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Mystery SMS "charges when abroad"

Quackduck
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According to my Pay Monthly bill this month I've been charged extra for 5 (so far!) SMS messages to the following number while abroad: 07860 019210 

 

I don't recognise the number, I have not sent any SMS while I've been away, and I have no record on my phone of having sent these messages.

 

A quick Google of the number suggests it's either a scam, or it's related to O2 somehow, as other O2 customers have experienced the same while abroad. I am using an eSIM for mobile data since the O2 plan was too expensive.

 

Does this ring any bells for anyone?

 

I've been trying to get hold of someone at O2 customer service for the past 24h but no luck. I'd just like to understand what I'm being charged for, or whether it's a scam. (Blocking the number won't help since my O2 bill claims I sent the messages myself.)

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Cleoriff
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@cjw296 

If you want our manager @Dave-O2 to read your posts, you need to tag him properly. You put an @ in front of the name. A drop down box will appear with all members who have posted on this thread. @Dave-O2 hasn't , so you need to write his name in full as I've just shown. Hope you find that helpful for the future 👍

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SteveJabroad
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Just to follow up

 

I since put my UK sim in my Iphone 15PM, that is single sim (ie no esim installed) and placed it on airplane mode but wifi on continuously (My dual sim Android phone has my local sims in) since I am in Thailand now for the last 3 months after being in Malaysia where I got 3x6UKP charges due to these sms to 07860 019210 ie one each day to the second until I removed my O2 sim

 

All was fine until I got a IOS update from Apple and my phone restarted , but on restarting my Iphone did not resume in airplane/wifi only mode in the time it took to go to settings and switch on airplane/wifi mode bang O2 charged me another 6 pounds for zip

 

My Iphone has only a fraction of the Apps that I have on my main/primary android device

 

I do not have airbnb on it and the whatsapp account is a mirrored account from my android Maylay sim, the only other messaging app I have is Line thats linked to my Thai sim and not on my Iphone

 

I still strongly believe these phantom sms are related to O2 handshaking to check what overseas carrier you are connected to and are not app or scam related

 

This just stinks IMO and I wont be back to UK till June to try and sort this out in person as trying to do online is like sawing your legs off

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pgn
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Seems it has been reported many, many times on this one site alone, @cjw296 and @SteveJabroad 

https://www.unknownphone.com/phone/07860019210

Nobody yet any the wiser regarding what app is responsible, either, it seems.

Have you engaged with the Social Media Team to see if they can shed light on the source of these 50p a time auto calls from your phone, @cjw296 and @SteveJabroad ? They are less scripted than the drone responses offered by the telephone support personnel... And just keep nudging them via your preferred channel every so often, they can take 3 days or so to come back to you. Good luck!

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Cleoriff
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@Dave-O2can you shed any light on these chargeable 'phantom' SMS please?

It tends to make a mockery of O2's claim to be the best network for Travel abroad!?

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Dave-O2
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Thanks for the tag @Cleoriff 

 

I'm currently getting this checked out, when I have an update I'll be back in touch 👍

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Cleoriff
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Thanks @Dave-O2. Hopefully you will get an explanation soon 👍

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MattyBur
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Thanks everyone for your continued interest in this!

I gave up on this thread for a while as it was getting a bit silly, but reading the last few days' postings, I thought I'd contribute the following:

@Oxonian Yes, it's very unhelpful and quite passive-aggressive to simply keep posting links to articles about how to avoid phishing emails and texts, as it completely ignores or misunderstands the issue we're discussing here and implies that we're all idiots who are falling for third-party scam texts, when this thread is about something completely different, so please stop doing that!

@pgn I tried contacting O2 via Twitter and was ignored, so tried on Instagram instead and the person or bot that eventually replied (always about 2 days between responses) just insisted that I had sent texts while abroad, outside of my plan and so these were charged at 50p each.

She would not acknowledge that I had not sent any texts and that these charges were erroneous, and told me that "maybe a family member used your phone to send the texts", which is both ridiculous and insulting.

She wouldn't listen when I tried to explain that the number ending in 9210 that I and others have reported in connection with this was unknown to me and I have never sent a text to that number.

I also tried to explain that this very number has been reported and discussed on various forums as being the source of erroneous SMS charges for multiple people, and this was completely ignored, and I was just told that I'd sent texts outside my plan and that a family member must have borrowed my phone.

It takes days to even get these stupid replies, so very frustrating.

She did reimburse me the erroneous charges, as I have previously said, but that is not the point.

The point is that they are charging customers for texts they didn't send and then accusing the customer of lying or being mistaken about it and making them jump through hoops to get refunded, if they can be bothered.

I tried escalating the complaint and this was ignored.

I also tried making the complaint through Resolver, three times, and these were all ignored too.

So, I gave up, as O2 wanted me to do, but I'm still annoyed that it happened at all, and the attitude of their 'Customer Services' in handling it (or not).

Would be interesting to see if this issue is ever solved.


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pgn
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@Dave-O2 - that 07860019210 number does not show here either, fyi:

https://www.o2.co.uk/help/account-and-billing/other-numbers-and-charges/special-numbers-07

 

Yet as many complaints seem to arise when travelling in O2 Travel areas, until the customer adds O2 Travel bolt-on (£6 per 24 hrs...) ...? A bit sucky, whatever it is.

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SteveJabroad
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Thanks to all for recent replies

 

To be clear these are phantom sms recorded on my O2 bill to a UK number 07860 019210 that I have no record of

 

I cannot overstate how little connectivity apps, social media etc etc that I have with UK. I have lived overseas for more than 22 years and everything is associated with foreign sims, accounts etc

 

For this reason as my circumstances maybe more unique leads me to believe these false charges are not app or Iphone/Android related but a glitch in O2 billing

 

I am off to www.o2.co.uk/travel to opt out of this service as spend caps do not stop these charges

 

Update to disable (Catch 22 if you are overseas as it will cost you 6 pounds to send this legit sms )

 

From O2:

 

 

"If you don't choose our free O2 Travel Bolt On while you're away, you'll be charged for any minutes, texts and data usage at the standard rates for that country.

If you're already signed up for O2 Travel and feel it isn't the right service for your usage needs abroad, you can opt out at any time by texting NOTRAVEL to 23336 or you can remove the O2 Travel Bolt On in My O2."

 

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Dave-O2
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@MattyBur@SteveJabroad 

 

Can you please both confirm when was the lastest date these charges have appeared on your bill?

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