Invoicing problems and the operator’s liability for charges in the subscription invoice

You can use your mobile phone to purchase goods and services, the price of which is added to the invoice for your telephone subscription. If there is an error in the invoice or a defect in your purchase, you can complain not only to the vendor or service provider but also to the operator that invoices you.

As a consumer, you have the right to trust that your subscription’s

  • invoicing works properly
  • invoices are clear and understandable
  • invoices contain enough information to check that they are correct.

If you do not use the service very often, the operator may not send you an invoice every month. Operators usually have minimum invoicing limits. If the amount of the invoice does not come up to this limit, they do not send out an invoice, and the unbilled part will be included in the next invoice. If you have received invoices regularly, however, you can contact the operator’s customer service if your invoice appears to be late.

You can usually also find the invoice yourself, for example by logging in to the operator’s website with your credentials or using a mobile application where you can manage your subscription.


The operator must send you an itemised invoice

The operator must itemise your invoice for using the telephone subscription free of charge and without you having to ask for it. Among other things, the itemised invoice must show

  • the basic or monthly subscription fee
  • the shares of calls, text messages and data services
  • additional services charged to the subscription invoice.

The operator is responsible for charges added to the subscription invoice

The operator’s subscription invoice may include charges for goods and services that you have ordered

  • by calling a telephone service that charges an additional fee
  • by sending a message to an SMS service that charges an additional fee, or
  • in a vendor’s or service provider’s online store or app and paid for by mobile payment.

For example, you can contact the operator if

  • the company does not deliver your purchase,
  • you have been invoiced incorrectly for your purchase, or
  • the product has a defect for which the vendor is liable but the vendor refuses to compensate you.

You can also claim compensation from the operator that invoiced you for the purchase.

The operator has a similar liability for these purchases as a credit card company has for purchases paid for with a credit card.

The operator must examine dubious charges

You can also complain to your operator if you do not think you have placed the order shown in the subscription invoice. Your operator has a duty to prove that you placed the order, for example by using log data. The operator must be able to show

  • when and how the order was placed, and
  • which goods or services you were charged for.

Your operator cannot refuse to examine the matter and say, for example, that they are only the middleman or payment intermediary. It is the operator’s duty to find out if the invoice is correct.

If you have not placed the order for which you were charged, you can refuse to pay the part of the subscription invoice that you have questioned. You also do not have to pay any charges if the vendor or service provider did not inform you of them before you placed the order.

If you have already paid the invoice, you can request a refund from your operator later.


Contact your operator about unclear invoices

If you suspect that your invoice is not correct, contact your operator’s customer service. If your complaint to the operator does not bring the result you hoped for, you can contact the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s Consumer Advisory Services. They provide free guidance, instructions and help with mediation if there is a dispute.