Recently I found a monthly charge for $3.99 showing up on my phone bill from Soylent Black Alerts. According to their website here is what you get for your money:
"Your daily Soylent Black pop culture text alerts on your phone! (one message per day)Get the skinny on what is going on in Hollywood! Get your Soylent Black text alerts every day, just $3.99/month for a recurring monthly subscription."
First of all, we did not order this service, but somehow the company managed to get AT&T to collect their money for them anyway. Second, the "text alerts every day" were not showing up, so even if we had agreed to this service it was not being provided. We cancelled the service per the instructions on the phone bill and their website on July 21. I received a credit for the one month charge on my bill. The charge showed up again on this months bill so I called AT&T again. They assured me that the service was in fact cancelled and I would get another credit on my next bill. At this point it appears that I will be refunded all the charges from this ridiculous scam.
I searched the internet to see if others had been similarly defrauded by this company, but found no reports. I believe this is a fairly new scheme that has so far managed to fly under the radar of most consumers. One reason for this is the fact that the charge is buried deep in the phone bill as "Other Charges and Services" or some other vague description. No doubt the company is counting on most people not noticing the charge since phone bills are so confusing anyway. What remains a mystery is HOW they managed to sneak this charge on there to begin with. We have since taken steps to block our phone numbers to prevent anything from being billed without a special pin number. My advice to anyone reading this is to check your phone bill carefully for this type of charge and let everyone you know to look out for "Soylent Black Alerts" or similar bogus charges.