The way this scam works is that a company in California (M-Qube) tricks you into giving them your cell phone text address, then once they have it, they send you unsolicited junk mail every day (SPAM), in the form of a "joke of the day", and charge you money for the priviledge of receiving the unwanted jokes. They charge $1.25 per joke and it amounts to about $25 to $30 per month. The good part is that you have no choice but to pay. How can they do that? Well they are in bed with Rogers, and the way the billing is done is that Rogers tacks the charges onto your cell phone bill under "Premium Services". So you have no choice but to pay for the junk mail or Rogers will cut off your cell phone service, and ultimately ruin your credit rating if you continue to try and defend your rights by not paying. Obviously Rogers gets a cut of the take for doing the "collections" and acting as the "enforcer".
Extortion is a criminal offense, which occurs when a person obtains money, behaviour, or other goods and/or services from another by wrongfully threatening or inflicting harm to this person, reputation, or property. (Wikpedia definition)
Does this Scam qualify as extortion? Well let's see...Someone is trying to make you pay them for nothing at all (SPAM qualifies as nothing.... or perhaps even less than nothing since it has a negative or nuisance value). But are they threatening you harm? Well, cutting off my cell phone would harm me, I need it to do business, and damaging my credit rating would most certainly harm me... I need it to get loans, or even to qualify to get cell phone service elsewhere. Yeah, looks like it fits the definition.
it's not extortion..these aggregators fully list their terms and conditions for subscription. the subscription also requires something called "double opt in" which means, you had to have sent the first request for subscription, then another reply to the confirmation text message.
Of course it is an extortion. I was charged by Rogers for receiving stupid trivia questions on my cell-phone without even ever answering one, not to mention subscribing. Scammers are not a problem: there are always people like galymede who consider forcing you to pay $2 for a question like "The sun is a A)star B)planet" a smart business.
Rogers & Co.(Bell, Fido,etc) are the problem: they stick the charges to their bill having no idea what they charge for and how legitimate it is. Try to get from them any details regarding such "Premium Services". Good luck!
From a a Roger's reply to my complaint:
"We have accessed your account; our records indicate that the charges
posted to your account are premium service charges. The Premium Services are events used over text messaging. These include alerts, information
services, contest trivia, interactive voting programs (Canadian Idol)
and "chat" services IE: Joke of the day or Horoscopes.
These services are subscription based, where you can sign up to the
service via their handset (Text to) or the provider's website" etc, and so on...
But "You are a valued customer and we thank you for your business."
It's a blatant theft and you may be the next victim, galymede.
these guys are a joke .... My wife was looking for travel expense savings and was asked to put
her cell# to get better pricing .... We starting receiving same crappy sms (text messages)!?<>?F<
questions about hollywood stars.... I got so frustrated I tried blocking the ip address from these guys
which I finally cut them off 4 months later my accounting dept told me of monthly charges ranging from 30-45$/mnth from the following company: WIXMAWIN.COM or Premium Text Trivia-For-Info SCAMMMMMERMMRRRSSSS
I called the 800# on the ROGERS BILL and after speaking to 2 reps and a supervisor they seemed happy to keep the charges on the bill ... I had to send a records request as proof of my authorization of these charges to firstname.lastname@example.org
BEWARE OF SCAMS CELL TEXT SCAMS THEY SEEM TO HAVE NO REGARDS THAT WE ARE A CHARITABLE, NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION ......
ye i HATE rogers they said that we lost a blackberry and never shiped it to them yet we gave them the ups number that ups gave us when we gave the phone to them its called rogers you need to learn. we are switching everything to bell accept tv
Rogers suck anyhow they asked me to come back I said no and I still owe them $ and they sent me the payment back a few weeks ago and threatend me to have a lawyer highered and have me charged through court I said to either take what i pay or screw your self and they said fine so asked me to send them a my disability check copy i said no i wont its none of there business what I get and for sure I was told by others not to dis close it
Rogers is a biggest scam ever, I am very disappointed of their service for being their loyal customer. They tricked me to resign a new contract by offered me $50/month before tax and my first bill was horrible, it's 75+ tax. It's crazy so I called to complained and they put me on waiting for hour. At the end all they said was " sorry mam that's lowest plan wd can gave u and if u don't like it u can cancel and pay the fine. Or else we"ll put you on collection. ". This is rediculous!!!! So I have no choice but paid them. Then every month after that they charged me all kinda craps ( picture txts, roaming ect...) and the bills never under $90/month. This is b**sht. I have one contract with Bell and every month is consistently $52, I wish I shouldn't took Rogers deal!!!