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Zamano (Scamano) Premium Rate Services - problem!


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Guest DuckShoot

I don't use my mobile phone a lot and sometimes leave it at home (I am very forgetful). Anyway I got a text about three weeks ago from imob.tv. I didn't see it arrive and didn't notice it until three payments (£9) were taken from my account.

 

Here's what it said:

 

"You are subscribed to SmartCall GBP 3 PerWeek till you text stop. Call2UK LandlinesOnly Dial 08081261555 PW76827496 www.imob.tv IMS 08448714184 NetwrkcostsApply"

 

Then I kept getting texts that did NOT save to the inbox telling me that my phone wanted topping up. I thought it was an O2 reminder so I topped up. On Sunday 15th I kept getting these reminders so I phoned O2 and asked where why my balance was so low. (I had wrongly assumed it was zero because of those texts.)

 

I couldn't get any help from the operator because he said I hadn't answered the security questions correctly. One of those questions was "What is your balance?" and as I had just received a text telling me to top up I assumed it was zero. It was in fact £2.29 so the company couldn't have 'their' £3! The operator refused repeated requests to speak to a manager or supervisor and cut me off. (A complaint about that has been made!)

 

I phoned O2 from my landline and spoke to a woman this time and made a complaint about the previous operator and explained my problem with the unsolicited premium subscription. She asked me similar security questions and accepted the answers.

 

I gave her the text number from imob.tv and gave me some very interesting information. The company behind this thing is Zamano (zamano.com) and it is thought they pick random phone numbers and subscribing them to this premium service without permission.

 

She gave me the Phone Pay Plus organisations details to make a complaint (PhonepayPlus). I have lodged a complaint with them and also with Zamano. If Scamano don't give me my money back I will issue a summons in the small claims court.

 

I've keep you informed of my progress and would welcome any information other members have about these people. We need to stamp these deals out.

 

I will also be posting an article about this on my blog: TheDuckShoot Blog

Edited by jonni2bad
In red - libellous comments altered.
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They've already been the subject of an investigation by the Irish Premium Call regulator. Even so, I'd fight shy of court action as you may win, but getting the costs reimbursed will be problematical.

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@Duckshoot,

 

Zamano are one of the biggest problems out there. They have a long list of adjudications on the phonePayPlus web site, they have been fined £thousands but are allowed to continue to take from our accounts.

 

Why ? I hear you ask. First your network, o2, will be taking their cut of the charges that have been made. This can be anything up to 50%. Then we have the Regulator, our friends at PhonePayPlus. The premium rate industry is self regulated, that is to say PP+ is made up from people who work for the same companies that are taking our money. They are financed by fines made to companies that break their rules, so there is no need to stop this practice as everyone is earning a very good living from the money taken from our accounts.

 

Oh I nearly forgot there is one other organisation that is profiting from the proccedes of this, HM Goverment! Yes let's not forget the 17.5% (now 15%) VAT. The police cannot act against any PRS company unless asked to do so by PP+, to date this has never happened since self regulation.

 

Duckshoot don't take it personally, you are not alone. There are ten of thousands of us out there including many on PAYG who have no idea that their credit has been taken.

 

Re Edit by Jonni2bad: See post #9, if it has not been removed. Sorry it has......

 

:mad:

Edited by Cattolica
Please refrain from libellous comments
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Guest DuckShoot

Thanks everyone for your support. With regard to the court action I can do this myself (I have done it in the past with mixed success) and they are in the jurisdiction of a County Court that is very close to where I live.

 

 

So taking them to court will be of minimal cost, I even have my free travel pass to get there! :) I will course blog the experience as well so it will provide material to write about. Actually I'm looking forward to making life difficult for these [edited] artists.

 

A special thanks to Cattolica for the info on the regulator, O2's profiteering and the Government's blind eye. That info is going to prove very useful.

Edited by jonni2bad
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Please do not post comments that are libellous.

