Class Action Lawsuit?

So I’m sitting here at my desk and my phone plays its “you have a text message” tune. Three times.

Not being a teenaged girl, you might imagine the number of text messages I get is pretty low, so this is unusual.

I look at the messages, and they are all from 90900, the Joke of the Day mobile phone service (jokemobi.com).

The first message gives me the PIN I will need to start the service, and the next two messages are a second invitation and the first joke.

I NEVER ASKED TO GET THIS and I din’t reply with the PIN number to start the service, but just to be safe I call AT&T and what do you know, WITHOUT MY PERMISSION they have enrolled me in this and already charged me $9.99.

How does it relate to LA? I’d love to know how many other people here have had this happen, and if any lawyers are interested in making these guys stop. I’m thinking class action lawsuits probably work that way (I could be wrong).

It’s not just them sending unsolicited invitations (which suck because I’m charged for text messages) – what totally freaks me out that they just signed me up and started charging me without my permission.

How many people are being charged by them (and maybe others like them) without their knowledge???

UPDATE:
I sent a hostile email through the link on their website, and got this emailed response within a few minutes:

We, apologize for the misunderstanding.

Your cell number below will be removed from our service. Please allow 48 hours for the change to take effect.

Your cell account may have been charged our $9.99 monthly fee. If you reply to this email with a mailing address, we will send a refund.

Any lawyers out there who’d like to go after these creeps? It’s one thing to send one email looking for subscribers (annoying) and quite another to sign us up and begin billing without permission.

UPDATED UPDATE:

Just got email back from the FCC:

“Thank you for contacting the FCC. Certain critical information is required in order to process your complaint.
Please file your complaint on the FCC Form 1088.

See https://esupport.fcc.gov/form1088/consumer.do for filing online.”

At very least we should all go and file this form.

I was hoping a local attorney would read this and show some interest but so far no go – disappointing!

Super Duper UPDATE:

All of you looking for the class action lawsuit, the phone is (415) 434-9000 and the website is http://www.pearcelawoffices.com.

54 thoughts on “Class Action Lawsuit?”

  1. Yep. Got that too. Only this was because I just happened to look at my statement and see I had a 9.99 charge and a 2.99 charge on it….for tetris and something else. I called them and they said “oh, that happens automatically, i’ll just take it off”

    Fuck them. If I didn’t see it, I would have paid for it. How many people don’t see it? fuckers.

  2. Fuck that shit. Can I join? I cancelled my teens texting as it just wasn’t needed. AT&T enrolled her into a pay as you go plan without my knowledge or consent and I got fucked with a $170 bill and their position is too bad so sad.

  3. I got it too while I was in Mexico, so I had to endure about a week of text messages because I could not respond. I hated it. What number did you call?

  4. I handle cell phones for the small company I work at. 4 months in a row the phone of a 60 year-old guy I work with was charged $9.99 by Mblox. He swears up and down he’s never even sent a text. I believe him because he doesn’t even know how to save phone numbers on his phone (people just call him). Every month, I’d call Cingular and get the charges reversed. After I got really sick and tired of calling Cingular every month, I canceled the ability for him to receive texts.

    These rackets are rampant.

  5. Definitely, everyone should contact your wireless service (they may ask you to forward the message).

    I’ve had phone spam before and got them to reverse the charge for the message (I don’t have text service on my calling plan).

    Don’t wait to call, as metoo mentions, these are fraud rackets and who knows what you’ll get caught up in. The earlier AT&T (and others) know about it, the sooner they can get the plague out of their system.

    Consumerist covered some of the third party charge scams on wireless services recently.

  6. This is an outrage. Ruth, may I suggest…..it’s time to whip up some insane new cocktail!!!! CHEERS!!!!

  7. Hi, thanks for posting this info. Per Verizon I texted back to 90900 these five words STOP, CANCEL, END, QUIT, UNSUBSCRIBE. But no reply from f#%king joke mobi at all. Then I clicked on their privacy policy link http://www.jokemobi.com/privacy.php and there it was a different number to text to 26706.

    As soon as I texted to that number, I received a reply from them saying “You are not signed up”…little confused…does this mean that according to them I was “never” signed up, or that I am not signed up “any more”?

