SMS to Win?…Rather it is to get conned….

I fell for the oldest trick in the book.

No such thing as a free lunch, in this case, winning a lucky draw by just sending an sms.

A pop-up window attracted me to this cool MacBook Air prize.

In huge print were the simple instructions to just SMS “AIR” to 72233. So I did without first reading the fine print “terms and conditions”.

I received a thank you sms, wishing me good luck in winning the MacBook Air, then the next sentence made my eyes roll. Another set of questions to pick between choice A or B, and the sinker, “Text A or B to 72233, & u can win, $4 CHARGED

And suddenly another sms just came to me, “Welcome to Trivia! It’s ur chance to win cool prizes. Info: http://www.wixawin.com/6571 3999, subscription service max 10q per month $4/q….”

Panic gripped me….how much have they charged me so far already….and it goes straight to my mobile bill….

I raced to the original pop-up window and looked at the fine print:

Wixawin is not affiliated with, sponsored by or endorsed by any of the listed products or retailers. Trademarks, service marks, logos, (including, without limitation, the individual names of products and retailers) are the property of their respective owners. This is an ongoing subscription service until user quits. This service operates according to the Singapore code of practice for SMS services. By sending an SMS to 72233, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the ‘Terms & Conditions’ and agree to be bound by these ‘Terms & Conditions’. To stop service? Text STOP to 72233. Subscription: Maximum 10 SMS questions per month, S$4 per question. Competition ends 31-12-’08. Age: 18+ only obtain bill payer’s permission. Helpdesk: 6571 3999. Technical Service Provider: Sybase 365 Pte Ltd.

Gosh. It really pissed me off.

I immediate sent “STOP” to the same number again in case more “trivia” (but expensive) questions pop up in my mobile.

Tell me who in his right mind likes to pay $4 for a trivia sms question, subject to paying $40 per month for ten of these. I might as well set up a company to do that and collect such easy  (fool’s) money….

So and So Company will be hearing from me very soon when I receive my next mobile bill and find out any billings due to this incident.

I will definitely go to CASE (Consumers Association of Singapore) and not let it go so easily like the last time I found an MP3 subscription on my mobile bill when I did not knowingly subscribe to such a service.

Must be that contest SMS I sent to take part in some radio lucky draw.

No more sms for competitions or lucky draws for me anymore. Never ever!

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44 responses to “SMS to Win?…Rather it is to get conned….

  1. hey… i suffer the same fate too.
    I was conned $12..

    The ads were very misleading..
    Is they anything we can do about this?

  2. hey, 1 more thing, if u open the popup ads write… it automatically resize the browers size to cover the terms & conditions stated below. Leaving on the mapbook air ads on top. This is very obvious a setup.

    It they anyway tru law to bring that company down?

  3. First things first.

    Never take part in any sms contest. They use data mining to collect your mobile numbers for future marketing purposes.

    For this company, the only thing to be done is to make an official complaint, perhaps to Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the newspapers.

    Then they will most likely be warned and told not to repeat such misleading advertisement/promotions again. That’s about all.

    Best thing to do is to warn everybody you know.

    I hardly take part in any contests, written, online or sms. Stopped believing in them already.

    Eakky

  4. Pingback: The $4 sms Saga « Eakky’s Blogscape

  5. I also got conned into doing this.

    I am not at all happy about it. Money is too precious to be robbed from us by these capricious dirty tricks.

    I too did not see the terms and conditions at the bottom of the page. They were not at all prominent, possibly even covered up by another window, and I would never have submitted my details had I known the cost. I will be very wary in future.

    I intend to take this further. I live in the UK, and hopefully people I contact in our watchdog groups will be able to make this illegal here and perhaps get my money back. It is not worth a great deal of effort, because of the smalll ammount of money involved, which is probably what the fraudsters rely upon, but on principle I fully intend to make their life difficult and champion the rights of others in the process.

    Onwards and upwards dear friends!!

  6. Hi,

    Got my 2 sons bill last month & there will several billings for “bill on behalf services “( company like Sybase365 etc ). Argued with SingTel that if they don’t know such companies then why are their own clients been billed. Good thing, they said we can de-activate all such services for my sons mobile numbers.

