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?)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Josh says:

    Paying for ringtones is asinine even from companies which do not use an opt out approach.

    If you have the mental capacity to read an article then putting ringtones on your phone from your PC should be easy as cake for you.

    well as easy as a tricky to make the first time but easy after that cake anyway.


    1. Find a cable for your phone on Ebay. Many phones need one which acts as a serial port. This usb Cable has a large lump in it. More info on the correct cabel can be found at howardforums.com or you can pick up a cable at yoru going out of business Radio Shack.

    2. Get Bitpim, its at sourceforge.com

    3. Use Bitpim’s built in editor or Audacity to trip mp3’s to 30 seconds or midi files if your phone can’t handle mp3 ringers.

    4. Use Bitpim to transfer the ringers to your phone. Its a simple process that is straightforward and easy for many phones.

    5. Having troubles? check howardforums.com or drop me a line through my site and I’ll do my best to help you.

  2. Eric J says:

    Can you post that Hide ringtone for download?