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O2 Social Media Team
Posts: 1,256
Registered: ‎27-11-2013

Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

 What is Charge to Mobile?
Charge to Mobile allows you to make digital purchases and charge them to your mobile airtime bill. These could be one-off purchases or a weekly/monthly subscription.

Charge to Mobile is a popular and effective way of paying for a wide range of content, goods and services. These can include music subscriptions, gaming, donations to charity and big brands like Amazon, Spotify, Google and Apple.

Charge to Mobile services will show in the “things I have bought” section of My O2. You will be able to see which third party has charged you and then by using the premium service checker will be able to get the contact details of the third party provider should you wish to further discuss the charges.

 Is Charge to Mobile Safe?
Yes. We only work with partners we trust, and we pre-approve every Charge to Mobile service to ensure they meet industry standards. Our partners are required to carry out thorough due diligence on each merchant, including credit checks. Additionally, we require that each merchant is registered with the Phone-paid Services Authority. We will revoke approval and suspend any service that doesn’t continue to meet these standards. We also review customer feedback relating to these services and act accordingly.

In addition to our two-step customer confirmation process which we already have in place, we have recently introduced an extra layer of protection for our customers in the form of a PIN that is sent to your device, or a text which you need to respond to before any purchase is processed. This will be required any time you purchase a Charge to Mobile service accessed through an online banner or advert. All our partners must implement this payment approval mechanism by 11th May 2019.

 Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – What’s the difference?
Charge to Mobile allows you to make digital purchases and charge them to your mobile airtime bill. These could be one-off purchases or a weekly/monthly subscription. Charge to Mobile services will show in the “things I have bought” section of my O2.

Premium SMS & Premium rate numbers are used by TV shows, quiz companies, chat providers and some websites. They appear on your monthly airtime bills under the “what I’ve used section” then premium SMS – these are charged at a higher rate than a standard text or call.

You will be able to see which third party has charged you and then by using the premium service checker will be able to get the contact details of the third party provider should you wish to further discuss the charges. It’s important to identify which charge you have incurred and follow the correct process:

The short videos below (click the spoiler tag to open) will help you understand the difference

Spoiler

Charge to Mobile ⤵

Premium SMS 

 I never gave you my bank details, how did I get charged?
Purchasing through your mobile is a simple and quick process and it could be if you don’t recognise the charge, that you have purchased something whilst browsing on your phone.  Phone paid services are heavily regulated and we constantly review providers to ensure they are doing enough to let customers know before they commit to a charge.

Before a charge is added to your bill, the companies in question will display:

  1. An initial payment page including the charge cost and subscription details if applicable as well as a link to the terms and conditions, to proceed to the next page you need to click on a button saying Subscribe/Buy Now.
  2. On the second payment page you need to click on a further button to confirm the charge to the mobile. The purchase is then confirmed.

As highlighted in the “Is Charge to Mobile Safe?” section, we have recently introduced an extra layer of protection for our customers in the form of a PIN that is sent to your device, which you need to respond to before any purchase is processed. This will be required any time you activate a Charge to Mobile service accessed through an online banner or advert.

 How do I stop these charges happening?
Customers can opt-out of the Charge to Mobile service by putting a bar on your O2 account which means you’ll be unable to use your monthly phone bill or pre-pay balance as a payment method. To do this, customers need to contact our customer services team and request a bar on their O2 account. You can find out contact info here. Please note: This bar will only apply to Charge to Mobile purchases, and not Premium Services.

Another option you have to get recurring Charge to Mobile payments to stop is to contact the company providing you their service directly. This option will give you the most information and details about what you were charged for, and gives you a chance to speak to someone. However, if you have just changed your mind and want to cancel, you need to text STOP to the 5 digit short code you received in the confirmation message from the company. STOP messages will ensure that all charges from that service will cease and will cost 10p at most.

 Can you refund my charge?
With regards to a refund of charges, this is something that you would need to discuss with the third party providers’. From an O2 perspective the charges on your bill are valid.  Contacting the company directly will give you the most detail about what you were charged for and how the charges were incurred. They will be best placed to deal with any disputes and if they deem appropriate, process any refunds you may be owed.

Are there any safeguards to stop me getting an unexpected high bill from charge to mobile

Yes. Every time you buy something the 3rd party provider of the Charge to Mobile service will always contact you to let you know of any charges. These messages aren't spam – so don’t delete them. They’ll tell you what you’ve bought, how often you’ll be charged and how to stop them if you’ve changed your mind.

You can also keep track of your spending by checking recent charges on My O2 or texting the word BALANCE to 21202. Everything you've bought will show up within 48 hours in the 'Things you've bought' section on your online mobile bill, so don't forget to regularly check that too.

 Is there a limit to how much I can spend on Charge to Mobile?
You should only buy what you can afford to pay for.

If you're on Pay As You Go, you can spend up to the limit of your credit. If you're on Pay Monthly, anything you buy will be added to your monthly bill. The amount you can spend depends on how long you've been a customer, how much you normally spend and if you pay your bill on time.

Some sellers set their own spending limits too.

 I have a Spend Cap on my account- how did this happen?
Spend Caps are great to have however they do not cover all out of bundle services. Charge to Mobile is one of the services excluded from Spend Caps. If you want to ensure Charge to Mobile cannot be used then you will need to request a Charge to Mobile bar to be placed on to your account.