    I am concerned because I read some other websites that the bills can run to the hundreds.

    I hope our Telco authority will wake up to curb such practices – these companies are just preying on innocent users!

    Just wanted to know …what is the outcome with CASE!

    Regards
    Sam Wong

  7. I kena conned too. I called up my operator and they told me to call the Sybase 365 Pte Ltd. I did and gave them an earful. They relented and agreed to waive the charges except for the initial $4.

    What I’m going to do next is:

    – cancel my GIRO arrangement with my operator and dispute the $4 charge. Its a hassle but I believe this is one way for the operators to take notice of scams like these.

    – report to CASE.

  8. I also suffering becos of this, I charged for 20$, but I sent only one SMS. I don’t know whts this service about.

    I am really confused.

  9. Good and bad news from my end.

    Bad news – My wife’s Singtel mobile got billed $20 from Sybase365 for “TMG Services” for the duration from 3/Jun/08 till 19/Jun/08. We’ve no idea what this TMG Services is for and what we’ve done was input the mobile number online in a lucky draw for notebook. Only 1 SMS was sent.
    I’ve tried calling Sybase365 hotline 68384430 as stated on Singtel’s bill but was informed by a voice recording stating that the customer service line had been changed to 65713999.

    Good news – I’ve called Singtel 1688 billing enquiries hotline and the CSO said will waive off the $20 after stating my wife’s case to her.

    Let’s see if the next bill from Singtel really waived off that $20.

  10. Forgot to add that nobody pick up the phone for that Sybase365 customer service hotline 65713999.

    Maybe others that got conned can have a better luck getting through?

  11. Crap, i just kenna on my phone bill. Called up starhub and they gave me the same info on the company and contact number. Immediately called them up to cancel and demand that they refund the money they conned form me. At first they kept pushing the blame on me saying the terms and conditions are stated there but i kept arguing until they decide to refund 50% of the amount but i kept going and eventually they agreed to only bill me for the $4 initial charge, which is alot already for a stupid sms. I’m hoping to see my refund in the next bill but regardless of the outcome, i’m definitely reporting this CASE.

  12. i’ve called them up also but they only agree to refund 50%, any advice on what I could do next?

  13. Sherry Teo lay teen

    Hi,

    Sybase is really a cheat! I also get conned.

    The screen pop out of nowhere, and there is no statement that stated every question will be charge $4. If they are charging, they should make it clear that every question is charge $4 and got how many question. There is no term and
    condition stated. If there is, I should have click on it and nothing pop up. I remember wondering how to get pass the screen and look for button to close the screen, but it cannot be closed.

    I am forced to enter phone number to get to the next screen.

    For god’s sake, who is so stupid to entered into a contest to pay $40 and expected to win or not win a phone?! It’s not a winning a condo!
    Alamak! Even NKF, need to pay $5 or $10 to enter charity draws.

    I entered my sister phone number and received the question immediately in my handphone as it is registered under my sister name.

    I did not give any answer, thinking that i am not going to be charged. Then the next question come and said enter end to end. which I did.

    I still get billed for $8 and called in M1 that I am not going to pay the third party, paid M1 only.

    Called Sysybase and get through. A girl pick up the phone and offer to wave $4 off the bill provide that i agree with the arrangement (not go to case, of course) and I asked for the term and condition published in their website to be given to me. (To give to police as evidence on how they do business)

    Today, call them again, the same girl pick up the phone claiming that i did not called them yestersday. Then I said ” Am I talking to a ghost yestersday! Told them if they did not send me the website and my transaction to view, I would definetely go to the police.

    Of course, I will definely go to the police today and lodge a cheating case against sybase.

    I would advise those being conned to make a police report to prevent other people being conned too. Dun’t paid any money to them.
    Call up your phone operator and told them you are not going to pay the bill if you did not send in any answer at all.

    At most, let the company sue me for $8 as they would not do cause they are the cheats.

    Go and make phone report. Dun’t need to pay cheat at all.

  14. Sherry Teo lay teen

    Hi,

    I am being direct to CASE after making a police report. Do not delete away the email they send to as they need them as evidence.

    The police said the if CASE asked them to further investigate, they would step in.

