Telecom & Wireless

Alert: Heilongjiang Unicom Offers Free Unwanted Short Message Service

Heilongjiang Unicom is reportedly offering a kind of free unwanted short message service to users without their approval and charging them an information fee when they want to cancel the service.

According to a report on Sina.com, staff from a business hall at Heilongjiang Unicom say the short message service is provided by a franchiser of Heilongjiang Unicom, so it can not be cancelled at Heilongjiang Unicom's business hall. However users can ask for cancellation of the service by sending a short message, but in this case they need to pay CNY0.1 as an information fee when cancelling the nuisance service.

As the short message service is started without users' subscriptions, it is deemed to be spam and unwanted. Heilongjiang Unicom's service center says that users can cancel the service in two ways. One is to send a short message to cancel for which they need to pay CNY0.1 as information fee, and the other is to cancel it through the manual service counter of Heilongjiang Unicom, which is free but the cancellation won't be valid until 24 hours later. It seems like a Kafka nightmare where users are stung every where they turn.

Dong Hongyang, a researcher from Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, is cited as saying that it is unreasonable for the mobile operators to charge the CNY0.1 information fee from users because the service was offered by the mobile operator without the users' approval. Also, as there is a large base for the mobile phone population, the mobile operators will make big money by charging this amount of seemingly small fee.

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