What are phone-paid services?
Phone-paid services is the name given to all content, goods, or services charged to a phone bill. In law they are referred to as premium rate services.
Phone-paid services range from older types of telephone services like directory enquiries to newer services like in-app purchases, charity text donations and subscriptions to digital content like games or music. Click to tweet
Big brands like Apple, Google, Spotify, Sony, ITV, Heart, Capital FM, Children in Need and Comic Relief all offer services you can pay for through your phone bill.
Don't ignore texts from companies that have charged you
Service providers like Apple, Google or Spotify are required to inform you of any charges. These messages aren't spam!
It's important to read them and understand them. Also bear in mind: you can text the service provider to stop charges, but don't just hit reply. Text 'STOP ALL' to the number which they have given you.
There are many different types of phone-paid services and the PSA’s rules require that the cost of the service, and how the service works, are clear. Here's a quick guide to what phone-paid services are and how they work:
When you search the internet for the helpline numbers of well-known companies and public organisations, you might end up calling them via a third-party company on a 09, 087 or 084 number. We call these Information, Connection and Signposting Services (ICSS). These services can make it quick and easy for you to reach the organisation you need but can be more expensive than calling the company you want directly.
All ICSS services must clearly state the cost, explain what their service does, and make it clear that they are a third party, not the company you might have been looking for.
You can find more information about ICSS here: Call connection services: What are they and how to spot them
If you are looking for a telephone number, you can call a number starting 118 for Directory Enquiries. They will provide you with the number you’re looking for and other information. These calls cost a lot more than normal phone calls.
Some Directory Enquiries services will give you the option to be connected directly to the number you wanted. You are likely to be charged for this on top of the cost of the initial call.