In the world of the internet, scams are not an anomaly.
Everyone is aware of them, and no one is protected. You can be a company with a billion-dollar turnover, or you can be a lowkey ordinary citizen who thinks his information is too trivial for anyone to even care – scams hit all of us.
In this digital age, when we are surrounded by technology, from ordering food to making appointments to setting reminders, it is done by technology-driven machines; we are more vulnerable than ever.
We can’t imagine the avenues where scams hit us. And they result in all sorts of losses.
Scams can be of varying types, from identity theft to phishing emails, to clicking on an infected link. You just have to make one wrong move.
However, sometimes, scams come in a different form. They are hidden, but not scams. They are caused by a glitch, error, or flaw.
Say, for example, I ask you to buy a product from me for $10. You happily agree. But, when I deliver you the bill, it states $10.45.
So, where does the extra $ 0.45 came from? I would say, “Oh! These are service charges that you have to pay as well.”
One such issue was the overbilling of some customers who used apps and services provided by AirG. Let’s take a deep dive into this whole issue.
What was AirG scam?
Recently, several customers of airG who used Telstra and Vodafone networks complained about being overcharged for their subscription to several airG services.
The users were surprised by these charges. They were unaware of why the amount is being charged and for which service.
To give you a complete understanding of the error, let’s see a Reddit thread by one of the airG users who were over-billed:
“I found a charge of 5$ on my account for something called AirG Minime 500c; upon googling, it seems like some ‘chat subscription’ service that I have never heard of or seen before.
Further searching shows that it’s some scam thing that Telstra seems to allow to continue on their service to customers since 2009.”
What is airG?
AirG is a software company based in Vancouver, Canada. The company has assorted products and services which they provide to users all over the world.
Their products range from a casual messaging app to a digital screening test to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and Mild Cognitive Impairments (MCI). Here are some notable products by airG:
It is a social app to meet new people and make friends online with those living in your vicinity. The app has more than 100 million users to chat, flirt, or even hang out.
It is a community platform that hosts all the incredible and fun-filled games created by the company. You can play games like Big Barn, Harvest Frenzy, and Kitty Snatch here online. There are many games that you can enjoy here to kill your boredom.
It is a simple, convenient, and self-administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE). It is created by Dr. Douglas Scharre, who is a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Brain Test helps detect the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and MCI in patients. It hardly takes fifteen minutes, and users can conduct it while sitting at the comforts of their home.
airG mini-me is again an online platform that hosts several educational games and learning videos for kids. It is a safe and secure entertainment source for kids, with hours of educational content available to them at just a tap of a finger. The games are designed to reinforce learning, improve their cognitive abilities, and teach them various life skills.
It is a video-sharing platform where you can see daily trending videos, find news, learn about new recipes, and do some cool DIY tricks. The platform is completely ad-free, and there is an endless collection of videos for you to enjoy.
Another gaming platform, but this time not only for kids but for people of all ages. Like mini-me, it is a subscription-based online gaming platform where you can play games after paying a small fee. From action to adventure to puzzle, Unlimited Games has something for people of all interests.
What was the problem?
So, as mentioned above, some customers who have subscribed to airG services received bills with charges for services they haven’t signed up or subscribed for. The amount ranged from few cents to five dollars.
But it wasn’t a scam since it was not carried out intentionally to hurt people financially. This was the result of a third-party billing issue that was concerned with the network providers.
How airG responded?
The response by airG was quick and effective. As soon as the complaints begin to emerge, the company took proactive measures and responded to the worried customers on emails and online chat supports.
They guided people on this issue and offered a solution to pay back and unsubscribe from the service. They processed claims within a month and returned people the money they unknowingly lost.
From their end, AirG facilitated all the users and improved their products to ensure that nothing of this sort ever happens again. Their transparent practice and meaningful customer support helped people regain their trust in airG products.
So, it is unfair to label it a scam because it was a technical issue that was promptly resolved and cared for.
Scams come in all forms. Sometimes they are so well executed that you can’t differentiate a scam from reality. In this age of digital inundation, we can never be too sure. So, it is prudent to always think twice before making a choice or pressing a button. Once you hit the wrong link or button, you are in for a lot of trouble.
However, if you have ever fallen prey to these types of scams, report them. This is your best chance to get back whatever you have lost, be it money or the theft of identity.