    Alas! Bad luck to come across this company.
    Wish justice will come one day. For those who get conned, will understand how I feel.

  15. Sherry Teo lay teen

    Hi, CASE officer said can lodge complaint to IDA as they have the right to close down the company as they regulate them and do other things.

    Go to : http://www.ida.gov.sg and do accordingly.
    I told case that i am not claiming the money, just to complaint.
    Anyone who see this website and have been sabo, can go to the http://www.ida.gov.sg to make known your cause.

    Please note that Sybase I refering to is SybaseXXX where XXX represent digits number.

    Sybase is another Oracle company, which I am not refering to above.

    That’s all folk. If really want to close down the company or made public awareness, go to ida.
    I hope it helps.

  16. Hi Sherry,

    I admire your actions beyond just words.

    Do let everyone here know the email address and person to attention the complaints to.

    Keep it up and let us each defend our consumer rights.

    Cheers,
    Eakky

  17. Sherry Teo lay teen

    Hi,

    Try to contact the Sybase XXX Company first to let them refund your money. If they still claim $4 when U did not send in any answer at all or
    If U did not enter your handphone number yourself, tell them so. However the term and conditions must not be in the webpage stating that the question is paid.

    They should not charged $4. Honestly, I feel that they should apologize and wave off $4 and even paid us back the sms that they send to us. 2 sms (20 cent, if I am not wrong.) to the telecom company if they are considerate.

    The police told me that if someone entered your handphone number instead of you, then
    it is cheating case. Go and file a report if u are sure it is not any of your friends or families members entering it in the hope that you win the prize.

    The system that sybase used is really dun’t know what to say. They got the handphone number only and did not verify the message they send to is really the owner of the handphone. No message to end the question on the first question.
    No ” whether you want to continue with the game and get charged altogether $40 (10 question).”

    Go to Case to claim money if you want money back only.

    Go to IDA to complaint if dun’t want money.

    Base on your own case, if you feel it is not fair, then email to :IDA Info [Info@ida.gov.sg]
    stating your case.

    The person who attend to my complaint is : Kimmi Goh.

    IDA has the power to de-register or regulate the companies in Telecom industry.

    I think it’s fair for me to notify them to check them out. What action they do is up to them.

    Honestly, cannot image if one day, a person enter all the handphone number of all Singaporean,
    what would happen? Would we be still billed,
    including the VIPS ?!

    Of course, dun’t ever do this. Cause it is a crime.
    Can go to jail. Just to mention the above, to identify what a possible danger it poses to evey Singaporean.

    Hope that it would help u all.

  18. Anyone filed such stupid thing with CASE and is the outcome known so far??

    I kena connned by $40! I didn’t even know i was charged until i saw the bill myself. All the while i thought it’s just a spam and never bother reading the sms! I called the company, they insisted that I subscribed to the quiz and that’s y i was charged. I said i’ll go to police and CASE if they dun refund me for this “single way” transactions. u know wat the gal responded? “fine, go ahead.” that showed that the company is immune to the complaints!

    I called up starhub the 2nd time and said that i wanted to cancel the giro payment. i’m not going to pay that charges until it’s settled satisfactorily. On their end, they’ll check with sybase and come back to me with the outcome. Regardless of wat outcome it’s gonna be, even it’s not favourable to me, i’m not paying that charges.

    if there’s precedence that singtel can waive the charges, y starhub can’t do that? as the operator, they didn’t not act in the best interest of its clients. when this case has been going wild for quite some time, they’re aware of such complaints, they should take immediate actions! apparently they’re not doing anything but sitting down there to earn the commission!!

    this sybase is cheating. if it’s a transaction, where’s the other party’s confirmation?? i traced back to the first sms they sent me: “stay subscribed to trivia & play for cool prizes! blah blah blah…. ” Shouldnt they put it in this way that: “You’ve subscribed to trivia & play for cool prizes! ” which will really alert the reader of the sms???

