The caution comes as Jada Mobile Services is found in major breach of industry codes.The Australian Communications regulator has ordered mobile premium service provider Jada Mobile Services Limited to comply with rules under the Telecommunications Act 1997 or be subject hefty penalties in the Federal Court, it has said.
This comes after the company, which goes under the name ‘Winstuffhere’ and operates a ‘text and win’ trivia subscription, made seven different breaches of the Mobile Premium Services Code, including failing to inform customers of all charges and the contact details of the content provider before supplying its services, and charging fees for a request to stop the service.
“Providing clear and accurate information about the price and ensuring that consumers be given information about who to contact if they have questions about a service are fundamental requirements of the code,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
Users of the services should exercise strict caution when using such text services and check the full cost of the services, which usually start with the digits 19, prior to subscription and avoid signing up if pricing info is hazy.
They should also record the number customer helpline number and reply ‘STOP’ if they wish to terminate the service.
Jada’s service operates under the number 1977 7700, according to the report filed by the regulator.
Consumers can also permanently block these services if they no longer wish to access or receive any mobile premium SMS or MMS by contacting their phone company, the ACMA says.
A shocking 40 percent of mobile users reported receiving an unrequested premium SMS or MMS message in the past three months, with almost one third having difficulty cancelling the unsolicited service.
“Many people will receive new mobile phones as Christmas gifts. Consumers are advised to be extra cautious when using premium SMS services during the holiday period,” said Mr Chapman.
Several other companies have also been found in breach in recent months, including Storacall’s TexTalk subscription service, Optus SMS Cosmo Optus Store Locator service as was Nine Network and AO Australia Online.
Information for consumers about mobile premium services is also available online from the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.