ACMA takes on SMS surprises

ACMAOur chums at the Australian Communications and Media Authority recently announced that “new rules to come into effect on 1 July 2010 will give consumers the choice of barring all premium SMS from their mobile phones and thus preventing unwanted premium SMS charges.”

Good for ACMA.

What this means is that you can opt out from premium rate charges altogether. In particular, you can prevent yourself – or someone else, such as a child – from signing up to SMS services which offer you a download now, but for a fee which also commits you, via the small print, to join a subscription service for which you will be billed regularly (often weekly) for a potentially unlimited period.

Even more importantly, this will let you immunise yourself against email-based and web-based signups to SMS-based services which are then billed to your mobile phone. If you have ever been stung by the sort of SMS service which simply doesn’t know how to stop giving (and, of course, billing!) then I suggest you take advantage of this feature when it becomes available.

While you’re about it, consider putting yourself onto ACMA’s Do Not Call Register at the same time.