European Union (EU) launched an inquiry on Thursday that might save all of us from shady websites offering mobile phone services that are widely spread over the internet.
EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva’s crackdown on websites offering phone ringtones, wallpapers and video games revealed that 80 percent of the 558 websites that were investigated upon performed unscrupulous activities.
“Far too many people are falling victim to costly surprises from mysterious charges, fees and ringtone subscriptions they learn about for the first time when they see their mobile-phone bill,” Kuneva said during a news conference, reports PC World. “There will be Europe-wide enforcement action to track down each of these traders.”
Apparently, it has been identified that these sites lure users by promoting their services as free, however, hidden costs are printed in fine prints on the website, which are difficult to notice and these bound the user to long-term contracts. The easy targets are children and teenagers who are the major groups that download ringtones for their mobile phones unaware of the hidden charges. The sites cleverly hide key information and complete seller’s information.
The EU commissioner is planning for a campaign that will spread awareness about the internet frauds.
“We need to get a clear message out, particularly to teenagers and children — be on your guard. It’s all about the small print. There are many reputable traders out there, but to be safe buying these services, check the fine print every time and make sure you are not signing up for more than you bargained for,” she said.
EU had conducted the inquiry from June 2 to June 6 in 27 states, the memebers of EU. After the wide crackdown, the websites that do not give out full information about themselves to the users will hear from the national authorities. If the authorities identify any problems, the site has to rectify them and any failure to make the required changes will be subjected to a legal action like fine or discontinuation of the website.
It has also been reported that a few other target markets will also receive a surprise inspection, however further details have not been revealed.