  19. Hi All,

    I also one of the victim whose been conned by this website and whose I have not check my bill details cos I subcript to online billing and I just paid every month, until yesterday I was so shock to read that I have been billing $44 for this stupid website for July billing and also $22 for the last 2 months billed by M1 on this third party operator for not even aware that all this nonsense quetions cost me $4 per sms even you not bother to answer.
    I agreed to Veela if the telecom operator is not even bother and not helping on this issue for the customer then how could we trust them. I am also wondering where do this stupid company get all our mobile number from? Is either they get our number from our telecom operator who selling them and earn commission on every charges or someone in the telecom company making some extra income on selling our number to them.
    I definately going to log a police report and also log to CASE toward this company.

  20. Hi all,

    I am equally disgusted by these kind of low down underhand tactics to swindle innocent parties. I have just sent an email to IDA today, perhaps you guys out there should do like wise and put pressure of IDA to control such unscrupulous people. The least this Sybase can do is to give you Y/N to subscripe when they send in the 1st sms. But I guess they must have planned it such that most will be caught off guard.

    Here is my email to IDA:

    “https://eakky.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/sms-to-winrather-it-is-to-get-conned/

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    If you go to the thread above you will notice how many net savvy guys out
    there were ‘conned’ by the Sybase365.

    As for myself, it was my wife (who only goes to her webbase email) who was
    ‘conned’ into believing that she ‘won an i-Phone’ by just answering 2 questions.
    Obviously the terms and conditions were there but how to stop an euphoric mind
    from grabing the chance “of winning an iPhone” from giving off her Name (Mrs Tan)
    and handphone (9xxxxxxx) to the next requested pop-up screen.

    Next thing she heard was her SMS ring tone. In came an sms message, when
    she saw that a S$4 charge to be levied she just wanted to cancel it. Unfortunately
    she hit the wrong button and sent off an unanswered reply. Subsequently she
    received more SMS which she did not reply (I was told that there were 3 more
    premium messages sent). I was told that even without replying to the 3 premium sms
    I would still be charged S$4.00 for each of the sms.

    May I ask is this the type of service customers must put up with? Can a
    service/content provider ‘throw’ its services upon you without your choice of rejecting?

    I am also frustrated that the business of telcos have been diluted to such dispicable level.
    Collobrating (in collecting monetary fees) with content providers with NO VALUED ADDED
    SERVICES!

    I do not know how many children, housewives and innocent parties got into such time wasting
    forrays.

    I myself have not encountered this pop-up screen, maybe you can send me a
    link where I can check for myself how this thing works.

    I hope IDA does take this kind of under hand tactic to collect subscription
    fee from the public seriously.

    Yours sincerely
    Alan Tan

    p/s 1, I have called Starhub – they are waiting from Sybase365 email reply, no news so far.
    2. I called Sybase365, took me ages to get in touch with the hotline personel, nothing
    can be drawn from her except I have to bear the S$16.00 charges.
    3. Spoke to Shela of IDA, encourage me to write to IDA and it will look into the matter with both
    (Starhub and Sybase365)
    4. Called CASE, I will have to pay S$10.00 fee for them to write a letter to Sybase365, no guarantee
    that I can get off the S$16.00 charges.
    5. Was told that such lucky draw needed police permit, but I have not call SPF yet.

  21. i have also been cheated by sybase365. i was not aware of what ‘$4 charged’ meant until recently where my bill had gone up to a total of $44. I am not going to pay the $44 and i will demand for a refund of previous charges. DAMN sybase.

  22. Hi,

    I had put my case to IDA but have been advised to be careful.

    U all can see the corresponse below.
    Now I am not even sure whether I was wrong or not. I really cannot remember I saw the term and conditions in my email.. but my memory is not that good. I just let the matter rest.

    Hope that other who got unpleasant experience will not be too angry.

    ~Best regards,
    Sherry Teo.

    ——————————————————-

    Dear Ms Teo,

    We refer to your email dated 18 July 2008.

    We have noted your complaint and have sought clarification from Sybase365 Pte Ltd. We understand from Sybase365 that you had keyed in your mobile number to request for their quiz services via their Internet advertisement found at http://www.wixawin.com/sg/ads/iphone.aspx. We have looked at the web page and note that the prices, terms and conditions of Sybase365’s service are stated at the bottom of the advertisement. The specific circumstances under which end users of the service will receive each SMS question are also stated in the terms and conditions of the service.

