I have to admit that I will always be a skeptic when it involves mobile subscription services. The idea of some intangible, unknown, and unreachable company/individual or thing, taking my cash every week or month (depending on the 'contract' entered into) has always annoyed me day. In fact, I usually do not even respond 'STOP' to the marketing messages my bank sends me, just in case it happens to be a ploy of sorts to obtain me to subscribe to one thing I did not want in the first place. Am I paranoid?
Perhaps...However, I like to think that this is justified paranoia, based on the numerous complaints we have heard about mobile membership services. It appears that frequently individuals are 'fooled' into subscribing to something, which will be very difficult to terminate. If, like me, you share these sentiments then read on, as I have since discovered that it is not too much mobile subscription services that are the problem but rather uncouth ie. dodgy, service providers.
Having dug a little deeper -in other words beyond the ads on TV that tell me I ought to subscribe to get the love poems that are latest, horoscopes, dating tips, games, and farting monkeys - I have discovered that there are some fairly cool subscriptions out there. Music subscriptions for example, and they appear to be on the rise. In fact, Janus Fries, one associated with the founders of Skype Technologies, is of the belief that, " The whole download model is going away." Now, that it is possible to subscribe to some cool stuff, if we just know what to look out for whether we agree or not is a discussion for another time, however, the point is. And hey, if farting monkeys are what you're after that's additionally fine, as long as you don't get fooled. So having said that, let us continue with the uncouth service providers....
The problems with mobile subscription services generally arise when service providers do not adhere to the rules regulating these solutions. In light with this I thought it'd be good to list a few of the rules in this specific article, so as to give you a better understanding of how subscriptions that are mobile supposed to function. According to WASPA (The Wireless Application Service Provider's Association), which to a large degree oversees our mobile industry, the following things must certanly be in place with any mobile membership service:
Firstly, advertising material associated with subscription services has to very clearly state that this is in fact a membership service, as well while the cost of the subscription.
Secondly, the terms for the subscription should be stipulated. In other words, is it a daily, weekly, or monthly membership.
Thirdly, for legal reasons, mobile subscriptions require a double opt-in confirmation from anyone wanting to subscribe. In other words you would need to receive two SMS' to confirm that you actually want to subscribe.
Fourthly, a monthly sms reminder, which contains the cost and option to unsubscribe, needs to be sent to every subscriber.