It’s the classic bait and switch routine, with a twist. Advertise on kids’ channels to add “features” to their new “toys” for a low rate, or even free – but don’t bother to clearly outline the fact that they’re not “buying” something, but instead subscribing to a service with a weekly charge. Besides, when you’re marketing to kids, there’s no reason to worry about anyone actually reading the fine print, is there?
I briefly touched on this http://jonathanmurray.com/greymatter/archives/00000314.htm awhile back, and it seems I’m not the only one with concerns. The British are enforcing new laws that require these vendors to be up-front with what they are really pushing.
I honestly had no idea that my “worst case scenario” back in January was going to become so widespread – but it’s comforting to know I can still recognize a scam when I see one. Read some of the links http://www.google.com/search?q=jamster+scam here to see what I’m talking about.
This tactic involved signing people up for a subscription to give them, for instance, several ringtones per week or month instead of the single track they thought they were getting.
“What made us uncomfortable was that these services were not being marketed transparently,” said Mr Flynn. “People did not know they were being offered a subscription service.”
More at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/28/ringtone_rules/ The Register