Did anyone else get a mysterious $9.99 charge on their bill?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ChrisBrightwell, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    My bill went up $9.99 this month and I only just now got a chance to sit down, skim my bill, and figure out what's going on. It turns out that I had a $9.99 charge under "Monthly Subscriptions" to a service identified as "BULLROARE".

    Then there's a note: "For assistance contact: http:/www.mblox.com", but the actual site has no information.

    I've been getting spammy messages lately, and I replied "STOP" a few times, but I keep getting an error about not being subscribed to any services at that short code. I figured it was an error on their part and just let it go, but now I know that there's something possibly more nefarious going on.

    With a start date of 12/25/2011, I suppose it's possible that someone signed up with their new Christmas gift and just happened to fat-finger the number to get it incorrect enough to be my number instead of theirs, but there was never any confirmation or anything. It's weird.

    A friend of mine had an identical charge on his phone bill, so he called AT&T and they took care of it pretty quickly. I plan to do the same on my drive home, and I'm hoping for an equally painless process.

    This may just be an isolated incident, but to have it happen to both of us in the same month is enough to set off a red flag. So I'm curious to hear if anyone else is having a similar problem.

    A friend of mine just got off the phone with an AT&T customer service rep. They told him that "other carriers" are having the same problem and that they would be pursuing legal action against this particular provider, so this may not necessarily be limited to AT&T subscribers.

    I've also heard from a different friend in the last few minutes. One of her bosses got tagged with this and he has been spending the day scrubbing all of the phone bills their company is responsible for. This smells super scummy to me.
  2. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I had two of them. One was for some horoscope service, the other was for some other monthly texting service that we do not use. I didn't catch it until about two months in, but AT&T was happy to credit me the money and put a block on the account for those services. Both charges were on a dumb phone line that we added for my mom so that she would have an inexpensive cell phone to have for emergencies, etc.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Tell your carrier to completely block third party billing on your phone.

    I got a few until I told Verizon to block the third party crap. Sometimes sending "stop" tells them it's a real number so they go ahead and start charging you for something you never ordered and would never order. They can do this without your permission and you have to get the carrier to reverse it and block future billings.
  4. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    This is exactly what we did. So far so good, though it has only been one billing cycle since the issue, so we will see.
  5. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    I've had a few of those myself just recently, first time ever. I somehow got subscribed for two services at $19.98/month, and kept on getting the stupid messages. I called the company, and told them to cancel my subscriptions, and called AT&T, and put a block on all 4 of our family's phone numbers. They refunded the charges.

  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    So why the sad face?
  7. Gr8fulMac macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    Be Careful!

    I've learned that very often by providing your cell phone number to certain web sites, these type of charges then appear. Seems to be the case even though you might never have requested a subscription.
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    That's a good point. Google voice was made for this! :cool:
  9. vong macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2010
    Sorry for bump but I just got charged for this. Just called them and got it fixed, could not really understand what the ATT representative was saying over the phone but she fixed it for me. :apple:
  10. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The carriers (both land and cell) should require direct authorization from customers before even allowing third party billing in the first place. Unfortunately, they continue to allow the third party billing scams cause they get a percentage of the amount collected and greed always trumps customer satisfaction.
  11. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    What happened to u is known as "slamming"

    It's a process where third party vendors "slam" Charges through either you locall phone company or cell company.

    Many times this happens when u register for "promo" especially on a webpage.

    So in order to receive that free gift a webpage is giving away they request you register your cell phone.

    So two things you need to do.
    1. Have your cell phone company block all third party charges.
    2. Never. Never ever give out your real cell phone to a random marketing company or even a legit one. Always give out a fake number Google voice number.

    If the marketing webpage rejects your google number than you need to be suspicious they are trying to slam u with charges.