 

Doing so WILL harm the Consumer Action Group and undermine the work we do for many people. If you want to post libellous remarks about companies , organisations or people - do it somewhere else!

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Guest DuckShoot

What is libellous about my comments? OK I see where you have edited my post. Everything I said was TRUE so it is NOT libellous but OK it's your forum.

 

Yet another consumer champion gagged by big money! Sad, very sad.

Edited by DuckShoot
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You are quite foolish if you think that naming this company and using the words thief / steal / stole / [problem] etc are not going to be classed as libellous.

 

Once you have taken them to court, accused them of such actions AND then won your case, post at will. Until then, don't.

 

It is the CAG that will face the wrath of these companies because of short-sighted postings such as your first. You have no idea how many threats of legal action we receive because of these sort of accusations, just how much time is spent dealing with them (and their legal teams) and just how costly it is to fight.

 

Make such accusations on your blog (at your peril and your cost) but don't think for one moment that we will allow you to do so here.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Cattolica - if you'd like to discuss the reasoning, please PM me and I will explain the difference between a regulators assessment and a conviction for theft or fraud.

 

You cannot respond to a CAGBot PM since it is an automated message as there is no user associated with that username. You are not censored.

 

I will not reply further to these points on this thread.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Just an observation - I find the fact that ANY firm is allowed to bill a premium text to a third party without prior authorisation a scandal. I have received 8 premium texts in the last 4 years, none of which I asked for or responded to advertising giving my mobile number. It was allowed in much the same way as Premium Phone Lines, but here the issue wasn't paying for a service by calling it's number, it was paying for it by passively receiving it.

 

I objected to OFTEL when this was proposed and their response was 'they cannot stop progress' (for progress, read 'revenue streams') and we all know what happened with the ringtones industry. Just as Direct Debits remove control from the consumer, these reverse billing services do the same, but since some view them in the same light, they can see nothing wrong with them.

 

As to the FACTS outlined about this company, I'm afraid as much as I agree with your sentiments, one person's fact is another's actionable statement. It doesn't matter if what you say is right or true, the question is "Do I have the money to defend myself should they take it to court?" I think we all know the answer to that.

 

Anyone reading this thread will be well aware that there are MANY firms out there who are prepared to bend the rules in search of a quick buck. Making a stand isn't going to stop it, but Ofcom may well get round to doing something - eventually. (See my other thread on new rules to limit Slamming and Mobile contract scams).

 

It isn't going to change overnight - but we're all on the same side here!

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It isn't going to change overnight - but we're all on the same side here!

 

In my last post on CAG it's amusing that in all the differences of opinion we have had over time for once we are in full agreement!

 

Sadly though Buzby it does seem to be the fact that not all of us are all on the same side.

 

:)

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What You actually feel that corporate business should ride roughshod over consumers without adequate controls? :)

 

The situation as described - taking funds without having verifiable proof the 'customer' wanted to make the purchase is an assault on consumer rights and natural justice.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 4 months later...

I encountered the same problem. Received a text message from nowhere saying that I am subscribed to some service and have to pay a weekly charge of GBP 3.75 unless I put a stop to the service. I immediately sent a stop message. I deleted the text message and forgot about the matter. However, when I received my phone bill, Iwas surprised to note that I got charged GBP 3.75, 3 lots of GBP 1.25. The bill showed that these items were charged prior to the charge for sending tbe stop message. When I rang my mobile operator THREE to enquire about the charges, THREE said that these messages were from an organisation called Zamano. They tried to contact Zamano on my behalf but couldn't get through . They gave me an email address to write to them. I have written to them complaining about the charges. I doubt whether I will receive any refund.

 

How do you put a stop to this kind of [problem] when out of the blue you receive a message on your phone and unknown to you, get charged for a premium service that you have not ordered or requested in the first place? Isn't this the responsibility of the mobile operators? I suppose they can't be bothered because they get a cut from the [problem].

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