We are the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

Top tips to stay in control of your phone charges


Did you know that you can pay for services on your phone bill, just like you would with your bank card or PayPal account? Just like you do with your bank card, you’ll want to make sure you’re in control of your spending.

Here are a few top tips to do just that: 

  1. Check your phone bill regularly and don't ignore texts from service providers 
    Companies making charges to your phone bill are required to inform you of charges. Receipts can take the form of a SMS messages - they aren't always spam so don’t ignore them! You can text the company to stop charges, but don't just hit ‘reply’; text 'STOP ALL' to the number which they have given you in the text message. This may not be the same number as the number the message came from – read the message carefully.

    Be careful when blocking texts: if you’re getting several texts from the same number, don’t assume it’s spam. If you block the number, you will still be charged if the texts are for a phone-paid service. Blocking the texts won’t stop the charges, it just means you won’t get any information about them.

  2. Watch what you click on, be careful of pop-up ads, buttons and promotions
    When browsing the internet on your phone, be careful of pop-up ads, buttons and other promotions, and always check the terms & conditions. Not everything is free, and some purchases are subscriptions that may add up to significant amounts of money if overlooked. And remember to check your phone bill. It sounds simple, but many of us don’t do it. You may find additional charges on there that you may have forgotten about. 

  3. Know your numbers and how much they’ll cost before dialling or texting
    Be aware that numbers starting 09, 087 and 118 are charged at premium rates. Always check how much any number will cost before dialling or texting either on Ofcom’s call costs guide or gov.uk’s cost guide

  4. Take care when handing your smart phone or tablet to children
    You might think there’s no harm in giving your device to children to play games or watch videos, but they may sign you up to charges without realising. Make sure you have parental controls in place before handing your device to a child.

  5. If you know you won’t use phone-paid services, ask your network provider if they can block them 
    This depends from network to network, but some mobile networks are able to block phone-paid services on your account. Be aware though that this might prevent you from using phone-paid services that you do want, such as in-app purchases, voting on TV talent shows, or donating to charity by text.  

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