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View Full Version : $422,000 to stream a movie? The continued "success" of phone cramming


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06-10-12, 10:20 PM
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/phone-cramming.jpg If you were watching Mulholland Drive on your phone, it probably wasn't through Streaming Flix.
Aurich Lawson


From July 2009 until December 2010, a Minneapolis-based company called Streaming Flix allegedly hit on a hugely profitable business model‚??slapping steep monthly fees for its online movie service on the phone bills of 253,269 customers. In total, $9.7 million was billed in that year and a half. How many movies did Americans watch after spending all that cash? 23.

That's no typo‚??and it means an average of $422,000 was spent each time someone streamed a film. It also suggests that 99.99 percent of the people paying monthly fees for the service weren't using it.

Perhaps that's why the very first Google hit for "Streaming Flix" points to a question from one Barbara G (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090923200648AAyM8Fw). She¬*wants to know what the company is and why "I am being billed for it with my AT&T bill but did not sign up for it?" The situation grew so bad that the FBI opened a probe of Streaming Flix and its related companies. In December 2010, the Bureau asked the public to send in complaints about the company (http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/billing_121610).

Read more (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/422000-to-stream-a-movie-the-continued-success-of-phone-cramming/) | Comments (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/422000-to-stream-a-movie-the-continued-success-of-phone-cramming/?comments=1#comments-bar)



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