Text message can result in unwanted charges

March 20, 2012 4:03:53 PM PDT
A warning to all cell phone users -- check your bill thoroughly. You may be paying for unwanted services.

It appears the charges start showing up after you get a text message from a company, but get this, the charges appear even if you do not reply to the message.

Hundreds of people are complaining about this, including a man from Galveston who got a text message from a company he never heard of and simply deleted it. Not long after he saw a $10 charge on his cell phone bill.

Don Lounds says when he went to AT&T to go over his cell phone bill, he discovered a charge he knew nothing about.

He said, "The lady I was dealing with said you have a mobile purchase on your bill and I said, 'what's that?'"

Lounds says the charge was for $10 a month and he had been billed twice.

"I did not authorize anyone to put anything on my phone," Lounds said.

He says the AT&T representative told him the charge came after he got a text message from a company called GoldPocket.com. Lounds admits he did get a text message recently from the company but says he deleted the message without reading it. That was a mistake, according to the AT&T representative.

Lounds explained, "She said well, there are text messages going out right now that if you do not reply stop, they will automatically enroll you in whatever they were trying to sell you."

Lounds says AT&T refunded the two $10 charges he had received. He says he worries others may not even notice the charges and just pay it every month.

"Somebody has found a way around the text messaging to sign a bunch of people up for things they do not want," Lounds explained.

Lounds' bill says he should contact www.goldpocket.com about the charges. We tried just that but have yet to hear back from the company.

However, we found more than 100 similar complaints online, from consumers saying they got text messages then charges on their cell phone bills from GoldPocket.com

AT&T is now investigating the company and says there is a way to stop the charges. The company offers cell phone purchase blocking free of charge. For customers who sign up, a password is required before mobile phone purchases can be made.

Again, we tried several times to contact GoldPocket and have not heard back from the company.
Customers can get help with these unwanted charges: