Service SMS messages, liable to a fee and also known as mobile content services, include products such as games, competitions, tests and ringtones. The ordered service will be billed on your normal monthly mobile phone bill.
Normally, ordering a mobile content service requires that you as the phone user are an active participant in the process. You have provided a telephone number or sent a reply to a service provider’s SMS. You may have ordered a service SMS, if you have:
- taken part in an internet competition or raffle, at which time you have given your mobile phone number, or
- completed a test and been requested to give your mobile telephone number in order to receive the results.
Cancelling an order and submitting a complaint about your bill
If you have received a surprising telephone bill due to service SMS messages or your order is not that which was promised follow these instructions:
1. Cancel your order
The instructions for doing so are often on the website of the service provider from which the message came, or in the SMS messages you have received. Normally, an order can be cancelled by sending the word 'STOP' to the number from which the service messages have been sent.
2. Submit a complaint for an unfounded bill
The service provider must be able to prove when and how the order was made and that the order complies with the information provided in its marketing (incl. price and duration).
- If you feel that the ordered service does not comply with that which you have agreed to or that you have been sent an unfounded bill, submit a written complaint to your operator and the service provider on the unfounded portion of the bill.
- You may ask for the order to be annulled if, for example, the information provided in the service’s marketing is at odds with the terms and conditions of the order and the service provider has not corrected this information in a clear manner before the order was made. This includes situations in which a service is marketed as free-of-charge, but proves to be liable to charges.
- If the order is a continuous subscription, the service provider must send the consumer an SMS message that includes the key terms and conditions of the order and the service provider’s contact information before they may activate your order. If you have not confirmed the order by sending an ‘OK’ message, the service provider is not entitled to charge you for the service.
- If you do not know which company provides the service, you may request this information from the operator that bills you. The Ethical Committee for Premium Rate Services (MAPEL) also has information on many service providers. Please see the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority website to confirm who the telephone number is registered to if you know the number from which service messages have been sent.
Complaint form on unfounded billing for mobile content services (Word)
Complaint form on unfounded billing for mobile content services (PDF)
If you do not receive a reply from the company or cannot resolve the matter with the company, do not let the matter rest; act immediately. The Consumer Advisor offers personalised advice, instructions and arbitration assistance.
Consumer advisory services
3. If you do not wish to receive service SMS messages, ask your mobile operator to activate an SMS block for your line. This will restrict text message traffic from your mobile to entertainment numbers and disable the order of applications.