Rogers Wireless : Now you can block unwanted text messages
If you’re a Rogers wireless customer, you can stop companies from sending premium text messages to your phone.
The company announced the change in response to an increased number of complaints from customers about getting billed for premium text messages, ranging from $1 to $10 apiece.
Many people subscribe to a premium text message service without realizing they’re doing so. They may enter their mobile phone number in order to win an online contest, say for a tablet computer.
Once they send a confirmation, they’re charged for messages until they send a text saying STOP.
To protect customers from confusing online contests, Rogers won’t approve any new third party premium message services that run such contests.
“It’s not that easy for customers to recognize what they’re signing up for with regard to contest-based services,” says spokeswoman Patricia Trott.
The company doesn’t have the technology to block specific text messages, she points out.
Customers have to block all premium text messages, including weather and stock reports, daily jokes and Twitter notifications.
Rogers is revamping its bills to give detailed contact information for premium text message services. And it’s retraining its representatives to deal with questions about premium text messages and how to stop them.
Customers are confused — and often angry — to find third party text charges on their wireless bills.
The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, an industry-funded agency set up to resolve disputes, has mentioned the issue in its past two annual reports.
As well, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre published a critical report on premium text messages last June.
Under new rules effective this month, all Canadian wireless carriers have to cap fees for a premium text message subscription at $40.
Once the $40 monthly limit is reached, customers won’t receive any more text messages or charges for that particular subscription.
There’s also a new requirement for customers to click a box, saying they understand the terms and conditions of any premium text message service, said Marc Choma of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.