Paul Makepeace ;-)

May 4, 2005

More on 82277 spam

Posted in: Drivel

Update 2005-05-08: This issue has been resolved

Last month I wrote about unsolicited (spam) SMS from 82277 and how over the course of seven such messages I have been billed £10.50. Not a staggering amount of money but money that isn't rightfully theirs.

So I'm finding out what it takes to get it back. Here's what I've done so far...

[Skip to the summary]

Recap: First off I called my phone provider (Orange)'s support line, 150, which mercifully doesn't cost anything from the handset. To get through to a human requires pressing 2 then 4 which broadly relates to questions about the bill. They told me the company name is MNT Wilson, phone number 0870 4050406, email Orange also suggested texting STOP ALL to 82277 which I duly did, and the SMS stream ceased. Grumbletext also suggest this.

Called MNT Wilson's number 22/04, heard back 25/04 saying they'd call back 28/04 with information on how I subscribed. Didn't hear back so called 29/04. Still haven't heard back as of 04/05. Their quoted reply time is two business days.

So today: Following the suggestions on Grumbletext's page on junk texts I visited the ICSTIS and entered 82277 in their check a premium rate number facility. Slightly oddly the company name and address they returned was that of UK mobile operator O2. Not to pre-judge, I called them and they were extremely helpful but ultimately directed me back to Orange. They didn't, couldn't, or wouldn't reveal whether they were just a conduit or more involved. I don't think it matters.

Called Orange. Generally I'm really happy with Orange's support but this conversation was frustrating. My goal was to find out the path between here and getting my money back, who's involved, timescales, and so on. There really does seem to be only one path through which, at least according to the slightly unsure-sounding rep, is for them to send a form (doesn't have a name) to someone (doesn't know whom) that registers a query (doesn't know what type) about the company in question (MNT Wilson) and they'll get back to me. Essentially they're attempting to ascertain how my number ended up on 82277's subscription, something also that MNT Wilson should've provided but haven't.

I had a look at and they appear to be the provider for 82277. I called the number on their contact page (+44 2072588700) and am waiting for a call back there.

So that's where I'm left right now.

Background investigation

For what it's worth, MNT Wilson is not a limited company listed at UK Companies House so they're presumably trading under a different name.

Incidently, Grumbletext think TPS (Telephone Preference Service) is a waste of time as an angle to pursue.


If you're in the same situation as me, try this:

1. text STOP ALL to 82277
2. call phone service provider and register a complaint and ask them to find out how you were subscribed
3. call 0870 4050406, press 2, and leave a message asking them to call you back with how you subscribed
4. call One World Interactive 020 72588700 and register a complaint
5. email and register a complaint
6. go to Grumbletext's SMS Spam reporting page and leave a complaint. Alternatively forward the spam in question to 07810 838383 with the word SPAM at the front of the message. Details here.
7. Let me know how you get on!

Assuming nothing particularly startling appears back from Orange, my next move is legal action through the county court.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at May 4, 2005 15:44 | TrackBack

Thankyou for your very informative information, I've also had this problem, and found your investigation to be very interesting and helpful.. I've also started the complaint process, and have texted stop all.

One organisation to contact is also the ICO, basically the Data registrar, the service is breaking the law, or someone supplying data to them is breaking the law, so it is worth complaining to the ICO... I have already done this.



Posted by: Gary Lowe at May 14, 2005 19:09

Paul, Thank you for all the good research and legwork that has gone into this. What a scam! My teenage daughter is getting these unsolicited joke texts. Charging us for this really adds insult to injury. I will follow this advice but I also want to complain to the ICO as per Gary's advice. Any suggestion on how to go about doing that? Thanks Penny Robertson

Posted by: penny at September 22, 2005 22:05

I have the same problem! I had received these SPAM from 82277. I have not signed up for anything with them. It took away around £10 from my mobile phone. How did they found out my moblie number?

Posted by: Elly at November 27, 2005 12:14

My wife has been getting these jokes for over two months, these web comments help put a stop to it and all the costs which she didn't know she was being charged for.

So a big thank you for all out there for putting this information on the web for an easy resolution.

Posted by: Craig at January 16, 2006 18:07
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