Good God, this makes me angry: “Monkey business lures children”.
I personally think that the 199 text “services” are a scam that should be declared illegal full stop, without adding insult to injury with this kind of thing. We knew nothing about these when we set our daughter, just starting high school and needing a way of staying in contact with Mum and Dad, with a mobile phone. She was taken in by a text messaging “service” and, before either she or we knew anything about it, had raked up an horrendous bill.
Looking in the fine print of our mobile phone account, it did mention “199” numbers, and the option of having these disabled, but it was not drawn to our attention. A huge amount of money went from us to someone we don’t know somewhere we don’t know for absolutely NOTHING in return. And this with a child under 13. When I looked at their website, one of the “terms of agreement” said that the person making the text calls had to ensure that the owner of the account knew about it – but what good is that? And how can one hold them accountable?
Answer is: you can’t. Check out this website for some other angry parents. A word of advice if you are getting a phone for your child: disable these 199 “services” at the time of buying the phone. We had “data” turned off so that she wouldn’t waste here money on the internet, but didn’t know about these.
As I said, such “services” should be illegal. Promoting them in the way described in this story should earn double time in the clanger.