 

 Top Tips

  • Watch what you click on - Be careful of pop-up ads & buttons when browsing the internet. Not everything is free and some purchases can involve recurring charges.
  • Don't ignore texts - 3rd party providers of charge to mobile services will always contact you to inform you of any charges. These messages aren't spam! The message advises you on what you’ve purchased, how often you will be charged and how to stop them if you’ve changed your mind.
  • Contact your mobile network - O2 can bar Charge to Mobile services. Adding a bar will stop any existing recurring charges right now but if you remove the bar at any point, the charges will come back. It’s Always best you still contact the company directly to get these stopped permanently.
  • Treat your phone like a credit card - Your phone bill can be used to pay for things. This can be very convenient; like a donations or music services. But it can lead to extra charges so be aware.
  • Stay informed - Take a look at other content on the PSA website to learn more about Charge to Mobile services and how they work. Knowledge is power!

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Posts: 71,585
Topics: 677
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

Excellent @Chris_K 

I referenced your other 2018 guide charge to mobile Charge to Mobile

in MY new guide here

https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/How-to-Guides/Tips-to-avoid-unexpected-charges-on-your-bill/bc-p/12183...

 

I will ask @Marjo  to change it for this updated one.

Thanks again.

*The Game Is On*


Posts: 10,294
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Kudos: 1,115
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Registered: ‎22-08-2016

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

@Chris_K the Charge to Mobile bar is not available to customers on a business account, like so many other things. So what exactly are we meant to do, apart from be careful what we click on?

 

I am very careful what I click on and prefer to pay for anything I order on line direct rather than adding the charge to my mobile bill. I've been lucky so far in not being caught out. But even the most careful people can be caught. So what are those of us on business accounts to do if Charge to Mobile is not available to us? And why isn't it available?

Lover of all things Samsung. Currently using Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128gb

Posts: 87,588
Topics: 530
Registered: ‎04-04-2012

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

@Glory1 please don't be confused. Charge to mobile and Payforit are completely different things.

Charge to mobile requires a 2 step verification for all transactions so you are very unlikely to get scammed by any charge to mobile fees. Payforit scam can sneak through for any value under £4.50 without any additional verification which is the loophole used by these scammers and are the one to be wary of.

It is these low value Payforit charges that we are challenging O2 over and requesting that they put a customer selectable bar in place. 

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone7 (EE)
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Posts: 10,294
Topics: 83
Kudos: 1,115
Blog Posts: 2
Registered: ‎22-08-2016

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide


@MI5 wrote:

@Glory1 please don't be confused. Charge to mobile and Payforit are completely different things.

Charge to mobile requires a 2 step verification for all transactions so you are very unlikely to get scammed by any charge to mobile fees. Payforit scam can sneak through for any value under £4.50 without any additional verification which is the loophole used by these scammers and are the one to be wary of.

It is these low value Payforit charges that we are challenging O2 over and requesting that they put a customer selectable bar in place. 


Thanks @MI5 I do get the point now. And, as I say personally prefer to pay for things I order on line direct. 

 

I am confusing Charge to Mobile with the Charge Direct to Bill bar which is not available to business customers and would stop the money being taken out of your account by these scammers. My apologies @Chris_K.

Lover of all things Samsung. Currently using Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128gb

Posts: 71,585
Topics: 677
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

@Glory1 

If I could refer you to this guide Guide: Tips to avoid unexpected charges on your bill 

It explains the difference.  innocent wink

*The Game Is On*


Posts: 10,294
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Registered: ‎22-08-2016

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide


@Cleoriff wrote:

@Glory1 

If I could refer you to this guide Guide: Tips to avoid unexpected charges on your bill 

It explains the difference.  innocent wink


Thanks @Cleoriff I always get them confused Handshake

Lover of all things Samsung. Currently using Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128gb

Posts: 71,585
Topics: 677
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide

@Glory1 

Just using an excuse to mention my guide rofl

*The Game Is On*


Posts: 10,294
Topics: 83
Kudos: 1,115
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Registered: ‎22-08-2016

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide


@Cleoriff wrote:

@Glory1 

Just using an excuse to mention my guide rofl


No, I never would have guessed that LOL

Lover of all things Samsung. Currently using Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128gb

O2 Social Media Team
Posts: 1,256
Registered: ‎27-11-2013

Re: Charge to Mobile & Premium SMS – A Community Guide


@MI5 wrote:

@Glory1 please don't be confused. Charge to mobile and Payforit are completely different things.

Charge to mobile requires a 2 step verification for all transactions so you are very unlikely to get scammed by any charge to mobile fees. Payforit scam can sneak through for any value under £4.50 without any additional verification which is the loophole used by these scammers and are the one to be wary of.

It is these low value Payforit charges that we are challenging O2 over and requesting that they put a customer selectable bar in place. 


Hi MI5,

I wanted to clarify and correct a few things...

Payforit isn't a vendor or a seller. Think of it like VISA or Mastercard. Payforit is the set of scheme rules put in place by the Mobile Network operators for merchants to adhere to, for services that UK mobile phone customers pay for through their mobile phone bills.

With the implementation of the new offline verification system (which all our partners must implement by 11th May 2019), all digital payments such signing up for a digital service that charges your mobile bill from a banner or advert - irrespective of the amount - will require customers to verify these by entering a pin or replying to a text with an affirmative action such as responding “yes”, before the payment is processed.

This extra layer of protection should ensure customers don't accidentally sign up to one off purchases or subscription services.

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