I have mentioned many a time in this blog that I’m a big fan of Airtel. Like me, there are always other people who are fans of other mobile operators, which means, they dislike Airtel. There are occasions when stupid things happen, like mischievously tricking the customer to subscribe for a service and unfortunately, I have been tricked for the second time by airtel.
My Android phone yesterday had a new notification (in the notification bar) with a ‘Star’ symbol. It wasn’t a regular SMS message: just by clicking the notification, it took me to a web page and immediately a text message followed which read:
Thanks for using Subscription Videos Vogue at R Subscription service from Airtel. You have been charged Rs.5
This is clearly deceiving the customer for some cheap money.
Using Airtel’s Start Stop service, I sent STOP to 121 to immediately stop this service from renewing every day (in case it does) but it seems I don’t have any active subscriptions. This means that this is just a one time thing that took away Rs.5 from my balance (I’ll update if it auto-renews every day).
Update: Well, it appears that this is idiot service debits Rs.5 from my balance every day and I only realized this after 4 days since there wasn’t any balance pop-up that normally appears after a call or SMS. Strangely, the STOP service which didn’t show any active service 4 days before has shown this exact service as active this time. I immediately stopped it and got confirmation SMS.
Update 2: Sorry airtel. I was wrong about you. It turns out, the real culprit is the airpush ads that one of my recently installed apps uses. That star symbol (or plus symbol and many other symbols) that appears on the notification bar is due to the airpush ads. Its recommended that you do not use any apps that have airpush ads.