Premium SMS Ban Prevents Expensive Charges

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The ACMA has issued new rules that will give users the choice of barring all premium SMS from their mobile phones, preventing unwanted premium charges. These rules will come into effect on 1 July 2010.
ACMA’s Chairman, Chris Chapman said, “If you don’t want these services, you can simply contact your phone company and ask for them to be turned off. This will be a great option for parents who want to make sure their kids don’t sign up for something without understanding the charges. And people trying to manage their phone budget can stop premium charges by barring these services from their phone.”

“This is the latest in a package of measures we have put in place so mobile users can feel confident they will only receive and pay for services they actually want,” added Chapman.

The ACMA considers mobile phone companies should also move towards enabling consumers to request quick and easy barring via SMS.

ACMA also said that following the measures introduced last year, complaints to the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman about premium SMS services have decreased by 50 per cent.

“That is a dramatic turnaround. The ACMA expects this trend to continue and will be monitoring the industry closely over the next twelve months to ensure that consumer concerns are being adequately addressed. The ACMA has demonstrated its willingness to pursue, to the full extent of its powers, providers of premium SMS services that repeatedly operate in breach of rules governing these services,” concluded Chapman. 

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