    And the worst is, Verizon Wireless my service provider told me that this is perfectly legal, and tried to convince me that I must have subscribed to this. And that there’s no way they can help, except if I call every month, they’ll credit me back the $9.99.

    Sucks…who do we turn to for protection? Wireless providers, you are doomed to start losing clients, if you don’t do something about this…

  8. Registrant:
    Knott, Mike
    ATTN: JOKEMOBI.COM
    c/o Network Solutions
    P.O. Box 447
    Herndon, VA. 20172-0447

    Domain Name: JOKEMOBI.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    Knott, Mike [email protected]
    ATTN: JOKEMOBI.COM
    c/o Network Solutions
    P.O. Box 447
    Herndon, VA 20172-0447
    570-708-8780

    Record expires on 18-Apr-2010.
    Record created on 18-Apr-2007.
    Database last updated on 30-Aug-2007 13:06:54 EDT.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS95.WORLDNIC.COM 205.178.190.48
    NS96.WORLDNIC.COM 205.178.189.48

    This listing is a Network Solutions Private Registration. Mailcorrespondence to this address must be sent via USPS Express Mail(TM) or
    USPS Certified Mail(R); all other mail will not be processed. Be sure toinclude the registrant’s domain name in the address.

  9. I’ve also got the same thing from this obviously unethical company. I don’t remember subscribing to it and who would be an idiot to pay $10 a month so you could get some lame jokes daily. Anyway, I called Verizon Wireless immediately and complained. Their response was that they could not do anything about it because they said that it was a third party charges and they have no way to stop them from adding the bill to their OWN bill. Freaking bogus excuse..I’d say. I did the same thing that other people did who got this charge. I CANCELLED MY TEXT AND PHONE SERVICES!!! I’ve also filed a complain with our local Better Business Bureau and see if they could do something against this company.

  10. This is the very reason I have a pre-paid phone
    card, no contracts, no problems. These wireless
    co’s are con artists.

  11. Apologies in advance for the long comment…

    I switched to Cingular a few months back. Rep. on the phone asked if I would like to combine my AT&T bill w/my Cingular bill & that doing so would save me money. I combined bills – glad to save a few dollars. However rep. *neglected* to mention that in order to combine my bills, I needed more then the basic land line plan I was on – I only have it for internet – use my cell for all calls. AT&T added $30.00 monthly charge for voicemail I didn’t want or need in addition to long distance service & a few other services I didn’t ask for or want. Combining my bills cost me an extra $150.00 on my first combined bill instead of saving me money as discussed. AT&T & Cingular credited me for the extra charges & removed the unwanted services but it has taken three months of bills (so far) to get it straightened out.

    Even though AT&T & Cingular are supposed to be one company, I have to talk to each company separately in order to get my one combined bill corrected. I did mention to the many people I spoke with at AT&T & at Cingular that ‘this is why there are class action lawsuits’. I’m not one for frivolous lawsuits, but to charge a customer w/out their permission for services not ordered just screams class action lawsuit…

    And, BTW, my Cingular service is poo. Dropped calls galore. I am stuck because majority of people I call are on Cingular.

  12. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been toying with combining my home and cell now that AT&T has eaten both my providers, but feared I’d endure exactly what you describe.

    I hate crowded courts and frivolous lawsuits, but if I get contacted by a lawyer willing to file a class action I’m doing it.

    If it happens I will certainly post it on blogging.la.

  13. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not so alone… getting unwanted jokes. I had to call AT&T and tell them it was a scam and that I hate jokes, etc…

  14. ONE THING TO DO IS CALL YOUR CELL PHONE COMPANY AND STOP ALL TEXTING ON YOUR ACCOUNT……BUT THEN THEY LOSE REVENUE….MAYBE THEY CAN DO SOMETHING WITH CELL PHONE SPAMMERS…

  15. just checked my bill form “the new at&t”. avoided the joke service charge, but have been getting spam texts that cost me. their “solution”? the reply text with “stop/cancel/unsubscribe” as mentioned above – which also costs me and didn’t go thru as a reply.

    anyone else having “one-way audio*” call interruptions w/this company?

    *not a dropped call. call still active, full signal strength. I can’t hear the other party, they can’t hear me, and I just start hearing my own voice coming back at me.

