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  • Report: #485586

Complaint Review: Predicto.com - PredictoMobile

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  • Submitted: Wed, August 26, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, January 21, 2010

  • Reported By: Jim Learned — Trivoli Illinois USA
Predicto.com - PredictoMobile
www.Predictomobile.com Internet United States of America

Predicto.com - PredictoMobile Verizon Text Message 654654 SCAM Trivoli, Illinois

*Author of original report: It's Over

*Consumer Suggestion: Same experience with another premium text messaging service

*Author of original report: Verizon "Customer Service"

*Author of original report: Unfortunately, I'm not in Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Predicto scam get under scrutiny in Eastern District of Michigan.

*Author of original report: Nailed Again!

* : I Got a Check...

* : Customer Service is Here to Assist

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I got two charges on my Verizon bill for $9.95.  They said "Premium Text Messaging".  I had not signed up for anything of the sort.  I called Verizon and asked what they were about.  They said they could not do anything about them; instead, they directed me to a company called PredictoMobile.  I had been receiving unwanted messages on my cell phone from number "654654".  I didn't pay any attention to them until I found out I was paying $10 to get pestered EVERY TIME.



The Indian lady at Predicto (who said her name was Shirley, yeah right!) said that they charge $9.95 a month for their service.  SO WHY AM I BEING CHARGED $20?!!  She also said I signed up for their service.  I DID NOTHING OF THE SORT!!  She promised to refund me $9.95 in 10-15 days (another yeah right!) if only I would give them my address (shouldn't they already have that if I signed up with them??) 



I think this is a total SCAM.  I would expect nothing better from Predicto, who look for all the world like an anonymous spam cannon.  However, Verizon is an ESTABLISHED company who COMPETES for my business.  I wonder if one of their competetitors would treat me better?
If you text "STOP" to number 654654 Predicto says they will stop sending you messages.  I'm not inclined to believe them if they get $10 every time, but I'll see what happens.



Also, I'd really like to see pictures of the people behind Predicto.  They seem to be just the sort of people who would crawl under a rock and hide out until all this blows over,
only to pop up again as someone else and start stealing from us again...


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/26/2009 12:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Predictocom-PredictoMobile/internet/Predictocom-PredictoMobile-Verizon-Text-Message-654654-SCAM-Trivoli-Illinois-485586. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
5Author 3Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

It's Over

AUTHOR: Jim Learned - (USA)

Eventually, I got Verizon to stop charging me.  I just wish I wouldn't have needed to make such a stink to correct what shouldn't have happened in the first place.  I'm sure Predicto, along with their cronies at the cell phone companies, are making lots of money from decent people who have better things to do than complain.  Please note that it took me a full 3 months to get this corrected.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Same experience with another premium text messaging service

AUTHOR: Sandy M. - (United States of America)

I am going through the same experience as you with another premium service charged to my cell phone bill.  I am in the process of getting a refund so I will respond with the result in a couple of weeks. 

The initiation of this premium service came through a pop-up advertisement where the company sent a pin. So it is easy for the kids to fall for this ploy. My son did kept getting text messages from them but did not respond.  

I asked the representative from this premium service company to provide the usage report of my son's account. The representative said that she has no usage report.  I told her that I know that the system keeps history - they have to do so.  She put  me on with her supervisor and I was then told I would get a refund check. 

As you wrote about sending the text to the number and saying "STOP", I suggest that one should call the premium service directly, cancel and get a cancellation number. In addtion, I did have Verizon block any ability to have any future premium services come through and this block service is free of charge.  I would suggest everyone to do this especially with kids on your cell phone account. 

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#3 Author of original report

Verizon "Customer Service"

AUTHOR: Jim Learned - (USA)

A customer service type called me from Verizon because I had not given them a "favorable" rating during my recent interactions with them.  They say their customer service is "industry leading."  I don't doubt that.  I still have a problem with Verizon, though.

My dispute with Verizon is with the people who cut the deal with Predicto.  They are hiding behind their customer service department, trying to make me like the fact that I am being subjected to shabby treatment.  What a load!  Treat me well in the first place, and I'll like you!  Treat me like crap, and I'll hate you!  This is not difficult!

He has said that he will issue me a "courtesy credit" of $9.99.  I don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this is only "courtesy" from Verizon's point of view.  True "courtesy" would entail refusing to sell me down the river in the first place!  Now I'm out $40 over 2 1/2 months, with no end in sight.  That's not "courtesy" to me!

How is it possible that this is "industry leading" customer service?  It's only possible if the whole "industry" sucks!  Sadly, judging from the number of complaints about Predicto, it looks to me like that's all too true.
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#4 Author of original report

Unfortunately, I'm not in Michigan

AUTHOR: Jim Learned - (USA)

Unfortunately, I can't join your lawsuit because I don't live in Michigan.  Plus, I haven't written anything down -- except for here!  Also, I am a customer of Verizon and not Alltel.  However, I'm sure Verizon does the same thing.  So, getting a cell phone from a different company only means I'm giving my problem to somebody else.  Sigh.

I talked to Verizon about my "Premium Text Messaging" charge.  They said I canceled in the middle of a billing cycle (two months ago?) and that's why I'm being charged for it again.  If I don't pay it, the charge will go into collection.  I might take them up on that...

