Working out what’s what on your mobile phone bill can often be a bit of a headache. But are you being charged for services you didn’t know you were signed up to?
Which? Money recently received this letter from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous – and the problem they raise will resonate with many:
‘In August, on checking my mobile phone bill, I noticed a premium service called ‘BodyIn8’ had been syphoning about £3 a week from my Vodafone account for months through the Payforit scheme.
‘Vodafone told me to take it up with the company directly, but BodyIn8 outsources its complaints to a third party service, MPS Helpline.
‘It found I’d received a text from Bodyin8 after erroneously clicking on a link which signed me up to the service. I ignored the text, thinking it was spam.
‘Vodafone said it was my responsibility to prevent premium services billing me and MPS did eventually refund me after three hours on the phone.
‘But how can a company charge me for something I never consented to?’
Accidental sign up
Payforit lets people pay for goods or services directly from their phone by either charging it to their bill or deducting it from their prepaid balance.
One of the payment methods is ‘single-click billing’ which automatically subscribes and bills someone if they click a link while browsing on mobile data (not wi-fi).
You should be sent a text asking you to reply with STOP if you want to opt out. If you don’t reply, your consent is implied.
Payforit advises escalating your complaint to your mobile phone provider, while Vodafone says you should contact the premium service provider in the first instance.
While Vodafone didn’t address the poor service you received it did claim that it would ‘aim to do everything possible’ to help customers who fail to get a refund from premium services.
Is it too easy to be signed up to services like BodyIn8 – perhaps even without your knowing it? Do you find mobile phone bills sometimes confusing to understand?