    We have also checked the SMS log of Sybase365 to see if they had charged you for a service that you did not subscribe to. We are attaching a copy of log below for your reference. The log show that after receiving your mobile number via their website, Sybase365 had sent an SMS to your mobile number to confirm if you would like to enter the quiz. In its confirmation SMS, Sybase had stated that the contest was a premium service and there was charge of $4 per quiz question, and customers had to reply by texting the keyword “IPHONE” to the short code “72233” to confirm their entry into the quiz. We note that a confirmation SMS containing the “IPHONE” keyword had indeed been received from your mobile number. It was only after Sybase365 received this confirmation that it proceeded to activate the service for you and to charge you accordingly for it. Therefore, in view of our investigation, we have no reason to believe that Sybase365 had made a mistake in charging you for the quiz service.

    We would like to explain the billing process for premium rate services. For normal SMS messages, only the sending party needs to pay for sending the SMS message; the receiving party does not pay for receiving it. However, for certain value-added services, such as SMS information services (e.g. financial and sports news), ringtone downloads or SMS chat services, the receiving party might be billed by the Premium Rate Service Provider (PRSP) for having the information sent to their mobile phone. In such cases, the mobile service provider will usually bill the receiving party on behalf of the PRSP. PRSPs provide various channels for consumers to purchase or subscribe to their premium rate services. For example, the consumer could send a keyword to the PRSP’s short code hrough computers accessing Internet websites, or mobile phones accessing mobile operators’ portals (such as SingTel Mobile’s E-Ideas portal or M1’s Mi-World portal).

    To protect consumers from being wrongfully charged for unsolicited premium rate services, or being misled by advertisements on premium rate services, IDA introduced a Code of Practice for Provision of Premium Rate Services last year. The Code imposes regulatory requirements on PRSPs. For example, PRSPs must disclose beforehand to consumers price and non-price terms of the services that they are subscribing to. This will allow consumers to make informed choices when choosing PRSPs. Also, IDA requires the PRSPs to publish the information in a manner that is readily available, current and easy to understand. At no time are PRSPs allowed to charge customers for unsolicited services.

    We would like to take this opportunity to remind and advise consumers to be careful of the services they subscribe to, and to carefully read the service terms and conditions before making any purchases. If consumers are unclear of the details of the service, it would be best if they contacted the service provider to seek clarification before taking up the service. We hope this clarifies and addresses your concerns.

    Logtime Dir Keyword Message Cellular Operator Rate
    6/24/2008 18:28 out SG-72233-STOP 72233: We received your cancellation message. You will be unsubscribed within a few minutes. 96986876 52503 0
    6/24/2008 18:28 in SG-72233-STOP stop 96986876 52503 0
    6/24/2008 14:06 out SG-72233-IPHONE TRIVIA: play 4 cool prizes! Nxt round starts tomorrow. NB: From July 1 subscription changed to 3qs/wk. $4/q. Info:wixawin.com/65713999. To end txt stop to 72233 96986876 52503 0
    6/18/2008 14:05 out SG-72233-IPHONE Play for Game Boy Advance + 2 games! Q1: Which tennis player won the ’08 French Open? A: Rafael Nadal or B: Andre Agassi. Txt NOW A or NOW B to 72233! $4 charge 96986876 52503 400
    6/17/2008 20:00 out SG-72233-IPHONE Good luck with winning the iPhone! 1st Q. Who is the co-founder of Apple? A: Bill Gates or B: Steve Jobs. Text IPHONE A or IPHONE B to 72233! S$4 charged 96986876 52503 400
    6/17/2008 20:00 out SG-72233-IPHONE Welcome to trivia! It’s ur chance to win cool prizes. Info: http://www.wixawin.com / 6571 3999, subscription service max 10qs/month, $4/q, 2 end text stop to 72233. 96986876 52503 0
    6/17/2008 20:00 in SG-72233-IPHONE Iphone 96986876 52503 0
    6/17/2008 19:57 out SG-72233-JM0 Please text IPHONE to 72233 to confirm your entry. Join now and have a chance to win an Apple iPhone! Premium service, $4/q. Info: wixawin.com / 6571 3999 96986876 52501 0

    Best Regards,
    Kimmi Goh
    IDA Corporate Helpdesk
    8 Temasek Boulevard, #14-00, Suntec Tower Three, Singapore 038988 :: Tel: +65 6211 0888 :: Fax: +65 6211 2222
    The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing info-communications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. Visit IDA’s website at http://www.ida.gov.sg. For enquiries, email to info@ida.gov.sg.
    NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachments) may contain confidential or legally privileged information. Any unauthorised use, retention, reproduction or disclosure is prohibited and may attract civil and criminal penalties. If this e-mail has been sent to you in error, please delete it and notify us immediately.

