Warning..What is said to be free is not always so

@lilaclady (28277)
Australia
November 26, 2007 6:42pm CST
Last month I got a what said free ringtone for my mobile phone, I just received my phone bill with four extra charges on it adding up to $20, I rang my service provider and told me how these companies work, they say free and you state that you want no further product bur they they still charge you in some ways, apparantly you have to read the very small print at the bottom of the page.. now not only do they do that but my service provider gave me the number to ring to cancel any further contact with these people but she warned me once I get the confirmation of the cancellation ...do not reply to it as it starts it up again and she also told me that this is all on the ok of the telecomunications office of Australia, not sure about other countries.... Gee you have to be so careful... nothing is free guys....
7 people like this
24 responses
@alamode (3073)
• United States
27 Nov 07
'Free' almost always turns out to be expensive... they wouldn't offer things if there wasn't some way to make a buck! It irritates me no end, so now if someone offers me something for 'free, I run the other way!
@lilaclady (28277)
• Australia
27 Nov 07
Yeh now I know, it was sort written that they offered the freebt in hope that you would join up for more... so my free ringtone and a lesson cost me 420...oh well.. now I know :)
1 person likes this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
27 Nov 07
Don't feel bad... we all get this once a year or so... its something you want and it sounds so good! Those dirty rats!
@Impervious (1154)
• United States
27 Nov 07
I almost fell for that once, But fortunately for me long before that I was bit in the but by small print and thus became incredibly anal about reading it. People be aware that they make it small for that reason... However just about every browser now has a zoom feature making this fine print much easier to read. USE THE ZOOM TOOL IN YOUR BROWSER
2 people like this
@pastorkayte (2256)
• United States
1 Dec 07
You have to read the fine print, my daughter got a phone and she called all of her friends and they talked about some free ring tones and I told her not untill I get some information could she add it to her phone, so we waited, the very next month all of her friends were mad because their parents took the phone for the 10.99 charge on their phones. She said mom I am sure glad I asked you first because no one read the bottom where it says it is free for the first ring tone and a re-occurring charge of 5 to 20 dollars will be charged to you phone monthly till you cancel or that they will keep sending you text messages with offers that cost you regular text message prices.
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28277)
• Australia
1 Dec 07
Good for your daughter, I had to learn the hard way...:(
@milott (2649)
• India
27 Nov 07
Yes, you are absolutely right that whatever is given free is actually not free and you need to pay the price in someway, for example, you need to give your personal details for some freebies. Now, talking about mobile phone companies over charging you for additional and hidden charges, I am not hearing about this for the first time, I have had many instances and heard many complain about mobile phone companies over charging the common man with their hidden charges, hence I will not indulge in anything extra that they claim to be free at all. I will abstain from them always, it is the best thing you could do to protect yourself from these ever-greedy mobile companies.
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18472)
• India
27 Nov 07
you are absolutely true. there are so many things taht lure people with Free tag. But they are not at all free. In my country also, some adv say downliad free ringtones. One of my friends called those lines and she was chagred absurd amount. It is same here with hel;lo tunes also.
1 person likes this
• China
27 Nov 07
Yes,I think so.Nothing is free. Last time,I received a message that I had winned some money,but needed to submit some detail about me on the website.So I submitted my detail to the website,and I received a new message that I should pay for my ooting.At that time,I think it is not free,so I don't pay for it. SO everybody don't believe something is free. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@plumwish07 (4061)
• Indonesia
27 Nov 07
thats absolutely right. i think its kind new strategic of marketing/selling new product. most of times term and condition about new offer written in smallest font. its really annoying and definetely its "trap" to the consumer. coz when we picked it up, and there is cost in there, we cant have enough power to complaint coz smallest font of terms. very annoying. in my country its happened not only from the providers itself but most of selling stuff (which usually offering "FREE") using those way:( nothing is free except sincerely kindness, isn't it? *LOL*
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Nov 07
Thanks for warning us about this lilaclady. You are right, nothing is free, there is always a catch as you found out - and it cost you. I can't understand why these sorts of scams (because that's what they are) are ok with the Telecommunications Office of Australia. How do they get passed to go out a dupe the naive public? Beats me, but something should be done about it. I hope lots of people read your warning, because it may be the same in other countries besides Australia. Thanks for letting us know.
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Nov 07
My son just told me that if you keep getting harrassed with text messages on your cell phone by a company, hit Reply and type STOP in capital letters and send. You will not hear from them again. He said he has done it and it works.
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28277)
• Australia
27 Nov 07
Here is a little more info on this for Austrlaian users. On my Telstra bill under Separate Purchases of the Mobile Phone section, if you have anything from Provider SOLMOB all you have to do is ring 1300767306 and follow the prompts to stop it but what ever you do do not answer the confirmation that they send to your Mobile phone and the Telstra operator told me it will re-register you and start you up again....
