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Samsung And Emoticon Text Message Scam

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2942482/EE-sends-mother-1-200-mobile-phone-bill-sent-smiley-symbols-weren-t-included-unlimited-31-month-contract.html

Sad face: EE sends mother £1,200 mobile phone bill because she sent smiley symbols that weren't included in her 'unlimited' £31-a-month contract
  • Paula Cochrane, 48, had no idea she was being charged 40p per emoticon
  • Hairdresser, from North Lanarkshire, was 'raging' after finding out from EE
  • Smiley faces converting texts to picture messages on Samsung phones
  • This means many users are racking up huge bills without even realising
  • Other major phone manufacturers including Apple and Sony say the problem does not affect their handsets

A mother was hit with a staggering £1,200 in phone bills after texting hundreds of smiley face emoticon symbols that weren't included in her 'unlimited' £31-a-month contract.

Paula Cochrane, 48, had no idea she was being charged 40p per emoticon by her contact provider EE and said she was 'raging' after the company only offered to cut her bill by £100.

She is one thousands of people with certain Samsung handsets who have been stung by the charges - which are a result of text messages being converted into pricier picture messages when the popular face symbols are included.

..

It adds that a warning message is displayed to tell the user that their message will be sent as an MMS.

We had this issue although luckily no where near this level as the wife sent me a few text messages which kept coming up as MM messages. It seems that Samsung has helpfully changed the default keyboard so that the old smilies now come up as a pretty icon like :) instead of : ) if you had an older phone naturally you would put the emoticon on the message as you had before and just assume the flash looking :) was the android interface putting an updated picture on it.

In fact to access the old school emoticons you needed to access it via the left hand screen button and not the face icon on the keyboard as before. I'm not surprised that lots of people have got stung with this as it's all too easy to do. Quite why you'd want the fancy emoticon on the keyboard I have no idea apart from a great scam to extract money from users without them being too aware.

Whilst there is a warning message if you aren't paying full attention you get screwed and many people are just on automatic pilot when sending txt messages.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2942482/EE-sends-mother-1-200-mobile-phone-bill-sent-smiley-symbols-weren-t-included-unlimited-31-month-contract.html

We had this issue although luckily no where near this level as the wife sent me a few text messages which kept coming up as MM messages. It seems that Samsung has helpfully changed the default keyboard so that the old smilies now come up as a pretty icon like :) instead of : ) if you had an older phone naturally you would put the emoticon on the message as you had before and just assume the flash looking :) was the android interface putting an updated picture on it.

In fact to access the old school emoticons you needed to access it via the left hand screen button and not the face icon on the keyboard as before. I'm not surprised that lots of people have got stung with this as it's all too easy to do. Quite why you'd want the fancy emoticon on the keyboard I have no idea apart from a great scam to extract money from users without them being too aware.

Whilst there is a warning message if you aren't paying full attention you get screwed and many people are just on automatic pilot when sending txt messages.

If I calculate that right, thats approximately 100 emoticons per day.

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This is the sort of dirty, profiteering face of capitalism that I so hate.

I would like to see the company fined 50 million and the individual who dreamed this up jailed for 10 years.

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This is the sort of dirty, profiteering face of capitalism that I so hate.

I would like to see the company fined 50 million and the individual who dreamed this up jailed for 10 years.

It's doubtful that this was intentional.

Samsung probably thought that it's fancy smilies were a nice, unique touch.

The network operators likely didn't notice, until people started complaining - and even then, what are they going to do. The customer complains that the bill was unexpected, they've sent 100 picture messages, the network logs show 100 picture messages, the bill is correct, but the customer says the bill is wrong. Now what does the network operator do?

What the network operators should do is set warning limits, so that the user gets a warning if they exceed a certain, configurable billable number of text messages/data/calls within a bill period.

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Chumpus Rex.

Why defend them

If good men stay silent etc.

This was ugly profiteering. Likelihood is that the people stung by this scam did not understand the difference.

Did Samsung go out of their way to explain and warn?

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This is the sort of dirty, profiteering face of capitalism that I so hate.

I would like to see the company fined 50 million and the individual who dreamed this up jailed for 10 years.

:)

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Chumpus Rex.

Why defend them

If good men stay silent etc.

This was ugly profiteering. Likelihood is that the people stung by this scam did not understand the difference.

Did Samsung go out of their way to explain and warn?

Its not Samsung making the charges.

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Absolutely absurd. All a phone does is send data back and forth over a network. There is no distinction between a voice call, text message, stupid smiley face or the phone saying "I am switched on an in this cell".

This is on the "Sad faces of wronged Daily Mail readers" thread, but in this case the woman has my full sympathy. Yes, she sent a lot of smiley faces but that's not a crime.

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Its not Samsung making the charges.

Nope, but then again Samsung made it possible for the newtworks to make the charges.

In the same way that Android seem to make it impossible, or at least difficult, to write an answering machine app. I would assume that it is to protect network profits. I would assume the the security argument is so much fluff.

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Nope, but then again Samsung made it possible for the newtworks to make the charges.

In the same way that Android seem to make it impossible, or at least difficult, to write an answering machine app. I would assume that it is to protect network profits. I would assume the the security argument is so much fluff.

You gotta ask, if you want blame, is who made the charges. Samsung made the capability, the network sells the phones, by contract, they didnt inform the client of this inadvertent flaw, so, as an unfair contract term IMHO, they should cancel charges for the uninformed change of delivery.

The retailer is responsible for the products it sells...Not the Manufacturer.

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It's the network's issue for not pointing this out to the customers, especially as they are the ones making the charges.

The mistake is google's for making this a standard feature of android, and not realising that picture messages are often overpriced, and that automatically changing text messages to picture messages is going to cause usability problems (and significant customer service problems for the network operators).

This is not a "new" feature, it has been in the phones since 2010. The networks have actually got "FAQ" pages on this issue, and have had for years. However, it is also the case that the phone *does* tell you that it is sending the message as a picture message, by popping up a warning when sending it.

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Colon, dash, closed bracket.

Sounds like me having a sh1t!

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It's doubtful that this was intentional.

Are you kidding me? You can bet it was almost certainly intentional. designed to be buried in the small print of naturally complex mobile phone contracts and tariff details. Whoever dreamt this up almost certainly got a pat on the back and promotion - the assumption being that most people would only get hit with an extra tiny amount per month (relative to the regular size of the bill) - and so not even notice it or be bothered to check it out because the extra is so small.

Of course there will always be some sad sap somewhere who sends not only a zillion texts a day but also litters them with emoticons - and so will be caught out by this.

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