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Subject: Free Ring Tones: An Invitation for Spam? rss

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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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So, I'm thinking of looking for a free ringtone for my cell phone, and I notice that in order to get one of these, you have to give out your cell number, so that the tone can be transferred to the phone. Has anyone else tried doing this? I'm afraid that I might wind up with a lot of telemarketing calls and spam text messages if I give out my number willy-nilly. Can anyone tell me if this is a wise idea?
 
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Stephen Harkleroad
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In theory, it's illegal for telemarketers to call you unsolicited. It actually happens a lot less than I would have thought. (I work for a cell phone company fielding questions like this.) It used to be easier to catch telemarketers--you could look at an exchange and tell immediately whether it was a cell phone or not (at least in 95% of the markets). Now, since you can transfer your home number to your cell phone, it's not as easy, and some telemarketers are using this as an excuse. There is a bit of plausability to it--they can claim that they were given that number that used to be a home number, and there would have been no way for them to know it's now a cell phone number.

Ahem. Anyway, that doesn't answer your question. In theory, no, this shouldn't cause you any problems. Telemarketers aren't supposed to contact you, since any contact to you costs you money, whether it be airtime or text messages. However, make sure you read the disclosure statements. If there's a checkbox saying "I want to hear updates!" then they can send you whatever they wish. They should have a way to opt out of text messages (they have to), so even if you do start getting messages you can get them to stop, though it may take up to a week.

That said...I deal with this all day, and it doesn't happen often. (in the 500+ cases I hear a week, I hear something like this maybe once every two weeks, and even then most of the time it's (dare I say it?) the customer's fault).

So, yeah, you can probably do it without any problems. Still, if you're worried about it, the "official" ring tones aren't terribly expensive--usually around $2 or so. I'd, personally, just opt for that.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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What cellphone do you have? You could just clip up an mp3 and upload it to your phone, depending on the kind you have.
 
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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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I have a Samsung camera flip phone (SPH-a620/VGA1000), and while it CAN browse the web, and CAN receive text messages, and CAN download/upload files, I don't have any of those services. So, pretty much the only way I can think of to get a ringtone onto my phone is to send it via SMS, which (I believe) is some technology that allows data to come through the wireless phone connection. I don't even know enough how to do all that, though, since it's never been an issue. I'm just tired of all the usual stuff on the phone, and thought it would be cool to have it so my phone would play "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" whenever my wife calls.
 
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