Opt-Out Ringtone Contracts Bilk Customers

It’s not hard to make your own ringtone. We’ve got Japanese guitarist Hide’s James-Bond-style opening anthem to his album Psyence on ours. It gives a splash of daring and adventure to our lives every time our girlfriend calls and asks us to pick up tampons while we’re out at the store. The advantage of making your own ringtone goes beyond cost: how else would you ever be able to make your ringtone a Van Dyke Parks song about murdering small children, or an Ivor Cutler spoken word poem about perverted, drunken Scots? Jamster sure doesn’t sell those.

So we’re always a bit aghast that people are still buying ringtones from the kind of obnoxious companies that gave us Crazy Frog and Dancing Hippo In A Thong. But they are, and they’re being ripped off accordingly: consumers are finding more and more often that the purchase of a ringtone from a company like Jamster or Blinko enters them into a ringtone monthly contract, where they have to pay $10 a month for the service even if they never download anything after the initial transaction.

We’ve spoken about our loathing of opt-out subscriptions before, but it’s somehow even sleazier from a company with a maniacally cackling frog as its mascot. Please don’t buy ringtones, people.

Link: Mystery Charges Infuriate Customers. (Thanks, Sara! Are you as beautiful as your name?)

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