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'19' numbers for mobile premium services

If a phone number starts with 191, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197 or 199, it is a mobile premium service. These services are more expensive than standard calls and text messages.

About mobile premium services

A premium service may be:

  • a single service where you pay once, for example, to enter a competition
  • a subscription, for example, $10 a week to receive ringtones

You will usually find them in ads for services such as:

  • mobile ringtones or wallpaper
  • online games
  • chat services
  • voting by text
  • entering competitions by text
  • horoscopes
  • music and video clips
  • updates on news, sports, weather and finance
  • content for over-18s only

Before you sign up, use Scamwatch to make sure it's not a scam.

The costs of a mobile premium service

The costs vary but if you use a premium mobile service, you could pay:

  • a ‘sign up’ cost for a subscription
  • a fee for every message you receive or send
  • a fee from your telco for the cost of downloading data to access the service

What suppliers have to do

Companies that supply content for '19' services  have to show the terms and conditions in their ads. These help you understand:

  • how much the service costs
  • how often you will receive the content on your mobile
  • how to cancel the service
  • who to contact for any problems or questions
  • what happens to your personal information

Ads for subscriptions or ongoing services must include the word ‘subscription’.

When you sign up, the supplier sends you a message with the cost of the service and a helpline number. You can choose to:

  • reply to their message to confirm you want the service
  • ignore the message if you do not want the service

These are part of the Mobile Premium Services Code that suppliers must follow.

How to stop the service

Cancel the service if you:

  • receive a bill for a service you did not agree to
  • want to stop a subscription you no longer want

Your telco has to stop the service when you ask them to. Follow the instructions in the subscription service on how to cancel. Often you need to text ‘STOP’ to the number in the message or on your bill.

After you send this message, they must:

  • cancel the service and stop charging you
  • reply within 1 business day to confirm they have cancelled the service

If they do not stop, contact your telco and ask them to block premium text numbers.

You telco must help you if you complain about a mobile premium service.

Marketing messages for services you haven’t requested, even if they are free, may be spam. You can complain to us about spam.

Complain about a mobile premium service

Companies that offer mobile premium services must follow the Mobile Premium Services Code.

To complain about a premium service, contact the supplier. If you are not happy with their response, you can complain to the Telecommunications Ombudsman.

Report offensive content to the eSafety Commissioner.

Report ads you think are misleading to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

We are not able to help with individual complaints but we monitor telcos and the companies that supply '19' services. We act if:

  • customers complain that they are receiving spam
  • someone breaks the Mobile Premium Services Code
  • we see ongoing complaints with certain suppliers
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