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Who charged me?

The network provider, the phone-paid service provider and the regulator

We are often asked by consumers who has made the charge on their phone account. Was it the network provider (O2, Vodafone, Three etc.), the phone-paid service provider or the regulator (the Phone-paid Services Authority)?

In simple terms, the phone-paid service provider contracts the network provider to run the service. The network provider does not own the service, but is completing the charge on your phone account. This charge is visible on your phone bill if you are on a contract.

Who is responsible for what?

The network provider is responsible for explaining what the charge on the bill is for and providing the contact information of the service provider.

The phone-paid service provider is responsible for explaining the service you have used, the charge and provide proof of having purchased the service. Depending on circumstances, the phone-paid service provider may or may not provide a refund for the service you used.

The regulator, the Phone-paid Services Authority, oversees the market for phone-paid services in the UK and protects consumers from harm by:

  • Offering advice on any queries you have on phone-paid services
  • Dealing with your enquiry after you have contacted the service provider and you are not satisfied with the outcome
  • Investigating and taking measures against providers that do not operate according to the Code of Practice requirements

The Phone-paid Services Authority is not responsible for the service charges you find in your phone bills, but we are able to advise in issues you encounter when using phone-paid services.