Saturday, July 31, 2010

Controlling Cell Phone Bills

A couple of years ago some of the cell phone companies came out with some rudimentary "parental controls". One example was T-Mobile's Family Allowances. They have not been marketed, and do not seem to have caught on.

Now I am seeing more and more kids with Android phones, and soon the Android marketplace will allow charging to your phone bill (instead of Google Checkout). More and more kids are getting Android phones, so this brings back the old concern about your kids running up the family mobile bill. I imagine there may be some, highly un-publicized way to shut off the ability to charge apps, if you take the initiative to call T-Mobile customer service. I hope I am wrong, and they build this right in. They really should. People need reasonable protections against excessive, unexpected charges.

On that note, I hate the idea of being able to spend (often, donate) money by texting a special number. I know the causes are often good, but I just do not like money flowing automagically out of my account, just by pressing a few buttons. It actually seems RIPE for a phishing scam.

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