We don't want you to get a huge shock from Premium Services charges, so we wanted to explain to you what a Premium Service is. Premium Services may be a reason why some call charges are higher than others.
Premium SMS and MMS are a suite of messaging services including competitions, voting, content subscriptions, chat and dating services that are charged at a premium rate to your Vodafone account. Premium SMS numbers are called shortcodes and they are either 6 digit numbers starting with 191, 193, 194 or 195, or 8 digit numbers starting with 196, 197 or 199.
Services such as Vodafone live! also offer access to premium content. Examples of such services include news updates, sports or weather reports, ringtones, Mobile TV, Music Store, Games, Pics and Clips or wallpapers.
There are a range of ways in which you can be charged for Premium Services, these include -
Flat Rate - this is where you are charged a fixed amount for each TXT or call. For example, you could be charged $5.00 for a ringtone or, if you use a TXT chat service, you could be charged $1.20 for each TXT you send. This can happen when you send a TXT to purchase content and/or reversed billed by the supplier prior to delivery.
Timed Rate - This is where your calls or data services are timed at a rate per minute.
With some calls you won't just pay for the length of the call, you will also be charged a connection fee, called a flagfall. For example, a live chat service may charge you $5.00 a minute, plus flagfall.
When you have purchased a Premium Service, you may also be charged according to the amount of data relevant to the piece of content you download from or via the network.
When you see an ad for a Premium Service always check the costs and understand how charges will apply before making that call or sending that TXT. Also, check if you are entering into a subscription based contract with the supplier (e.g. subscription services incurring periodic charges). The costs for Premium Services must be listed with the number so make sure you check the price first.
The responsibility for your mobile, and the cost of any calls made from your mobile, usually rests with you. This includes Premium Services used by family and friends, even when made without your knowledge. If your phone is lost or stolen you must let Vodafone know straight away, you don't want somebody else racking up your phone bill. Call us on 1800 638 638 and we will protect your account.
There are a number of specific rules that relate to the provision of Premium Services aimed at ensuring that customers are fully informed about the price and content of the services. If these rules have been broken, you may not have to pay for the service. Naturally you aren't liable for charges resulting from a fault or billing error.
One way to stop yourself from getting an unexpected huge bill is to get a prepaid account.
With a prepaid account you are less likely to get yourself into trouble, because you know what you are spending every month.
To manage your Premium Services spend and avoid unexpected high charges, Vodafone recommends the following tips:
Failure to be able to pay a phone bill could result in the restriction of your telephone service and could reduce your ability to obtain credit in the future. With Vodafone you can watch your bill and manage your spend.
Vodafone provides some self service options to enable you to manage your spend. You can check your account balance by:
If you would feel more secure, you can always bar your phone.
You can BAR all Premium SMS and MMS services for free. This means that your mobile account will be barred from sending and receiving Premium SMS and MMS messages and you will not be charged for any of these services. No other services will be affected. We will bar all premium SMS and MMS services from your account within 1 Business Day of receiving your request. For more information about these services visit http://www.vodafone.com.au/psms or call 1555 from your mobile to request to bar or unbar and follow the prompts.
If you have concerns about specific Premium SMS or MMS services, including about charges that appear on your Vodafone bill, you should contact the premium rate service provider operating the service in the first instance. Their contact details can be found at: 19 SMS. You should be aware that sometimes the service provider is not the actual content provider with whom you have an agreement, and they may refer you to a content provider.
If you are unable to resolve your concern with the service provider or the content provider, please call 1555. If we are unable to resolve your concerns you may wish to contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058 or http://www.tio.com.au/, or the ACMA.
If you have questions or concerns about Premium SMS or MMS services generally or about the barring of all Premium SMS or MMS services, you can contact us on 1555, or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or the ACMA using the contact details above.