same page. An email to them explaining that they were in breach of Ofcom regulations which were placed on ringtone companies after the "crazy frog" debacle (i.e. television advertising before 9pm), they were also in breach of their own t&c's relating to persons under the age of 16 and finally the 7 day clause.

I didn't expect any response from them and expected to have to fight hard for any recompense. I have this afternoon received a email informing me that all but the £1.50 cost of the one downloaded ringtone, the monies taken from the phone will be credited in the next 10 days. RESULT!!!!! Cheesy Cheesy

The moral of the story?

Don't give your child a phone!!!!! Seriously though it pays to complain if you receive bad service (unless complaining to +Net Smiley ), or you believe a company to be operating outside of its remit.

Regards

Mark