ACMA takes a stand against premium SMS services

From 1 July 2010, consumers will now have the option of barring all premium SMS services from their mobile phones.

According to Chris Chapman, chairman of the Australian Communication and Media Authority, this new service will help prevented unwanted premium SMS charges.

“If you don’t want these services, you can simply contact your phone company and ask for them to be turned off,” he said.

“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.”

The ACMA is currently meeting with mobile phone companies about enabling consumers to request quick and easy barring via SMS.

In other related news, the ACMA has confirmed that complaints about premium SMS services to the Telecommunications Industry ombudsman 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,” he said.

“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.”

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