1 person likes this
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
27 Nov 07
Thanks for the extra info lilaclady, I've made a note of that number - just incase! If not for myself, it may help someone else who gets into this pickle!
8 Dec 07
hi. dear lila. well said ! yes,nothing is free guys.what you said give you and other people ,include of me, a meaningful lesson. thanks for your kind tip,i will remember your words. wish you all the best!~
• China
6 Dec 07
As you refered that nothitng is free before a business,that is turely!I also came across such matters,the most inportant instruction always written in needle words.So it is necessary to take care of them. chw1118@yahoo.cn
@sergeantrom (5712)
• United States
1 Dec 07
I was just telling someone that in another discussion. I dont even sign up for anything asking me for my phone number now after getting a ton of text messages on my cell from a "free ringtones" site
@foxyfire33 (10021)
• United States
30 Nov 07
That happened when I first signed up for regular phone service for the first time after my divorce. I signed upo for a package that I didn't really need only becaue it offered several free features and 300 minutes of free long distance as a bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed all those features until I got the bill. I was charged for all of it and my long distance charges...to a tune of almost $90 for one month! I called them up and they just gave me the run around about how that package was no longer available and the customer service rep that had signed me up for it must have made a mistake because the package had been cancelled before I signed up and that they were sorry but they couldn't fix my bill or do anything for me because I had yused those services and they had no record of me signing up for the package so "for all they knew" I was just "saying that to get out of paying". It was so infuriating.
• United States
27 Nov 07
Sorry to hear that happened to you Lila, your right, nothing is free like they say it is. You have to pay in some way shape or form! I dont usually mess with that kind of thing, especially on my mobile. Its nice and all, but not really necessary for me. All my friends are always trying to get me to do it, but I never do. I hope that you can get it cancelled and dont have to worry about future charges from them. Bay Lay Gray xx
@anniepa (25504)
• United States
27 Nov 07
You're so right, nothing is really free! I've gotten caught up in a few of those free ringtone deals and other text-message offers. The problem is once you get billed for it and try to cancel they give you a song-and-dance that it takes several weeks for the cancellation to go into effect, ya-da-ya-da. You really have to be careful these days! Annie
• Singapore
27 Nov 07
We have had quite a few reports regarding similar things over here too. Usually, the ringstones are not "given" by the telcos. Rather, they are sold by a separate company who is charging through the telco. By buying from them ONCE (or getting free), somehow they insist you are giving them permission to collect money from you through the telco. It is a horrible mess as each company tries to push the blame to another - ultimately the one who suffers is the customer - us. So play it safe, do not buy or "get free" any ring tones from dubious companies in future. Just grab free ones online yourself and send it over to your phone manually. If the facility is not available, just stick with what's in your phone by default. I have had such facility for most of my phones and believe you not, I have always used what's already in my phone. :P
@anetteh (3591)
• Sweden
27 Nov 07
Hi, I always read the entire thing before I sign up to things. If something are told to be free, it should be free. If they then charge it is wrong and you should complain, and state that you do not have to pay for it. If something is not free it should not say it is free. You do have to be careful on the net. The fine stile is so fine it never shows. Have a great day
@lostdoor (28)
• China
27 Nov 07
of course ! there is always a word say that : there is no free lunch around the world ! so when we receive anything or get some informations about free things we must pay attention to it immediately ,because they are possible traps !
• United States
27 Nov 07
That is just crazy. Sorry to hear that you go scammed. It is very hard to find something totally free these days. And if something sounds too good to be true most likely it is a scam. I gotten myself into mess like that before and I got scammed big time too. I would think I learn my lesson but at times I fall for tricks all over again. It is a learning process. Take care and good luck.
• Philippines
27 Nov 07
Yes, that is what i always thought, they are just for free for the first use, but they will charge you if you continue to use their services. Thanks for posting this discussion for warning.
• India
27 Nov 07
Exactly so. We were fooled in similar manner on New Year’s eve last year. Our mobile connection was in a scheme which entitled us to 50 free SMS per recharge of a particular amount. We had this going for some months and were used to the scheme and the free SMSs. Accordingly at the stroke of midnight on 31st December, we started sending New Year wishes to all our friends and relative (the lines are so jammed, you just cant talk!). Imagine our surprise when the SMSs were charged in our next bill! When we called up the service provider, we were told that on ‘normal’ days, the SMS was free indeed. However on holidays, festivals and ‘special occasions’, the SMSs are charged according to normal rates. But we were definitely not told about this exception when we opted for the scheme and its benefits.