Friday, 31 May 2013

Orange and Bongiourno

It's really muggy today. I went into an electics shop on Tottenham Court Road to buy myself a new recording device and nearly keeled over. Fortunately the man pointed out that their air conditioning had broken down and that it wasn't just me going through the male menopause!

I've had a rare day off today, which found me doing very little other than coming into central London to meet Nathan for lunch.

The rest of the day seems to have been spent in front of the telly, making frequent phone calls to Orange and Ofcom about the phone bill business which came to light yesterday. The more I scratch the surface, the more I'm convinced that this is a legal scam which needs to be stopped. Ofcom assures me that Bongiorno are actually "in bed" with Orange and that the two companies are working together to make sure as many people as possible sign up for their products, which makes me feel incredibly let down by a service provider that I've been loyal to for 14 years. The man from Orange strenuously denies that they're in cohoots with Bongiorno and did his best to distance himself from the company, although he did admit that Bongiorno pay them a "small" percentage of their takings. Whatever the truth, the business is now being officially looked into by Phone Pay Plus, Ofcom's sister company (in charge of telecommunications), so we'll have to see what they say. Bongiourno claims that I willingly accepted their charges, and that they sent a text of confirmation to my mobile the following day. Fortunately, I never delete texts, so am able to prove conclusively that the text they actually sent read;

"(FreeMsg)Get to B!Games at each day. See FAQs for more info. Free access week then £1.50/week until u reply stop."

If there's anything here which tells me implicitly that I've signed up for a gaming service, please point it out!

It wasn't until a year later that they aroused my suspicion with a text which read:

(FreeMsg) You're a member of iFortune for £2/wk. Check your horoscope @ Already know your destiny? Rply stop.

I still assumed it was spam, however, and it took another three texts (one per month) for me to realise that I needed to write "stop" if I wanted them to cease sending these unwanted messages. It never occurred to me that I was being charged. More confusingly, the company by this point had started sending simultaneous texts informing me that I was subscribing to iFortune and B!Games. When I replied "stop" to the double text (see above), it appears I was only removed from the cheaper of the two services. There would have been no way on earth for me to have replied with separate "stops" to both texts as they came as one unit. Very sneaky. I would not learn that I had not stopped the iFortune texts for another month.

It's all highly suspicious, and as such, I'm no longer happy with a "good will" refund. I reckon I'm now in line for compensation for the bother and the panic which this whole business has caused me.

Leaving you now with a picture of a kettle which looks like Hitler...

1 comment:

  1. Iv had the exact same for over a year today iv finally fount out that it has been this company/ scam who have been billing me monthly for £4.18 a month i have only ever got texts saying to sign up ect and have been trying to find out who for 6 months t-mobile wouldn't tell me who! It should be illegal and shut down Its theft i didn't no they was taking my money!