Friday, April 6, 2012

Beware these Banner Ads

I'm a sucker for ads despite the fact that I work in the advertising industry. However, there IS such a thing as truth in advertising. We're not out to deceive people that a product will do this when in fact it will do that. We're also not out to steal people's contact info so we can subscribe them to stuff they don't want to be in on. But I guess it's much easier to regulate ads in TV, radio and print than ones online.

Like this one:

There are several versions of these banners by Enterfactory or Club Binbit or whatever they want to call themselves. The one I clicked was for a quiz that was supposed to give me the age of my body based on my current lifestyle. After taking the quiz I was asked to enter my mobile number so I could get my results. NO MENTION OF BEING SUBSCRIBED TO A PAID MOBILE SERVICE!

Thus, I got a pin number sent to my phone, this pin I entered into the field asking for it, and there, I got my quiz results. I did not notice that a message was sent telling me that I will be charged 10 pesos from that day onward.

Days later, what do you expect? The bill piled up and I was shocked. Where'd this come from? I backtracked my messages and found the damned paid subscription service I never even used.

If you're reading this beware. These scam ads are found everywhere and have many versions, but they will always lead to the domain www.enterfactory.com once clicked. The site will give you a simple and very attractive quiz but will not release your results until you enter your mobile number and the system generated pin that will be sent to your phone. Sample:





In very fine print and a barely readable color gray, the following is written at the bottom of the page:
By entering the PIN code you will be subscribed to either Club Binbit, Binbit Music Club or Yeeha Fun club depending on which ad you have responded to. Club Binbit: Handset should be GPRS or WAP enabled. Subscription fee is P10 per day equivalent to 1 credit and additional 1 FREE credit. Each credit can be redeemed for a content. For download help send BIN HELP to 2474 or email support.ph@binbit.com. Binbit Music Club: Handset should be GPRS or WAP enabled. Subscription fee is P5 per day equivalent to 1 credit. Each credit can be redeemed for any type of content. For download help send BMC HELP to 2474 or email support.ph@binbit.com. Fun Club: Handset should be GPRS or WAP enabled. Subscription fee is P5 per day equivalent to 1 credit. Each credit can be redeemed for any type of content. For download help send FUN HELP to 2474 or email support.ph@binbit.com.
I only found these sneaky terms and conditions because I checked back at the site, going through the trouble of looking for their deceptive ads. Much like signing a contract with the Devil, they seek to cover their sneaky asses with a barely readable fine print. Sickening.

I wonder who to report this to?O_O
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