T-Mobile recently announced plans to take their “Direct Carrier Billing” to the next level by allowing customers to use its convenience to purchase digital content and services from virtually any device with a web browser. The extension of this payment option gives customers the convenience of having one centralized payment method for all participating online purchases without the need to input information such as credit card numbers or third party account credentials. Purchases are then applied to the customer’s monthly T-Mobile bill hence the title “Direct Carrier Billling.” Essentially T-Mobile customers will soon be able to use their accounts much like they would a credit card, only problem is… they’re not credit cards.
You see, credit card purchases and purchases made by services linked to a credit card are afforded certain protections under Federal law should a consumer find themselves a victim of fraud, theft or error. This is not the case with “Direct Carrier Billing,” which leaves the consumer at the mercy of their carrier should a dispute about charges arise. It begs the question of whether or not the convenience is worth giving up your rights as a consumer. While it may be a tad annoying or uncomfortable to constantly give your credit card information out to various online merchants, you can at least sleep well knowing you have protection should something go wrong.
In a report by Consumers Union, a non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, they outline the concerns and dangers of using various mobile payment options along with the different protections offered for each method. It’s a must read for consumers trying to keep up with the insta-insanity of mobile payment technologies and services. Give it a good read and then reassess whether or not T-Mobile’s “Direct Carrier Billing” is a convenience you can afford.
Source: PR Newswire