Got a problem with your mobile?

22 January 2009

Find out about PhonepayPlus' new rules to protect you!

Find out about PhonepayPlus' new rules to protect you!

Have you ever had charges on your mobile phone bill or pay-as-you-go account
that you didn't recognise?

Or received text messages that you didn't ask for and ended up being charged for?

Perhaps you signed up for a service but didn't realise you'd be charged on a weekly or monthly basis?

PhonepayPlus' new rules in mobile

Last year, PhonepayPlus saw a huge rise in the number of complaints it was receiving about mobile phone-paid services which include downloading ringtones, pictures and games as well as participating in television programmes, receiving news alerts, finding contact details and entering competitions.

We have now published some new rules for the providers of these services to make sure that you are protected more than ever when using phone-paid services on your mobile.

  • Subscription services - these are the services which charge you on a regular basis (usually weekly or monthly) for items like ringtones, wallpapers and news/sports alerts. Our new rules mean that, if you sign up for a subscription service that costs more than £4.50 in any given week (including a joining fee), the provider must send you a free confirmation text message with the cost of the service. Then, if you are happy to go ahead, you will need to reply to let the provider know. You cannot be charged until you have confirmed your subscription with the provider.
  • Clearer pricing - no matter where you see a mobile phone-paid service advertised (whether it's in a magazine or newspaper, on TV, on the internet or somewhere else), the pricing of the service must be given just as much space and attention as the rest of the advert - the cost shouldn't be hidden in small print. Also, providers must not say a service or download is ‘free' unless there really are no other costs involved.
  • Promotional text messages - If you receive a free promotional message, it must make clear that the message is free and give you info on how to stop receiving similar messages in future.
  • STOP - You should be able to unsubscribe from any text service by texting the word ‘STOP' to the same number. If the messages do not stop after you've sent this command, please contact PhonepayPlus straight away.
  • Marketing lists - If you receive a text message that you don't think you requested, let us know. We can ask providers for evidence that the people on their lists have consented to receive such messages.

If you think you've had problem with a phone-paid service on your mobile, you can check the SMS shortcode (five- or six-digit number that the text came from) on the PhonepayPlus website

If you still don't recognise the number or feel that you've been misled, please contact us on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) to discuss the issue in more detail.

Click here for more information on PhonepayPlus' new rules for mobile phone-paid services.