    —– Forwarded by IDA Info/IDA/SINGOV on 08/08/2008 04:06 PM —–

    18 Jul, 2008 02:41 PM
    To IDA Info/IDA/SINGOV@SINGOV
    cc
    Subject RE: Log no: 38173 – Complaints against Sysbase365 – Tmg Services.

    Hi,

    I want to lodge a complaint against Sybase365 – TMG Services. I am not sure whether I am the first one to do so or not.

    Other customers either from M1, Singtel might just pay the bill and suffer in silence.

    I am one of M1 customer. My handphone is registered under my sister’s name.

    While online in internet, Sybase365 – TMG Services promotion website for winning a ipod/iphone (I cannot remember what it is as I am not interested

    In the product at all) pop up of the screen and interfere with what I am doing.

    As I am not interested, I come out out of the page. Next I go in again, soon after , the website pop up again, this time, I cannot close the webpage.

    I look through the webpage to find out what it is, it is asking one to enter handphone number to win an ipod/iphone.

    Then I look at the term and condition.. It is small in printed. Click on the term and conditions, no url or new website page specifying the term and condition

    Comes up.

    As I really want to go to the next page, with no interest in the iphone or ipod or whatever, I think keying in my handphone number is only providing

    Them information to access me for promoting their products or services or just to let them contact me when I win the price.

    Alas! Who would have thought, immediately I received an sms stating that a question and a few answer to choose from. $4.

    Just like that. I thought that if I send in my answer, I would be charged $4. Therefore I did not and thought all ends.

    However, I received another sms a few days/weeks later ( I am too busy to notice the time ) which tell me sms end to end the contest, which I did.

    At the end of the month, I received M1’s bill stating that I have to pay Valued Added Services Provider – Sybase365 – Tmg Services.

    I called up M1 and is being directed to call Sybase365 – Tmg Services directly.

    I called up the staff and she said that it is being charged for 2 questions that they send to me. I told them that I did not take part in the contest

    at all, I did not send in my answer. Why am I paying for some services that I did not want or dun’t need to pay at all?

    The staff said that she would wave $4 off the bill, that is I have to pay $4 instead. I told her that I would lodge complaint to Case.

    I asked her how come, there is no specification that $4 will be charged for every question asked in the web page?

    I entered my handphone number, thinking that it is a harmless and free contest. If the contest is charged, they should write in bold and big

    in the webpage and let the consumer know.

    Later she told me that there are 10 questions altogether, and each cost $4. Who in the right mind would paid $40 to enter a contest for ipod/iphone.

    Who expect to answer correct 10 questions, paid $40 to win or not to win a ipod/iphone.

    Even one need to pay $5 or $10 to enter into charity contest for Condo in NKF’s charity TV shows.

    Sybase365 is really too much to mislead the consumers to enter phone number, thinking it is a free contract and charge us straight away for questions they send to us.

    They did not email me the term and conditions which the service staff said they had did. I want them to send me the term and conditions, URL and my transactions

    Records which they claimed they have. Till now.,. They did not send me any.

    I really want to vomit blood when I speak to the staff at Sybase365 – TMG services.
    I called the next day, and the staff who picked up the call claimed that based on company record, I did not called at all when I request again for the term and

    Conditions which they claim they have put in the website and my transactions record.

    Later she change her words when I said that ” am I speaking to a ghost yestersday then”. She later admit that I called the day before twice and said that her

    Co-worker had already send them in yestersday. But it is almost one and a half day already and there is nothing in my email.

    She asked for my email again and I give her both yahoo and hotmail which she said she forward the email to me.
    I wait and go to both – yahoo and hotmail accounts. Nothing received and feedback to her.

