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Making the right call on third party subscription services

Devices

Posted on August 29, 2017

3 min read

We know how frustrating it can be when unexpected third party charges appear on our customers’ mobile bills and we have been working for some time to fix the problem.

Last year we made a number of changes to improve the sign up process, but customers continue to tell us the experience is poor.

We have taken the decision to withdraw support for new third-party content subscriptions.

These charges typically relate to subscription purchases of content like mobile games, apps, and videos which involve recurrent charges on a weekly or monthly basis.

Last year we directed service providers to improve the sign up process for these services by introducing a double opt-in for subscription content purchased when browsing the web on mobile devices.

Telstra was the first telco to require this and the change aligned with the double opt-in process already in place for Premium SMS content. We also set up a team specifically trained to help customers with questions about these services.

While these steps helped, some customers have continued to tell us they receive subscription charges for content that they don’t believe they signed up for, so we have taken this extra step.

This means, from December 3 2017, third party service providers will no longer be permitted to charge new mobile content subscriptions to our customers’ bills. Customers will be free to purchase subscription mobile content using alternative payment methods, however the current arrangement where a customer can elect to purchase a subscription for third-party content and charge it to their Telstra bill, will end.

Customers with existing subscription services can continue to use these and we will continue to support one-off payments like charity donations and voting for TV gameshows.

We expect this action will further help our customers to avoid unexpected charges on their bill.

Tips for managing third-party content purchases on your mobile

  1. Be aware of what you sign up to – always read the terms and conditions to understand any ongoing costs associated with an app download or content service.
  2. If your kids like to play with your smartphone or tablet use parental controls to monitor purchases and access to content.
  3. If you’re not sure about a charge on your bill, contact us on 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’ and we’ll help you.
  4. If you no longer wish to receive a subscription to the third-party content, you can cancel the subscription by texting “STOP” to the number outlined in the confirmation SMS.
  5. You have the option of barring these services from the mobile number(s) on your account. This will restrict future access. You can contact us to set this up. Call 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’.

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