Everything consumers should know about Premium SMS

Have you ever seen Premium SMS offered as a payment option but you weren’t sure what it was and how it worked? We will tell you everything you need to know about it.

 What is Premium SMS?

In a nutshell, it is a way to pay for goods and services by sending a text message to the provider of that service. The provider will then deduct the money from the sender’s airtime (if you are on pay-as-you-go) or from your mobile bill (if you have a phone contract.)

The message will look something like this: “To enter our competition, text your name to 12345.” The phone number will usually be very short.

What kind of services is it used for?

Currently, it is being used to pay for virtual goods (entertainment and for your phone or computer. Like ringtones, games, wallpapers, chat services, competition entries, voting, and various mobile applications.

What will it cost?

The goods/ services are usually inexpensive – most likely because consumers feel safer transferring a few bucks opposed to hundreds of bucks. Also, should something go wrong with the transfer, the consumer won’t lose too much money in the process.

The rate of the Premium SMS service will depend on the provider.

It is important to look at the terms and conditions of the service before you send your SMS. Consumers often make the mistake in thinking that they are doing a once-off payment, but in the meantime they have signed up for a weekly/ monthly deduction.

How do I cancel my Premium SMS subscription?

The provider is required by law to offer an easy opt-out service by texting the word “no” or “stop” to a provided number

What if I didn’t subscribe in the first place?

You have to opt-in to make use of this kind of service; a provider can’t simply start sending you products or deduct money from your phone without your consent. If you are experiencing something like this, you can lodge a complaint at WASPA.

So you see, Premium SMS is a simple and great way to pay for the things that you want. Don’t be afraid to use it!

Herman Cremer
A seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in digital & mobile solutions and advertising.


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