    Then she asked for my company fax number which I did not give as I know she is taking me for a fool.
    I have lodge a police report against them and is advised to go to CASE.

    CASE direct me to IDA as I am not claiming any money. Just to make the government aware what is happening to Mobile phone consumers in Sinapore.

    I have spoken to M1 service staff and is told that there are other cases with Sybase365 – TMG services.

    Although M1 said that they would paid for me as I insisted on not paying as I am conned to their services and I did not receive any really services from Sybase365

    but anger and upsets.

    Really pissed off that such company can do business this way and get away with it, while other consumers who felt conned is suffering in silence.

    Although I did not suffer losses, but M1 will suffer losses if It pay for me out of goodwill. But the money losses is not fair to its shareholders.

    I hope IDA would take approriate action and do justice in this case. It is not right to charge a person when one did not send in answer and I am being mislead into it.

    If I am the only one, I might not bring this matter up to the authority.

    But as consumers of M1, SingTel (StarHub, not sure) got conned as they had claimed, I cannot just do nothing and let other fellow Singaporean suffers, although

    It is a small amount. Others might suffer bigger losses.

    M1 had said that they would pay for me as it is a small amount, but if it is a big amount, I have to settle with the company myself.

    I pitied those that have huge bills to pay.

    I hope that the authority will looked into it and do the public a service by either issuing a warning to their ways of conduction business or

    de-registered them if the authority feel it should be so.

    I would like to give you my handphone number to contact me. But after knowing Sybase365 ways of doing business, I am very carefully about disclosing

    My handphone number to anyone anymore cause I cannot trust anyone already.

    ~ Thanks and Best regards,
    Sherry Teo Lay Teen

  23. Dear All,

    All my life (now age 62) never believe “NOTHING IS FOR FREE” – Cantonese saying “NO FROGS ANYHOW JUMP ON THE ROAD SIDE”, Nigera Con with Billions I also ignored.

    Never check my M1 Mobile Phone Statement, as my daughter paying for my bill. On August daughter financially have money problem, so went to settle S$332.76 and noticed Value Added Services for $44.00 for August, $28.00 for July and $8.00 for June. Contacted M1 and question what is the service all about and ask whether have I subscripted to such service and reply is NO.

    What the Hell do this services come about and now unable to contact Sybase365 since 18 August and left them message to contact me but no response.

    Go ahead and take necessary action against such con company, as me making a Police Report also to case

  24. Yes, the ugly insidious talons of Sybase 365 (it even sounds evil don’t you think- like the baddies in Battlestar Galactica) are reaching into the wallets of unsuspecting Aussies as well. This time facilitated by none other than Facebook, and my 13 year old daughter unfortunately fell for their tricks when it came up innocently disguised as a competition on Facebook. Surely this company should be brought down and exposed- Someone is getting very rich if this many of us are falling for it!

  25. It seems that this co. has a neverending abyss of complaints from consumers who have been hoodwinked into something they never wanted.

    Yes they were keen on the prize, or curious about the competition. But no, they did not want to subscribe to some lame excuse to overcharge users for useless sms trivia.

    I wonder how business owners like this live with continually ripping off their customers (unwilling ones at that).

    As the saying goes, caveat emptor (buyer beware)!

  26. Good news- my phone company ‘3’ refunded the money based on the fact that the advert was deliberately misleading and Sybase are uncontactable (they haven’t returned any calls). For Aussies your best bet is to call the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman- get a reference number- and go back to your mobile service provider for a refund… still it seems Sybase is getting away with it- why should 3 have to pay?

  27. I chalked up $112 worth of so-called ‘value added services’ bills over the past 3 months for receving questions that I did not answer – quizes that I did not participate. This is totally absurd. I have a good mind to go personally to Sybase365 office and take up the matter with them. We cannot go legal with the company because they have all the evidence. We have to make demands on grounds of business mal-practice and misrepresentation. When they mentioned $4 per question, I take it to mean that it is chargeable only if you respond. They should have made it clear that it is “$4 per question; even if you don’t respond”. But if they do that, they know full well that customers will terminate the service in a blink. Therefore, they mislead.

