Premium rate SMS services are a waste of money, but many people foolishly or unknowingly sign up for them. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has further tightened the rules regarding these insidious money sinks, which should stop customers being sucked into them.
Under the enhanced regulations, any service must use the word 'subscribe' or 'subscription' in sign-up messages and prominently feature costs near the contact number in advertisements for the service, while carriers must monitor providers on their networks. Reverse-charge services must also advise of the costs associated with a call before charging for it.
The new rules apply from June 1. In the meantime, our advice is simple: just don't use premium SMS services at all. In a smartphone world, who needs them?