Crazy Frog Ringtone Download Leads to Expensive Phone Spam, Big Fine for Provider mBlox

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In case you are one of those few on the planet who are not familiar with the phenomenon that is the Crazy Frog ringtone, it is a cell phone ring tone created by British company Jamba, and distributed through mBlox. The Crazy Frog ringtone became so popular, and so many people downloaded the Crazy Frog ringtone, that it actually topped the UK music charts, and spawned all sorts of related matter. In fact, earlier this year, downloads of the Crazy Frog ringtone surpassed downloads of England’s favourite Coldplay 4 to 1!

Now it comes to light that downloading the Crazy Frog ringtone has given some people more than just the ringtone on their cell phone – it lead to expensive phone spam, in the form of text messages for which the recipient had to pay, from Crazy Frog ringtone creator Jamba.

Nearly 350 people complained about the pricey phone spam to the British watchdog agency, ICSTIS who just this week fined Jamba’s provider, mBlox, 40,000 pounds (approximately $71,000 USD) for the stunt. mBlox points out (rightly, it would seem) that they are just the provider, and it was Jamba who was behind the deed, but the ICTIS at this time only has the power to regulate and go after service providers.

But back to the primary issue, which is that once at least some subset of users downloaded the Crazy Frog ringtone to their telephone, they found themselves subscribed to a series of text messages, sent to their cell phones by Jamba, and for which they had to pay. To say that they were not best pleased would be an understatement.

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