Are you aware that there can be a service charge in your telephone bill referred to as premium rate service (PRS)? A reader wrote in to exclaim her family’s astonishment when they received the charges in their bill.
The bill charged the reader $75 for 15 messages and all the messages were just incoming short messaging service (SMS). They had tried to call up the company, ATLC to waive off the charges but the company refused. Therefore they had to contact StarHub for assistance on the waiver.
After contacting StarHub for clarification on the premium charges charged on the bill, Mr Philemon Foo, Corporate Communications Executive, StarHub writes.
“We would like to share that the standard way PRS (Premium Rate Service) providers operate is for the mobile user to activate or subscribe to the service online or via SMS, before chargeable SMS content is delivered to the user. All PRS providers are required to inform customers on all service charges prior to the confirmation of subscription as well as provide instructions on how to unsubscribe from the service.
Additionally, all PRS services require the user’s acknowledgement prior to any charges, and PRS providers are obligated to produce service activation records when requested. All PRS providers must abide to the obligations defined in IDA’s Code of Practice for Provision of Premium Rate Services. “
Straight after being notified of the experience that the reader have gone through, StarHub’s customer service promptly contacted her and helped to waive off the sum charged under the Premium service in her bill. The reader and her family has all signed up for the PRS barring service from StarHub and SingTel since then.
For StarHub customers who may have concerns about PRS, can consider taking up PRS Barring, a free service that blocks all PRS subscriptions on their mobile lines. Customers would simply need to send an SMS request to StarHub. More information on PRS barring can be found on the company’s website.
As for the two other Telco companies, they too have barring service as well.For Singtel customers, visit the PRS barring service at their website.
And for M1 customers, visit the PRS barring service at their website.
Please be wary in signing up of any notification services, which would likely be charged as premium rate services. It is not guaranteed that such bills can be waived like this instance.