    They have access to mobile numbers from list that they brought. So they can easily tell if the number u are providing is not a cell phone. The will reject ur google voice cause there is no way they can slam charges onto a google voice
  12. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    We've had AT&T block 3rd party charges on our phones, but sometimes a few would sneak through somehow.
    So what we do is only use our real numbers to real people we know. If any service online or thru a company rep wants our number, we'll give them our google voice number.
    Works great this way. Google wont' let them add fee's. haha
  13. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks so much for this thread. I phoned AT&T and placed a "Purchase Blocker" on my account. Any time I make a non-iTunes purchase or any time there is an attempt to charge me for a purchase, they must enter the given four digit code.

    It's a free add-on for extra security. I'd recommend calling AT&T and activating this feature. :)
  14. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Not a good idea -- same with spam email.
  15. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Yup, keep checking your bill as soon as it is posted or received by mail. $19.98 and $9.99 are the usual dollar amounts that i've been dealing with on a regular basis. I've always put a freeze on my accounts (cell phones), then they would have to get my permission to purchase ANYTHING! Sometimes the charges reappear with a different phone in our family plan but I'm always dialing 611 from my iPhone...
  16. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    I got the charge this month, probably because I had replied "STOP" to one of those spam messages (having had it work in the past). AT&T refunded the charge without question. Now I just delete the nefarious texts.
  17. DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    I think the way a lot of people get stuck in this situation is by confirming their number by texting STOP to a dubious spam service. For those who are being harassed by spam texts and have a jailbroken iPhone, I highly recommend something like iBlacklist. Took care of most of my spam text issues.
  18. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    There are lots of companies out there doing this crap. You need to watch your monthly phone bill and call in. ATT is very good about taking them off. We put the 3rd party block in place and it seems to work.
  19. fins831 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2011
    The ghost of herman cain's failed campaign is haunting your ATT bill
  20. cruisencode macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2009
    According to the FCC this is NOT slamming (see here)...

  21. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    For ATT users like yourself, forward those kind of sms to code SPAM (7726). I have it saved as a contact.


    I don't think so. From the wording, it sounds like ATT may intercept those keywords, and apply the blocks automatically for your account.

    Email->phone sms spam, reply 'BLOCK' should prevent future msgs.

    shortcode->phone sms spam, reply 'STOP' should prevent future msgs.

    10digit phone number, forward to address SPAM, ATT should investigate, and block future msgs hopefully without signing up for the service as they mention in the linked doc.

    http://www.wireless.att.com/support...20912515172.Anti-spam FAQ 080707 Consumer.pdf
  22. djransom macrumors 68040


    May 14, 2008
    I just noticed this as well for about 2 or 3 of my lines. I'm going to give AT&T a call to have them block the charges. Good thread.
  23. TaterToT macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2009
    Just got these on 2 lines as well... do I just call AT&T and tell them to remove them?
  24. E365 macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2010
    I got the same thing from that "BULLROARE". Got two spam texts from them one day and the 9.99 "subscription charge" ended up on my bill the next day. I told AT&T it was from a spammer and I wouldn't pay it - they took it off my bill without any fuss.
  25. hatefakecharges macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2012
    Contact Info

    I researched and located the contact info for www.mblox.com. They explained there was nothing they could do but provided me with a contact number for BULLROARE, (888) 890-6150. I called them and they explained they would refund my money; however, they kindly agreed to refund my money if I would provide my PayPal account. After laughing a bit I told them there is no way in hell I would provide a company that fraudulantly charged my AT&T account and they stated they could mail me a refund if i provided my home address. No thanks..... I provided them with AT&T's address and told them to mail it directly to them. After arguing with the manager for several minutes, and obtaining as much corporate info as possible, I advised them I would be filing a complaint with the Secretary of State of California, and every state they are registered to do business, if I did not receive a call from their General Counsel with 24 hours. I will let you know if I hear from them. I was advised they are registered to conduct business in California, but are an international company in Asia.

    In the mean time I suggest everyone call (888) 890-6150 to voice your complaint.

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