April 1, 2013

SEEMS LIKE A FEW CLASS-ACTION SUITS — OR BEHEADINGS — COULD ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM DIRECTLY: FCC needs to stop ‘cramming’ on cellphones.

Figuring it might have been from a friend, Chao clicked it open and — what do you know? — it, too, was from Ringtunecloud.com.

So she did exactly what wireless companies advise customers to do. She called her provider, Verizon Wireless, and asked that Ringtunecloud.com be blocked from sending any more texts to her phone.

The Verizon rep agreed to do this, but informed Chao that a $9.99 monthly service charge already had been applied to her account — just because she had clicked on the text.

“Opening a text can’t possibly be interpreted as consent to receive whatever service they’re trying to sell,” Chao, a lawyer with the California Department of Insurance, told me. “But that’s what they’re trying to get away with.

“I don’t see how this could even be legal.”

Me, neither — and lawyers I’ve spoken with say it probably isn’t. Nor do I understand how Verizon could be a willing accomplice in this racket by allowing Ringtunecloud.com easy access to a customer’s bill.

Tar. Feathers.