65133 – Playboxs / Oxygen8
Although we have received occasional complaints about this service in recent months, it wasn’t enough to be exceptional.
Then there was a surge in complaints seen about this service on 28th August which apparently resulted from concerns of Three about possible unauthorised subscriptions to this service.
Of course, Three were the only MNO cooperating with this company. Other networks would have nothing to do with this dubious “service”!
It seems that there has been a shake-up of the management at Three, with a new CEO (Robert Finnegan) being appointed in March this year. Concerns about the bad press Three was getting from these scams seems to have resulted in a re-appraisal of Three’s position. Three appear, at least for the present, to have joined the other networks in ceasing their cooperation with scam “charge to mobile” services. ModoMobi have been suspended, and we are now getting few complaints from Three customers about new charges.
Following a review of these services, it appears that Three had concerns about the legitimacy of the large number of “subscriptions” to Playboxs. They decided to send out text messages themselves to “remind” consumers that they were “subscribed”. It was this message, sent by Three that apparently initiated the deluge of complaints. If it hadn’t been for the message sent out by Three, it is likely that the majority of the members of this group would be continuing to pay Playboxs, unaware of the charges. It’s good that Three seem to have belatedly seen the light and put a stop to this scam and the others they were participating in. It’s not so good that they didn’t avoid being involved in the first place!
As the rules stand, consumers have no right to know how they became subscribed, as long as a full refund is provided. However, if you want this information, there is a requirement for it to be provided to PSA, so try asking them to obtain it for you.
PSA tell us that G.U. Games Unlimited Ltd of Cyprus has filed for bankruptcy, so if you haven’t yet obtained your refund do it now!
PSA are currently consulting on a new Code of Practice for these “services”. There is, we believe, a genuine desire to drive rogue “services” out of the industry permanently. PSA will be holding a webinar on this in the near future, and if you feel strongly that these scams have to be stopped, we urge you to participate. I’ll post details when I have them.