Over the weekend, I noticed I got these strange text messages. Something like “You’ve subscribed to Events2Cell Alerts” and then another came shortly after to let me know there was no new events in my area. Finally a third telling me that the cost of the service I had certainly not subscribed to would cost me $10 a month and that I could text “STOP” to cancel.

Of course, I was pretty wary of it. Thinking the messages were like emailed spam, to reply is to give them indication that the receiver was valid. I instead decided to ignore it until I got an email from Verizon Wireless confirming said subscription. Rather than replying to the email, I decided to call Verizon directly to see if they could sort it out.

Fortunately, as I learned, they had this kind of inquiry all the time. My account had been unknowingly enabled for “Premium Subscription Services” so that if you want to get text alerts or what not, you can get them, even if they cost you money. However, they don’t have a way to determine whether this was something I signed up for or someone signed me up for. And, unfortunately, it was not something they could override for me.

What the tech did advise me, however, was that it was perfectly safe to reply “STOP” to cancel the subscription. She kindly stayed on the line with me while I did this, which only took a few moments. Then she updated my account to remove this feature so that no more subscriptions could be added without my knowledge. We also did this for my husband’s cell phone on the same account. The entire call took less than ten minutes, in spite of Verizon’s automated warning that they were experiencing larger than usual call volume and that it might take a while before someone helped me.

The tech couldn’t have been nicer, and she even said that this kind of stuff happened to her too. She had a great sense of humor and was extremely helpful with getting my issue resolved. A few minutes later, I got a call back from another automated system. This time, it was Verizon, asking me to rate my customer service. I was more than happy to give her the highest rating.