I was glancing at my mobile phone bill, trying to make sense of a 3 minute 41 second call that cost me $13.62 (inc GST). The number said 1902226218, which I didn’t initially recognise, and had two calls listed against it at the same time. How could this make sense?
I was going to ring up the phone company and ask them how it was possible to make two calls at once, but they were only open 9-5. This gave me a little more time to think about it, and I realised that one item was the air-time, and the other was the 1900 premium service fee.
But what could it be? No, I don’t indulge in that kind of phone call.
Wait a minute… it couldn’t be that time I decided to get hold of the Doctor Who theme music (polyphonic version) for my phone, so I could play it to the kids, could it? (And absolutely not to play it as a mobile phone ringtone). I checked. Sure enough, it’s the number listed on YourTV for polyphonic ringtones.
$13.62?!? For a sodding phone jingle?!???
Now, I’ve recently discovered that my kids are wont to look at this site from school, so I’m considering that I may have to start tempering my language. But HOLY F—ING S–T, have I been ripped off or what? That’s the price of a cinema ticket, or would have gone a good way towards a DVD.
I remember calling. I rang on a whim. I didn’t dawdle through the menus. While it wasn’t quite as bad as that premium service on the Simpsons “You… have reached… XYZ… this… number…. is charged… at Argh… dollars… … per minute”, they did string it out a bit. It certainly wasn’t as simple as entering the code displayed on the web page. And I obviously didn’t quite register that it was going to cost me $3.96 a minute, or how many minutes it would take.
There’s not much I can do about it. I’d love to share it around Neimann-Marcus-hoax-style, but evidently it’s copy-protected to prevent that. All in all it’s pretty damn cheeky really… I bet they haven’t paid the music’s copyright owner for it.
- This story has a happy ending