Individual sends $10 Haiti SMS donation using live phones in AT&T store

This article contains unofficial information.
Individual sends $10 Haiti SMS donation using live phones in AT&T store
Either this individual sought out to play a prank or conceived a brilliant plan on helping out those in Haiti thanks to the help of live AT&T phones. We’ve all visited our specific carrier stores to play around with all the latest phones that we know we can’t all have. So if you simply need to make a quick phone call and forgot your handset at home, you could just stroll in casually to any carrier store and use the actual live phones to place a call – or even send a text message. That simple idea gave this one individual this ingenious strategy by texting HAITI to 90999 in the working phones located at the store – basically he donated money to Haiti on AT&T’s behalf. Now it’s unclear whether or not AT&T will release the funds, but this is definitely one plan that’s sure to make you think twice the next time you pay a visit. Whatever your thoughts are about the situation, we’d guess that this person is probably getting a lot of “why didn’t I think about that” thoughts from people all around.

via Gizmodo



1. Rhetoric

Posts: 74; Member since: Jul 25, 2009

Did think about it, but all incidental purchases on store phones are either waived for company owned media, or rejected for external media/services. In laymans terms, they'll nullify the charge since it's AT&T that releases the funds after the fact.

2. Mateo8326

Posts: 472; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

That's Awesome wow who would of thought to do that

3. fairisfair

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

That's my favorite thing about this site. Watching people's excitement over scamming anything. I'm sure At&t has already donated to the relief efforts in Haiti, but lets go in and mess with demo phones. Maybe next time, someone will be smart enough to use demo phones for other illicit activities, and consequently ruining the shopping experience for all. Remember, nothing worth anything is FREE. someone always ends up paying.

5. AZNphoneGeek

Posts: 200; Member since: May 15, 2009

um yeah.... AT&T did hahaha

6. vzwtechbill

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 16, 2009

Ever heard the concept that it only takes one to ruin it for all? remember this junk when demo phones are locked

10. jundibasam

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 05, 2009

no worries, company already knows this kind of thing will happen and the charges get canceled on the concession account during the monthly reconciliation.

11. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

This kind of behavior is what ruins the experience for the rest of us. Just like stealing cable or satelite TV. When you take a service that isn't yours, the good people that pay their monthly bills are subsequently charged extra for your actions. Fraud of any kind is not tolerated, and prosecutable up to millions of dollars. I hope all your law breaks, pirates, and scammers get caught and sued over and over again for your crimes.

4. AZNphoneGeek

Posts: 200; Member since: May 15, 2009

i'm just sitting back laughing

7. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

this is funny, but when ever phonearena runs our of material they write stories that just sound like they pulled it out of their @$$...there are some stories you'd only see on phonearena like this one and when people were crashing their cars into sprint stores and phonearena insinuated they were trying to get palm pre-cums. . .get some good writers

8. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

This can't be the first time that incidental charges (game, ringtone, app downloads, premium SMS) were racked up on a store demo, so on the one hand it's not a big deal. On the other, if ATT opts not to pay it, do they face bad publicity for 'stealing' from Haiti relief? If they catch the guy that did it, though, they should send him down to Haiti for a week to 'volunteer.'

9. jundibasam

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 05, 2009

concession lines (company owned phones for demo, employee, technical support, etc) do not pay the additional charges. AT&T and other providers know that customers and people will attempt to purchase apps, games, ringtones, and premium messages so they have it automatically built it to cnacel these charges when they are submitted. Since they are done internally, nobody will know that AT&T didn't pay the donations to the Red Cross and Red Cross won't know because AT&T reconciles the books before submitting the info to the Red Cross.

12. nosense

Posts: 53; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

why didnt i think of that?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.