Dutch vlogger reprimanded for tricking young fans into high phone bills
The Dutch consumer and market authority ACM reprimanded Dutch vlogger SnapKing and disconnected his 0909 after he called on his young fans to call the number and kept them on the line for unreasonably long periods. With each call costing 1 euro plus talk time, the 20-year-old vlogger made over 13 thousand euros off of his mostly underage viewers, AD reports.
SnapKing, or Tim van Teunenbroek from Almere, launched the phone number in mid March. He called on his viewers to call him, saying that every 100th caller will get to talk to him. In the following weeks he got 6,450 calls. Figures AD got from Vodafone show that he only actually talked to five callers, two of which lasted longer than a minute.
The other 6,445 callers were on hold for minutes at a time, only to be told: "Unfortunately you are not the hundredth caller. You will not be transferred to the studio. Call the number again."
By disconnecting the number, the ACM wants to send a clear signal. "Vloggers who want to earn money off the backs of minors will be strictly dealt with." spokesperson Pauline Gras said to the newspaper. According to ACM, 0909 numbers are expensive and meant for games and horoscopes and the like. "Callers must know in advance what they are paying and what the terms of the call are. The caller should not be kept on the line unnecessarily long."