  16. I got the same text message and i reply STOP as soon as i got that text and then reply next day offering me a refound

  17. I started getting spammed on 8/23. Since I don’t have texting on my phone I just deleted the messages without looking at them. I just got my bill with an extra $9.99 charge from jokemobi. Sprint refused to reverse the charge. I sent a nasty-gram to [email protected] requesting a refund. We’ll see what happens.

    -Tim

  18. I got that TXT from 90900 and i contacted network solutions they told me they cant do anything, i have to contact BBB and they cant do shit. I’m trying to find a way to find out info for this damn company.

  19. Similar problem with my Verizon Wireless phone. The Verizon tech told me these premium services are a big headache for him. After a few phone calls I was told http://www.M-qube.com is the billing agent who collects the fees for Kepler Joke Text. I complained to the BBB and California Utilities in addition to Verizon. Obviously this is profitable for everyone except the consumer.

  20. I just got the same crap from jokemobi 2 days ago. I texted back the prescribed message “Stop” to unsubscribe. I’ve checked with my carrier Verizon and so far have seen no text or subscription charges. We’ll see what happens when I receive my monthly bill. Hey, if there is any class action lawsuit in the works, sign me up!

  21. I got a reply from support at Jokemobi. Supposedly they are sending me a refund for the $9.99 charge, but they aren’t going to touch the $3 I got charged for an abundance of text messages while not on a text message plan. I’ll have to call sprint again. I’ll post here when and if I get a refund check from Jokemobi.

    -Tim

  22. HEY ALL > So, I too got hit with this FRAUD and I too submitted a pissed off email detailing all the action I was going to take against the company. They replied to me as they did some of you, BUT, the support agent forwarded my message to someone’s personal account. I believe this EMAIL belongs to a JOKEMOBI Exec. Let’s all tell him how much we appreciate his service! See Below.

    My Message:
    Original Message
    From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2007 04:45 PM
    To: [email protected], [email protected]

    JokeMobi Contact Form

    I never signed up for this service, nor did I reply when you sent me a pin. Your service has continued to send me text messages, and this is FRAUD. I am filing a complaint against your business with the BBB, Consumer Reports, the FCC, and I am going to blog about this FRAUD. I hold Jokemobi executives responsible, and I calling my lawyer to investigate a class action against this operation as well as ATT, Alltell, CellularOne, Sprint, and Verizion. Sincerely, -Jeff

    SO, there it is ([email protected])Let’s sign him up for some services.

  23. Seriously, what the heck? I certainly never gave out my PIN to this third-party site, so how do they have any legal ground to stand on to do this?

  24. Same unsolicited Jokemobi text yesterday. I did not text back, but emailed them from their website. They emailed today saying they would send me a refund check. Their email is support (at) jokemobi.com I called ATT and they said they would give me a credit on the charge and that they are investigating this company. I suggest we sign jokemobi up (using the above support email address or other [email protected] address) for every free Ipod deal on the internet and have them get a dose of their own spam. A class action is useless as the money will be long gone to an offshore account long before a judgment is ever entered.

  25. I came across this site after doing search on google. I’m on Verizon Wireless network and I’m getting joke of the day crap from “909-00”. Just got off the phone with Verizon and had them cancel my text messaging feature. They said I initiated this (subscribed to this) from my phone which is I think is BS. My phone has been in my possession at all times and no one has asked to use it. My guess is someone is forging the caller ID number and subscribing people to these services. I’ve started getting this at the end of last month but my current bill does not show any monthly fee charges. I’ll check again next month to make sure they didn’t bill me for this BS.

  26. I started getting JOKE OF THE DAY about 4 weeks ago. I called Verizon and spoke to a supervisor, Mercedes Snyder @ 800-392-2643 ext. 3073, E-mail [email protected]

    She told me that they would reverse the text message and monthly charges. She also said I must reply from the cell phone that received the unsolicited text with a “STOP” OR “QUIT” message.

    She gave me the name of the vendor: mQuBe @ 866-626-2823, website http://www.m-Qube.com. Contact them at [email protected]. The department that sends these messages is “Kepler Mobile Joke” website is http://www.jokemobi.com

    I reported this to the FCC. Please do the same. Talk to a supervisor at Verizon and insist that they reverse all the charges.