It will cost me $270 to cancel my service, so I'm stuck with Verizon.  They also say I'm being charged twice because the charge is from two different companies -- Predicto Mobile and Celebrity Squares.

I talked to Predicto Mobile -- again! -- and they say that I never talked to them the first time.  So, how did they know to cancel my account?  They charged me again on August 25, and that's why $19.98 (which, apparently, Verizon would rather send into collections than take off my bill) was charged to my account.  After I coughed up my e-mail and address -- again! -- they said they'd review my case for a refund and get back to me.  Yeah, right!  They also say they have nothing to do with Celebrity Squares.  So, how come both companies have my cell phone number?  And, how can both of them be charging me?  Only because Verizon lets them, but it would seem that Verizon has lots of company.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Predicto scam get under scrutiny in Eastern District of Michigan.

AUTHOR: john_SanFrancisco - (USA)

I agree with you, this is really a scam.


For information, you don't even need to use your cell-phone to get scammed. Buying a new cell phone may get you charged $9.99 per month (or more when you get multiple subscriptions) to Predicto because the cell phone number you get is a 'recycled' phone number.


'Recycled' phone number means that your new cell-phone number previously belonged to a subscriber who for any reasons (moving or avoiding Predicto Scam) decided to drop her old phone number. Recycled cell phone numbers may have lot of contracts attached to them.


Usually cell phone companies send lists of these cell phones to providers like Predicto to clear them from any contracts. A class action was filed on 09/17/2009 against Predicto Mobile LLC in the Eastern District of Michigan (http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/18/Alltel2.pdf) for charging new cell-phone users and ignoring the lists sent by Alltell (Cell-phone company) who send Predicto updated lists of 'recycled' phones to clear from any contracts.


According to the document, Predicto just ignored lists of canceled cell-phones provided by Alltel but also Verizon, T-mobile, Sprint, and others cell-phone providers.


Predicto just transferred old subscribers bills to new subscribers: it's simmple and its their way to do business.


To my understanding any subscriber who subscribed to any cell-phone company who has a Predicto contract dated before the date their cell-phone contract started is entitled to a full refund including past due interests. Hundreds of thousands subscribers are affected. More information at http://news.findlaw.com/andrews/bt/tel/20090922/20090922_pratt.html


A new class action needs to be prepared for actual unauthorized billing without previous contract on cell-phone. We may have to hurry as I do not know if there will be enough money left to pay us back.


Please check old people bill as well as kids bills: look for $9.99 Premium text messaging in your detailed bills.


Please spread the words and the links.

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#6 Author of original report

Nailed Again!

AUTHOR: Jim Learned - (USA)

Once again, my cell phone bill has two "Premium Text Messaging" charges for $9.99.  I have received no additional messages from number 654654, and Predicto has assured me that they are not messaging me any more, but I'm still paying through the nose.

The only thing I can think of is to get rid of my cell phone.  Looks like Verizon got too greedy this time...
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#7

I Got a Check...

AUTHOR: Jim Learned - (USA)

I got a check from somebody called "Celebrity Squares" for $9.99.  I can only assume, from the amount, that this is Predicto.  So, I'm still out $10, and I had to cough up my address to get it (which they would have had already if I had gone through the "industry standard double opt-in" which they claim to use), but at least they listened to me (even though I had to scream at them to get anything).  Also, I have had no more text messages since this mess started.

It seems, from the rebuttals to complaints that they are posting, however canned they may be, that this company is at least trying to appear legitimate.  However, I am only writing this because these people SCAMMED me in the first place!  I only got anywhere by being a P.I.T.A. -- a reasonable person would have just swallowed their losses, accepted the blame this company places on its customers, and slunk away.  It still looks to me like this company is trying to take advantage of decent people.  I only got the abuse to stop because I am an obsessive nutcase! 
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#8

Customer Service is Here to Assist

AUTHOR: Predicto Customer Service - (USA)

We are sorry to hear about your experience.  Please be aware that we at PredictoMobile take customer satisfaction very seriously and would like to address any concerns you may have.  You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-360-0518 so that we can resolve your inquiry; you can also contact our customer service at http://predicto.com/support or by sending an SMS message with the word HELP to 654654.  Keep in mind, we post our toll-free customer service number on our website and include it in SMS messages we send to your cell phone. 

 

Please note we use an industry best practice double opt-in to prevent inadvertent or fraudulent sign-ups.  To enroll in our service, a prospective member must first submit their cell phone number on the PredictoMobile sign-up page which clearly explains our terms and conditions including the monthly price of the service and billing to the cell phone.  We then send a text message to their cell phone which again discloses the essential membership terms.  They then must correctly enter the PIN on our website or reply with a confirmation SMS message from their cell phone to activate the account.  The double opt-in process and clear disclosures ensures a high level of consumer protection and satisfaction.  If a member wants to cancel the service, they can simply text stop to 654654 or call Customer Service or go to http://predicto.com/support.  

 

We hope this addresses any concerns you may have; if not please contact us and well take care of your issues.

 

Sincerely,

 

Customer Service

PredictoMobile 

 

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