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Cell Out

Updated on February 13, 2013

It all began with those cricket alerts. The cellphone went Ping! Ping! to tell me a message had come in. ‘Sachin Tendulkar on 25!’ it announced proudly. Oh yeah! Okay! I went and told my husband, the sports buff. It wasn’t really news as far as he was concerned – he had one eye on the TV.

A little while later, there was the Ping! Ping! again. This time it went something like ‘Sachin blasts half century’. Now I’m not a fan and my temperature was rising. So what? I thought rudely.

It went on that night – every ball, every googly, every bye, every wide, every blasted frame of every shot on MY cellphone! Why not a cricket freak? Why me? That was enough for me to go look for my service provider’s website to send off an email. I was being considerate – I did not disturb them in the middle of the night and felt quite proud of myself. The email address was hidden on Page 6 or 7. I was polite, I was firm, I told them I had a DND (Do Not Disturb) on my phone. I explained to them patiently what that meant. No unsolicited calls, no banks asking if I wanted loans, no offers for the downloading of tunes, no alerts of any kind unless I asked for it – no, not even cricket alerts, never mind that the rest of my countrymen were besotted with the game.

I thought that would be the end of it. The next morning, I realized that a certain amount had been billed to my account for those updates. My husband, who usually wakes me up with a joke, thought it prudent to desist and left for work early. This time, I called. I was all set to give whoever came on a mouthful. No one did. There it was, the usual Press 1 for English…..Press X for billing….Press Y for…..arrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhh!

I switched on my computer and found I had an email from them. There it was, all so polite and all. Dear Madam…….blah, blah…..we will ensure the service is stopped immediately. ‘But you billed me!’ I wrote back. They answered the next day with an apology, saying the money was being returned to my account. I heaved a sigh of relief, wondered how I could have been such a grouch and all was right with my world!

In the afternoon, there it was again – another Ping! Ping! This time, I saw red. Bikini alerts!!!! Now tell me, why on earth would a middle aged woman want bikini alerts? That’s what I said when I mailed them. I saw double red when the amount that was billed was double the amount that they had billed for the cricket alerts! The bikini alerts kept coming – on the hour every hour. I did not click to download – I deleted every one of them but I still got billed. Grrrrrrrrrr……..!!!!

Before I got any reply to the email I sent them, there was more – job alerts. Was my number some kind of a test number? To see how many people could be hoodwinked into paying for alerts they hadn’t asked for? No thank you, I don’t want a job. All I want is to be left in peace – isn’t that what the DND was supposed to do anyway?

I went around the house like a bear with a sore head and every time the blasted cellphone went Ping! Ping! I swore. Then I threatened to write to the newspaper. I actually wrote them a very civil email – well, almost civil! – and told them if ALL the alerts weren’t stopped immediately, I would write a very sarcastic letter to the Editor of the local paper.

That did it. Ah, the peace!

Inspired by Cris A's challenge!


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    • profile image


      I use nokia thats awersome mobile handset it provides me good battery and also well services also like speaker and all and also provide good quality product and sevices i love it but it sometimes gives problem

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Glad to hear you haven't, Marco!

    • Marko M profile image

      Marko M 7 years ago from Kingsville, Tx

      It's a "love hate" techno world. I have never gotten any alerts on my Sprint cell.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      A bit mythbuster :)

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide


    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      I wish I could switch my phone off, Cleanclover - that might be a great option!

    • Cleanclover profile image

      Cleanclover 8 years ago from Piece of land!

      My cell phone never get's charged infact they added some money in my account. i was happy. But i rarely use my mobile. Most of the time i am either sleeping, eating, exercising, riding or holidaying or blogging. That's my life heh heh.

      glad you sorted that out. The best would be to switch the phone and ignore it.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Write to the newspapers Saurabh - that seems to be the only way to get them to stop :)

      Christoph - on a different plane, one can't help but be amazed at how ingenious these scammers are! Like the colour red, do you? :D

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      That's the way they do you. There are any number of people who will simply pay for that whether they asked for it or not. So they go fishing. Reminds me of a scam where a person sends bills to many corporations for pencils or whatever. A percentage of those companies pay the bills without checking, so it becomes lucrative for the scammer.

      Are there women wearing those red bikinis? If so, you could forward to me. (Just kidding. I wouldn't know what to do with them.)

    • profile image

      saurabhpande 8 years ago

      Same was the case with my father.He too got some bikini alerts on regular basis even after so many complaints. LOLZ..

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Tatjana - you're lucky! And yes, it is sometimes better to receive :) quicksand is a funny guy :D

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      He, he, I have cell phone, but not prepaid version, so I receive only nice messages from T-mobile: they inform me that I have some extra minutes free, few days ago I even received money from them (amount is 1$, but it is soooo nice to receive)....

