I'm a victim. What can I do?
Getting rid of Blinko... here's what worked for me...
- I Tried to Unsubscribe. I attempted to unsubscribe by sending a text message to the appropriate SMS #, or "shortcode". In my case, it was #69069, but for many people it will be #42222. Your phone should show the shortcode on the actual text message itself. The message should say STOP or someting similar, acording to the company who is sending the messages. For Blinko, I had to send (all in one message):
STOP QUIT END UNSUBSCRIBE CANCEL
- I Refused to Pay. I contacted Verizon and told them I was contesting the charges, i.e. I refused to pay them. I did paid my bills... I just subtracted the amount of the Blinko charges. I will never pay a company for a service or product that I did not ask for or consent to.
Again, I'm not a lawyer or a financial advisor. If you choose to do this, you do so at your own risk. They may have a legal right to submit you to a claims agency, or even mess with your credit rating. If you're with Verizon, you can just skip this step and talk to John O'Malley (see below).
- I Filed Complaint(s). I filed a complaint against Blinko with the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov). You could additionally file the complaint against your cell phone company, although I did not choose to do this.
- I Found "Inside" Help. Verizon got a lot of complaints and assigned John O'Malley to help customers deal with the Blinko issue. He has been on the case and has helped me out a lot. If Verizon is your phone company, I'd strongly suggest contacting him at John.OMalley@VerizonWireless.com
- I Kept the Evidence. I saved the messages that I received from Blinko and took photographs of them as displayed on my phone's screen. According to an attorney I spoke with, you could receive $500 for each unsolicited text message you receive, assuming a judgement is won vs. that company.
- I Turned Off Text Messaging. I also had Verizon completely turn off all text messaging and Premium SMS services on my cell phone.
If this seems like a lot of work, it's really not that bad, considering all that I (and others) have had to go through to figure it all out in the first place :)
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