- What are mobile premium services?
- How do I access mobile premium services?
- What do I do if I’m receiving text messages or services I haven’t asked for?
- How do I stop SMS Text Advertising (SPAM)?
- What do I need to know before I consent to receive a mobile premium service?
- What will the Terms and Conditions tell me?
- What if I don’t agree with the terms and conditions?
- I’ve got a message on my phone asking if I want to confirm a service. What do I do?
- How do I stop a mobile premium service?
- How long will it take to cancel the service?
- What is a confirmation message?
- What rules apply to mobile premium services?
- How can I complain about someone breaking the rules?
- Where do I go for help if I’m having problems with my mobile premium service?
- How do I block all mobile premium services?
- Quick steps for finding the right helpline for your 19 charges
- Other agencies which may be able to help
Mobile premium services are content information and entertainment services that are delivered to your mobile phone that cost more than a standard SMS.
There are many services you can purchase. These services include:
- mobile ringtones
- mobile wallpaper
- chat services
- age-restricted content
- news, sports and weather updates
- music and video clips.
Mobile premium services, often referred to as premium SMS/MMS, are offered using numbers starting with ‘191’, ‘193’-‘197’ and ‘199’.
Mobile premium services in Australia are usually accessed by entering your phone number into an internet page or sending an SMS to the advertised number, which initiates the service to deliver the content to your mobile phone.
- Call the premium content supplier’s helpline about charges or to stop the service.
- Text ‘STOP’ to the number included in the message or on your bill. You will then receive a message from the content supplier confirming the cancellation of the service.
Check with your mobile phone company whether it can arrange for calls or messages from premium SMS/MMS numbers to be barred from your phone.
If you receive unwanted messages from unknown numbers that advertise a business or service, or invite you to sign up to a subscription, you could be getting ‘spammed’.
Spam is the common term for electronic 'junk mail' – messages sent to a person's mobile phone that they have not consented to receive.
The content of spam messages varies. Some messages promote products or services, while others attempt to trick users into providing bank account or credit card details. Many spam messages contain offensive or fraudulent material.
The Spam Act and Codes of Practice generally prohibits the sending of commercial electronic messages that you haven’t consented to receive. If you think you’ve received spam on your mobile, keep the message and make a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
It is important to know what you are agreeing to before you consent to purchase a mobile premium service on your mobile or a website.
Content suppliers have to set out important terms and conditions of the mobile premium services they are selling in their advertisements. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before purchasing premium services. By agreeing to receive the service, you are agreeing to all the terms and conditions. When you agree to receive a mobile premium service, look for a means by which you can ‘opt out’ of receiving marketing messages in the future.
The terms and conditions will tell you:
- The cost of the service that will indicate how much each SMS message you send or receive will cost you
- The frequency of the service that will tell you how often you will receive SMS messages or downloads. If it is a one-off service you will get one download, but if it is a subscription you may receive regular downloads
- How to cancel the service - You can SMS ‘STOP’ to the number sending you the services. The terms and conditions should make this clear and should provide the number that you need to send to SMS ‘STOP’ to end the service
- Who you can contact if you are having any problems or have questions
When you sign up for mobile premium service you are agreeing to all of the terms and conditions. If you are not comfortable with any particular conditions, think carefully about whether to agree to receive the service.
If you want the service, reply to confirm. If you do not want the service, ignore the message.
Under the mobile premium services Code content suppliers require customers to confirm their requests for subscriptions or ongoing mobile premium services .
You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting ‘STOP’ to the number that sends you the service, on a reminder message or on your phone bill.
Once you have sent a ‘STOP’ text message, you will not be charged for any more services from that number. It can take up to 1 business day for the provider to process your request. You should receive confirmation from the content supplier once your service has been cancelled.
A confirmation message contains useful information about the service, including the cost of the service and a helpline number.
If you agree to receive a mobile premium service, it is a good idea to keep the confirmation message so you know where to go for help if issues arise.
Mobile premium services which use numbers with the prefixes 191, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197 and 199 are subject to a code of practice called the Mobile Premium Services Code C637:2011. This code was developed by Communications Alliance Ltd and registered by the ACMA.
For more information on the mobile premium services Code you can access the Communications Alliance website at www.commsalliance.com.au
If you have a complaint about a mobile premium service you should contact the content supplier in the first instance.
The content supplier has an obligation under the Code to resolve a complaint and to refer the customer to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) if the customer is not satisfied with the supplier’s response.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has a monitoring and enforcement role and can direct any participant in the telecommunications industry that is breaching the code to comply with it.
If you have problems with your service, including unsubscribing, you should try to resolve the problem with the content supplier by calling the helpline number provided in the original confirmation message or on your bill.
If you no longer wish to receive charges for any premium SMS or MMS – and are happy not to use any of the services that are available via premium SMS or MMS – from July 2010 you can contact your phone company to request premium SMS and MMS barring.
This will prevent any further charges from all premium SMS and MMS services and prevent access to premium SMS and MMS services.
If you don’t want to block all premium SMS and MMS, and just want to stop a particular service you are receiving, reply “STOP” to a message from each service you don’t want.
If you continue to receive marketing messages for services you haven’t requested, even if they are free, they may be spam. You can report spam on your mobile phone to the ACMA.
- First, check your phone messages. The free or local call helpline number should be in any subscription confirmation messages, reminder messages, or expenditure update messages.
- If you don’t have any of these, look up the 19 number from your bill. If you don’t receive itemised bills, contact your phone company (the organisation you pay your bills to), and ask them for details of any charges coming from numbers starting with ‘19’.
- When you know what number the charges are coming from, look them up at www.19sms.com.au.
- Type the number into the ‘19 service finder’, add the date you were charged, and submit.
- The results will tell you about the service, but most importantly will tell you the helpline number to contact the content supplier on for help or to cancel the service.
If you have not been able to resolve the problem with the supplier of your service, you should then contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058 or visit www.tio.com.au.
Problems with advertisements for premium services
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
If you think an advertisement might be misleading, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502 or visit www.accc.gov.au.
Problems with content of message
Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA)
If you have concerns about inappropriate or offensive content in a premium SMS message, you can make a complaint to the ACMA through its online complaints facility at www.acma.gov.au/hotline
Problems with SPAM
Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA)
If you are receiving unwanted messages, you can make a complaint to the ACMA through its online complaints facility