      Quicksand cerainly left the most funny comment.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hi ST - I would have done it too if I didn't have a 17 year old who is out a lot :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What a delight to read, Shalini. I hate my cell phone, always did. I have it only because I used to travel so much. If I got those pings like you did, for sure I'd throw the thing in the nearest river. And what a hoot about the bikini alerts!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hi VioletSun - I can laugh about it now - especially the bikini alerts :D

      Aya - dirty trick, yes! I wonder how many get tricked like this!

      eyeofh - so am I:)

      Thanks all for reading!

    • eyeofh profile image

      eyeofh 8 years ago from New Jersey

      Glad you finally got some peace Shalini!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

      Shalini, I understand how you feel. That is a dirty trick they were trying to play on you. To pay for something that annoyed you and you didn't even sign up for?

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I enjoyed seeing you meeting Cris A's challenge, and yikes, bikini alerts? LOL. Glad you had everything resolved though.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      quicksand - how dumb of me - I should have figured that out! Yes, that's probably the best way!

      Amanda - yes, it was a pain but it's peace once more after the threat :)

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Hi Shalini, what a nightmare! Thankfully I've never had this problem on my mobile, but I regularly spend time deleting (unopened) e-mails that show up from who knows where. The nerve of these people to actually charge you for a service that you've never requested! I'd rant, too!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      KYMPSO = Keep Your Mobile Phone Switched Off!


    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Imagine if that were to happen, quicksand!! :D or who is kympso??

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      Beep! Beep! ... Hub Pages Alert! ... One of your 6550 fans has published a new hub! ... Beep Beep! ... Another of your 6550 fans has updated one of his hubs ... Beep Beep! ... You've got a new comment!!!

      Er ... Shal, have you tried KYMPSO? It's most effective. :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Ah, ehern33 - count your blessings! Thanks for coming by!

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 8 years ago

      I really haven't had this problem at all. My cell has been very private for many years. I get the occassional txt msg from my carrier but usually it is to inform me of an update. I have no complaints. I guess I am oe of the lucky ones. PEACE! What a concept..

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      RGraf - how right you are! Customer service has been reduced to Press whatever number!!

      Thanks for reading, Eleanor!

    • EleanorL profile image

      EleanorL 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this post with the hidden cell phone fees. Thanks.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      This is great. It is amazing how they try to get away with billings and such. We have all these features that they charge us for that we never signed up for. We have to fight with them to issue credits. Whatever happened to customer service?

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hi 2patricias - I feel like pulling my hair out every time I hear that particular recorded message!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Glad to hear you got it sorted out. My blood pressure rises every time I listen to that choice of 'press button 1 to pay your bill, button 2 to have your meter read, button 3 for change of address, etc, etc' - when what I want to do is complain!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Cris - you're to blame :D

      MMS? Funny - my husband wanted to know too!!! I just hit Delete!

      Thanks for the challenge Cris - guess you knew I just can't resist one :)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Ah the price of peace! But tell me, did the bikina alerts come with MMS pics? Glad you took on the challenge and I must hasten to add you require no trip to some anger management guru - just hub it out! But boy, you were angry! More rants please (did i just wish you more "angry" situations?!?!?!) :D

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hi CC - hehe - thanks - am off to read yours now :)

      charanjeet - yes, isn't it just the pits? I try not to lose my temper but it's really hard :D

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 8 years ago from Delhi

      Lol it was like you stealed my story, hahah. Happens to me all the time, I get all the way till the mobile only to hear a song that says do you want this ringtone. Ager yeh ringtone chahiye toh press ****, I swear nothing works in India than giving a threat such as a newspaper. Just recently a fellow parked in no parallel parking got away without the fine as he said he would report it to the local newspaper. I guess this is what works, Before i forget a very well written rant could sympathise with you in every way.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Oh I liked this. You actually swore? LOL I'm so glad you got it resolved. I have no problems with my cell. This was a good rant and I'm glad that CrisA was so brilliant in this challenge. See ya dear. CC

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      zampano - I did feel hunted, yes :)

      Pete - exactly - why oh why can't they understand that's all we want?

      Jill - the only way I could think of - bad press is every company's fear!

      FP - Let's hear it from you - your pen wields such power!!

      Dohn - good for you! Hope they stay great for years! Yes, it does feel good to rant at times :)

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Yes! I like to see this side of you, Shalini! Anger is good when it's let out once in a while! I hope you felt better after writing this (I would were I you). I see that you did good by accepting Cris A's challenge! As for me, I like my carrier-Sprint ( or the telephone company formally know as Nextel) as I've been with them for 4 years thus far. Thanks for the rant :D

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Ah Shal, you can rant too! :P

      Cell phones are a pain! I am constantly deluged with service messages and calls too...rarely does the phone actually ring or ping for me!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for sharing this story Shalini.

      Yes, these alerts can really become annoying especially since you do not even subscribe to them. The problem is they will even bill you for those unwanted messages. Threatening to get into print media usually does the trick!

      Have a nice day!

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      We are dropping T-Mobile as soon as our contract is up. All we want is a telephone; we don't want to be connected to anyone. We are gong to the cheapest prepaid we can find.

    • profile image

      zampano 8 years ago

      Ummm. Like we were game corporations hunt.

      Nice story. Disturbing though.