What are Phone-paid Services

Phone-paid Services are services provided by “third parties” , but charged to your phone bill. If you have a contract phone, charges for these services are added to your monthly bill. If you have a Pay-As-You-Go phone, the charge is deducted from your pre-paid balance.

Some of these services are initiated from the consumer’s phone by either calling a number (like directory enquiry services) or sending a text (for example charity donations).

Other services can be activated while browsing online using mobile data, and it is these services which often cause problems as your network doesn’t hold proof of your consent to the charge.

If you’ve dialled an 09 number, or sent text to a 5 digit shortcode, your network will hold details of the call or text which initiated the charge. If a charge is initiated by clicking a link on a website, your network won’t hold any information about the way in which the charge was incurred, and won’t try to obtain it. If you attempt to query any of these charges, your network will be totally disinterested and will refer you to the “third party” which took your money.

There are multiple parties involved in these charges, with complex relationships between them.

We attempt to explain the way this system works here.

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