    Verizon insisted that I must have subscribed to the service, which I did not. They never even tried to verify that I did or did not subscribe. Their logic is that if you are getting the messages then you must have subscribed. They only support and protect their vendors so you know who they are in bed with. This is a total scam from day one.

  27. I rec’d the same message, texted back to 90900 and of course, received a 9.99 charge on my Sprint bill. Sprint told me that same thing, that I had to go online to get this resolved, but I didn’t know where this even came from. The charge says, “Kepler: 90900 Keplr Joke Alt 7/30” and if you think about it, they charged my billed without even sending me a joke every day! ha ha.

    I sent an unpleasant email to the jokemobi.com email address that I found here, as well as sent a complaint to the FCC link that was posted previously on this as well.

    I can only imagine how much money this company has made for people that don’t take time to review their bill and really, had I not gone over my minutes and shocked myself at the amount of the bill, I probably would not have scrutinized it either! This company must be stopped and I seriously hope I see my credit soon!

  28. I too have been bit by this. Basically like someone walked into my house and stole $10 out of my wallet. When I spoke to the agent @ Verizon, he said there was nothing they could do for me. For the time being, all they can do is suspend TXT messages on my account.

    If there is ever anything I find out, I will promptly post it in here. And if there is a class action suit, I would be more than happy to participate. Lawyer in the family, free legal help.

  29. Jokemobi totally sucks. I have been receiving the fucking jokes about a month now. There web site looks completely bogus, so i’m afraid to send an email for fear that I will be deluged with more spam. The icons of the various phone companys are not hot links, so i have my doubts that these are real business partners. Has anyone been successful in getting the stupid jokes turned off?

  30. You have to call your phone provider and tell them to stop it, but you also have to reply STOP to the text message. Phone companies don’t believe that you didn’t ask for the service but if you insist they will credit you the $9.99. At least that’s what happened to me.

    Follow the links above to complain to the FCC and also for the class action suit.

  31. I’m signing up for the lawsuit. Got an email after voicing my disgust with their methods. Not sure if I want to give them my snail mail address for them to send a refund to. Would like theirs to send them a dry cleaners bag and a rubber band.
    Reminds me of the ‘slamming’ issue we experienced with the long distance carrier battle.
    We have a phone we bought in Spain for overseas use. There, all incoming calls and texts were free, therefore they could legally spam us. Here, they are not free. This must be illegal. Everyone fill out the FCC complaint.

  32. Here’s a funny one… Just purchased 2 tracfones for wife and daughter… Both got the 26706 message and the movie updates… 3 or so with in 10 minutes.

    Since its a pay as we go with NO CONTRACT. I’d really like to see how they are going to get the 9.99/mo out of us?

    I think its just some computer dialing the numbers by random and setting you up.

    I replied with STOP and emailed tracfone just in case.

    BTW… I’m in Florida…This problem is nationwide.

  33. Rec’d jokemobi last week and upon opening text was subscribed. Did not text back as I was afraid it would open up a can of worms. Called AT&T/Cingular the next day (after receiving a joke) and they said my account had been charged as soon as I opened the message. They said they would block jokemobi and I may have to pay the 1st month but AT&T would refund the next month. I have rec’d 6 more jokes (did not open) & called AT&T again today and took the advice of John Q Public (above)& blocked text messages. I am afraid that if I had replied “stop” to jokemobi they could make $$$ by selling my number to other scammers. I have been advised to file a report to FCC and I will also try to make a report to “donotcall.gov” as my cell has been on that list for 3 years. I’m in if there is a class action suit. I have better things to do with my time then deal with scammer issues.

  34. HI I haven’t been hit by the joke site but did end up with 2 months of spam texts adding up to over $100 a month. Guess I was one of the lucky ones because AT&T went through my bill and got each and every charge refunded, only thing is this was third party provider and they had to wait to get the refund from them before it appears on my bill. I have text block on my phone but these third party people can charge to any wireless number with out permission and this is something that needs to be changed. The wireless company can’t really do anything till after the fact. I was told there are class action suites going on about this but the FCC is the one that needs to jump in here and regulate these third party providers.

  35. I just had the same experience with Verizon — I happened to catch a 9.99 charge for each of two phones, no details what it was! I emailed Verizon.

