Maybe you are more savvy than me. Maybe you check your Internet Service Provider mail inbox, and all the settings, regularly. In which case, read no further.
For those like me, who simply pay their ISP a monthly fee for Internet connection, and who don’t examine each bank statement forensically but just pop them in a file if the balance looks roughly correct, here is something you might like to know.
In France, the ISPs Orange, Alice, Bouygues and Free accounts include a service called Internet Plus. What this means is that if you come across a website that charges for content, such as ring tones, videos, games, and if that website bears a logo that looks like this:
and if you, one of children, anybody using your Internet connection, or the cat clicks on that button, the charges for that service will be automatically added to your ISP monthly bill, because Internet Plus is activated on your ISP account by default, and the web service will be munching away at your bank account courtesy of your ISP. There are many discussions on this on both French and English fora, where people have quite unwittingly found themselves being charged for a service they did not want or even know they had until they took a closer look at their bank statements.
In my case the service VIP Mobile has been charging to my Internet Plus account 4.99 euros per week since the beginning of August. It looks as if one of our guests may have clicked on the button without realising the implications.
This could not happen if the Internet Plus service required activating by the account holder. Instead, the onus is on the account holder to deactivate it so that no more charges can be applied. I think that is quite scandalous, but quoi faire?
In our case this has cost us 120 euros, but looking at it positively, if I hadn’t spotted it when I did, it could have cost very much more. 🙂
If you are worried about little Justin, grandpa or Tibbles signing you up for something you don’t want, then make sure to deactivate your ISP Internet Plus account. For users of Orange.fr, log in to your account, click on ‘espace client’, then click on ‘mes services’, and that will take you to a screen like this:
Make sure that Internet Plus is deactivated. And just to be sure, I’d check regularly to make certain that it does not miraculously reactivate itself when you’re not looking. 😉