Don’t ask Bongo – text service fined over massive phone bills
Bongo, a text service aimed at young people, is in deep doo-doo after parents complained their children had run up bills for hundreds of pounds.
In case you’re not 11, Bongo is a monkey, who answers all your questions. A bit like a primate 8-ball, or a monkey God. You can ask him anything, probably stuff like ‘am I normal?’, ‘How do I tell Leanne from school that I fancy her?’ or ‘how big is your knob?’
It also tells you about yourself, by using your details and names in your contacts book - saying things like 'Darren Boggins is the hottest lad at Slagheap High School and Amber Bigknockers thinks he's well fit.' Etc.
Bongo, which is owned by an Australian company based in Melbourne, has been fined £70000 by UK regulator PhonepayPlus after some parents were hit with bills for £200. It seems that children were (obviously) unaware that each question/text cost a massive £2.50 a pop. And that’s a lot of money just to ask a monkey whether it’s gay.
The fact that texts were at premium rate and this information was delivered in miniscule small print, practically undetectable to the human eye, caused the regulator to give them the fine. Bongo was also advertised on TV and during One Direction shows.