digitaltoast warns of scam

Jon Harris of digitaltoast sent me a note this evening to alert me about‘s service.

Now it’s not a scam per se, however it’s extremely unpalatable.

Here’s how it works.

1. You visit
2. You send a text message to your friend at no direct cost to you.
3. Your recipient receives a notification that you have sent them a message (this notification is sent at no charge.)
4. The recipient can chooose to either read your message on the web, at (I imagine) at the cost of £0.50 via PayPal.

Or, the recipient can choose to have the message sent to their phone directly at a flipping-great-wad-of-cash rate of £5.

So, the wording on is quite accurate. You CAN send messages for free. It doesn’t cost you anything. However, the recipient can’t read the messages without paying. This is, at least, my understanding of the service — there’s a dearth of information.

Jon contacted a load of users who were understandably completely dumbfounded to have been charged £5 to receive their message.

Obviously if I’m sent a text message on my phone, I’ll respond to whatever commands I’m given to read the message. If I’m out and about there’s no way I’m going to visit the web to get the message. And this is the problem.

It’s outrageous to charge users £5 to read a message. Not illegal. Just absolutely outrageous.

Jon’s done one better than just write about this though. He’s talked to ICSTIS. He’s phoned some users. He’s found some apparent technical holes. He’s documented it all. Take a few minutes and have a read here.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “digitaltoast warns of scam”

A real shame this one because there is a very good idea behind it. But clearly there is absolutely no place for this kind of over-charging service in our world.

So will the aggregator behind please stand up and declare why you feel you can continue to provide an sms gateway for them?


It most definitely is a scam. The statement ‘Standard text messages are free’ is purposely misleading, as is the format ‘500p’. Violation of Service Policy, I think. Furthermore, although Fiach Reid makes £3 profit on each text read by phone, he has the cheek to ask for an additional Paypal donation, ‘to keep the service free’. I’d love to put this guy in a locked room with some of his victims and a box of cattle prods.

I think that’s horrible!
I took over Free Text a few months ago and have been trying to bring it upmarket into a transparent, easy to use Free SMS service. I have a number of new bits about to launch, but feedback it appreciated. I would hate for people to think of our site along these lines.

As far as I know txtNationt have blocked and banned this site to which started of as a free site and then started to break the rules. The owner of this sms-txt site is obvisouly a con man and could have done with any company. txtNation have done what every other company would have done and have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Txntation are the biggest scam sms company I have ever known, they owe lots of people lots of money. How do they get away with it, and how do they stay in business – My advice – AVOID THEM

Txtnation’s Latest Ripoff – Seems that that Txtnation (scamnation) charge £1.50 for each error sms sent back to clients, and they have turned their services off for a week now, all my site members are getting error messages back all day when they try to renew their membership, what a great way for txtnation to make money.

Someone shut this amateur ripoff company txtnation down please.

Has anyone else had the same problem this week with them?


who is the aggregator? what is the shortcode and I should be able to tell you who it goes through. You could then contact them and have it turned off.

Or simply call icstis and tell them to get it suspended if some rules have been broken.


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