Rogue Dialer has hit my family. HELP

  Thomo1 00:31 10 Dec 2004

Not a good week for my freinds and family this!!!

My little cousin has stupidly been browsing the net without any protection.

Results: disasterous!!!!

She had many rogue dialers on there and in just 2 days has racked up a BT phone bill of £340GBP.

Bt say they cannot comment until the bill is produced (January). Butim under the impression that BT will just say that you are liable and WILL be paying the charges.

BT admitted earlier that they had noticed an unusual amount of international calls happening and barred the number - After 2 days!!!

Is there anyway in which they can fight this and where do they stand with payments etc??

Her father is saying that he will just cancel the direct debit with BT and refuse to pay the bill. I know this is not a good course of action to take at all as they will then simply refuse to help you but he is very irate at the minute.

I would appreciate any help esp from the forum editor.


  Cook2 00:36 10 Dec 2004

Type in rogue diallers in the Search and you'll find several threads about this.

  Thomo1 01:05 10 Dec 2004

read those posts just m8 and although they were informative (i have now downloaded the german/english programme) none of them actually say what course of action my family can take about the payment and if there is anyway we can fight against it.

  Forum Editor 07:14 10 Dec 2004

your cousin's father should do is to cancel the direct debit mandate to BT. That will put him very firmly in the wrong, and will result in his phone line being cut off, followed by a county court judgment in favour of BT.

The thing to remember is that as the law stands BT have done nothing wrong, and will almost certainly demand payment of the bill. They took action to protect the situation by barring international calls on the line as soon as they noticed a problem - if they hadn't, the bill would have been very much higher.

I sympathise with your cousin, but as things stand your cousin's father hasn't any legal right to refuse to pay the bill. He may well find that BT are understanding about what happened, but I don't advise him to bank on it. There's a good deal of pressure on BT and the government to do something to protect consumers in these situations, but you must remember that BT is privately owned by its shareholders - it's not a government department. The administrative problems involved in deciding when a large bill was genuinely the result of a rogue dialer, and when it was simply a subscriber making a lot of calls are immense.

There are plenty of cases on record of children playing with phones and accidentally dialing international numbers, resulting in big bills, and in some cases BT have been understanding, but this kind of thing isn't their fault, and some people don't see why they should take the responsibility for what might be termed carelessness on the part of subscribers. My own view is that the problem could largely be solved if there was a way whereby a subscriber could bar or permit calls to premium rate or international calls, simply by entering a PIN on their phones, but perhaps there are good reasons why it couldn't/shouldn't be done.

  simonp1 08:05 10 Dec 2004

Well not to sure if this helps, as i was listening to a Radio show which talked about these lovley little Dialers..

( Oftel ) is it?? who monitor BT..others will know more so, have now passed a law that internet companies who charge preminum rates have to be registered..( not 100% of this..but it certainly came across that way ) and as such the presenters guest had said that many people who had been " Tricked" into useing these lines where given a refund from BT..

I guess their is a lot more to it than sure you will need to at least find out what site it is and if they mention charges...but the radio show did give the feeling that their is hope again these companies who get into your pc..

I would try and do some research on i dont have all the facts im afraid, or other members here might know more...

But GL with it, hope you do get your money back..nice to know how you do get on..

  [email protected] 08:42 10 Dec 2004

The simple answer is to phone 150 to BT & stop all 09 premium numbers being called from your phone. you lose supporting X factor etc but no one can then access the premium numbers any more. I doubt if it will stop BT from charging you for the calls made but they are correct in saying wait until you see the phone bill before you try to negotiate with them about those calls. The more complicated method is to find what sites the boy visited & use your programs to block access to those sites. My grandson some years ago did similar things as your boy His father was furious of course but boys & girls will be young & experiment It si all part of growing up & parents have a responsibility to watch what they are doing
The Father in this case has my sympathy

  Thomo1 12:55 10 Dec 2004

the number was not an 09 number.

it was an international number begining with 00688.

which i have located is dialling code for an island called Tavalu, off the east coast of Australia.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:11 10 Dec 2004

Tavalu rents out premium numbers to all and sundry. The businesses are not based there but use the island as a proxy. It is perfectly legal.


  recap 13:42 10 Dec 2004

I watched Working Lunch BBC 2, they said (if I can get this right), "the way it works is that your phone company holds the money for 30 days before passing it on the Rogue Dialer company. This allows you 30 days grace to act to get this stopped and your money back".

I suggest you ask BT if this is the case.

A down side to this is that in some cases 30 days is not suffiecent time to claim the money back.

  spuds 13:51 10 Dec 2004

'BT say they cannot comment until the bill is produced in January'.That is not quite true, and it would appear as though BT are taking a negative attitude here. They can commence an investigation at any time, and they can produce an account bill at any given moment.

I would suggest that you contact Ofcom click here for further advice, as they are dealing with this problem on a more regular basis, and any advice they offer will help resolve the matter more amicably for all parties. What as been previously suggested, do not stop any payments to BT,consult with them first, and keep all records of events.Otherwise you may find that BT will pass the matter onto their legal advisors very rapidly.

Other help and advice links: ISPA click here TPS/FPS click here

  Thomo1 18:47 10 Dec 2004

thanks for all your advice guys. I will check out the sites mentioned see if i cannot pass on a little info to them.

gandalf: yeh it sounds perfectly legal m8, running up some innocent persons phone bill. I know it can be avoided but what about those people who are completley computer thick??

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