    THey emailed me back (same story as above in this blog). I “must have signed up for this service” and I “have to text them to STOP”. ‘

    Verizon had the information they withheld from me – the names and text numbers to do something about it! On my phone it was something called thumbplay and Verizon told me the number to call. On his phone it was flycell, and Verizon had to tell me the number to text.

    I went out looking for a class action suit here
    They only refunded this month — I looked back on the old bills, and buried there on page 21 or so, there was the charge — each month, both lines, for months!

    VERIZON WILL NOT REFUND THE CHARGES except for the current month. THEY MUST BE GETTING A CUT, BECAUSE THEY ARE BILLING ME AND THE MONEY IS GOING THROUGH THEIR HANDS.

    This is FRAUD. It is ILLEGAL.

    I went out looking on the web for a class action suit.

    I may file one — if you’re interested, can I contact you?

    :) Dana

  36. If you are AT&T/Cingular customer (I am), then you can ask the rep to refund the money and turn on the Parental Control. I called in and an rep named Teresa reversed the charge for me. She also turned on the Parental Control which has Content Filter and Block all future subscription. Unless I call in to provide a PIN # and tell them I want to purchase something thru text message, (ringtones, pics…etc)

    I’ll still submit a claim to FCC.

  37. Just to mark the number of people, it has happened to me too. Same exact thing as the initial posting, with 3 Text Messages to my AT&T phone from Joke of the Day. AT&T tell me it is from Kepler & Associates (actually he said Kepler and Ass, but I figured out the rest after we laughed at that).

    They reveresed the 9.99 charge, and even gave me a “courtesy credit” above that amount. But I still get the friggin text messages every day. I’m going to wade through all the comments above to find who to contact to stop getting them and also where to complain for the FCC. Thanks everyone!

  38. yea they just got me. I took the following actions: complained to fcc using form listed, added myself to national do not call list and contacted verizon regarding this.

  39. Same thing happened to me. I was roaming in Canada and received the joke text messages from jokmobi (90900), but due to roaming problems, I could not send a reply. I found their website and emailed them. They said I must have signed up for it (I did NOT – I don’t do text messages!) and my cell phone bill would be charged $9.99. Obviously there is an “opportunity” here that these fraudsters are taking advantage of. So how can it be stopped? Probably not with threats of legal action. They know that you won’t go to the trouble and expense of hiring a lawyer over a $9.99 charge. They also know that a lot of people will overlook this charge on their 28-page cell phone bills.

  40. Hi- Many thanks for posting this blogg. I just got off the phone w/ verizon and for months these ass-clowns have been charging me without me knowing. Verizon did supposedly reverse the charges. I will file a formal complaint right now and I encourage others to do so as well.

  41. After failing to get anywhere with Verizon’s customer service over the phone, I sent them this email.
    I am writing regarding a false charge on my phone bill. I had received 3 messages in a row from Jokemobi, one giving me a pin number, second telling me that I had successfully signed up, third, a stupid joke. I had never subscribed to such a service, nor would I ever. At first I thought it might have been a mistake. I called Verizon for help. They suggested I unsubscribe using the message system. I did that as well as emailed them after googling up their website. I only recived one additional message the next day. I recieved a letter of apology from the company.
    While searching for more information I came across this site: http://blogging.la/archives/2007/08/class_action_lawsuit.phtml
    It appears that I was not the only one experiencing this apparently illegal activity. Since they are an offshore company, any suit would not affect them. However, since Verizon lets them bill through it’s system, Verizon is implicitly involved in this fraud. Surely Verizon does not offer billing services for free to outside vendors.
    I will deduct the $9.99 charge from my payment of this bill, expecting fully that you will remove this charge from my bill. If you do not, I will be forced to cancel my service with Verizon for breach of contract, in that Verizon is not allowed to charge me for services I never ordered.
    Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

  42. Yikes! I opened the first text…mistakes I guess because I also got billed for the $9.99 and for 40 text messages. Called AT&T and they promised to credit my account for both the download and texts….we’ll see. They also blocked my number. Hopefully that will work. I also tried texting STOP and I also got the message that I wasn’t signed up. I bet by responding they’re signing you up for something else! Thanks for posting the FCC link. I filled one out and hopefully someone will get these people shut down!

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