    I am a member of an international hotel and resort chain. The membership costs me $500+ per year. With it, I get to stay at their chain of hotels at discounted rates – but they charge only when I stay, not when I don’t stay. This is very fundamental business rule and ethics; but I guess they lack the latter. I am definitely going all out to demand for a full refund of my money.

  28. I’m a victim also, just called M1 hoping they will waive off the charges but apparently they said have to depend whether Sybasexxx can waive it in the first place. Really disappointed with M1, have been a long-time customer with them.

    Will try to call the company early in the morning tml.

    Heard from other sites, to terminate have to send them a STOP sms and this will incur additional charges…is that true? Is there other way?

  29. Hey Wendy,

    Do send them the STOP sms to cut the service and stop your charges from accumulating. No additional charges incurred.

    I did that when I received the first $4 sms. So in the end all I was charged was $4 after I send the STOP. At least my losses was minimal.

  30. Hi all.

    It only takes one sms and that’s it. “curiousity killed the cat” as they say.

    Reality check:

    You all think it’s that easy to win a MacBook or iPhone? Just answer a quiz and that’s it? Pshh.

    Get real. The best you all could do, you want a Macbook? you save, then you buy. Haha

  31. Hi all,

    i also got conned. Just found out today. This company really too much. They just sit down and earn money for nothing. Why not we gather together and make a complaint to the newspaper?

    Any keen pls send me email at adrianlkz@yahoo.com

  32. Hi Adrian

    your wish got answered. A journalist left her contact on my blog:

    Hi there, I’m a journalist with SPH mypaper, and I’m actually doing a story on this hp scam. Hopefully you can get back to me and share abit more on your story? You can email me, or call me at 6319 5257. Thanks alot! If you have any friends who had the same experience and wish to share with me their thoughts as well, feel free to ask them to contact me. =)

    regards
    Joy
    joyfang@sph.com.sg

  33. Pingback: SMS phone scam: Vent your frus thru newspaper « Eakky’s Blogscape

  34. pls do visit my blog for a solution to this matter

    http://marinetauchen.livejournal.com/

    siva

  35. i had the same problem too… but resolved the matter with my MTO and sybase…. I was suppose to pay more than $120… in the end, I paid $0.00 =) visit my blog for the details…

    http://marinetauchen.livejournal.com/

  36. thanks for sharing ….

  37. Big Con job indeed…
    I found myself doing / buying /eating things that i told myself never to.
    Now, i maintain a “never list” to remind myself.
    It includes where/what not to eat, brands not to support, how to react to situations (e.g. someone cutting your queue), marketing calls, etc.
    It includes lessons from others as well.

    Use AdBlock Plus and FlashBlock of firefox to stop all ads (good or bad).
    You will have more peace!

  38. Guess why Spain loses the first match in world cup 2010?
    Guess why Germany win the first and loses the second match?
    Guess why the telecom operators allowed such things.

    It doesn’t take much intelligence to know why.

  39. Its 2011 and I just noticed I have been billed the last 3 months for a service that I did not unsubscribe to?!?!?! its itemised as Ericsson Telecommunications – Tmg services and M1 lists the company’s number as 8001012164 and says to contact the company for enquiries. I have been charged $96 singapore dollars for the last 3 months. Looks like what you are talking about – Sybase365 – has a new mask. I will have to make a complaint to CASE. Please check your bills again!!! This is unethical!

  40. Fucking i did pay 3moths 😦

  41. Hi,

    I am a M1 user and i encounter the same thing here in my bill.
    I saw the solution is to send “STOP” to 72233

    I did that, and i received an reply SMS: “Regarding your opt-out request, no active subscriptions were found. If you are taking part in one of our non-subscription services, no further action is required”

    Did you guys receive the same reply? Does this reply means the services has already been stop?

  42. Premium downloads. Mobile In Motion Pte ltd 67256565

    i called starhub four times in a month and was given different answers
    two said the service has been barred and two said need to check with 3rd party…
    fed up with starhub. i never even click on anytime anywhere.. and called the company… some foreigner picked up and mumbled marbles…

    ain’t paying starhub $48 and guess what…another sms got in.. jeez

  43. Hey how do i unsubscribe this thing? Cause it charges me 84sgd fr 21 msg already just bcos of the sms they’ve send me. Help me?

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