Feeds

Vodafone fesses to premium rate SMS overcharging

Txt 0907 RIP OFF

Seven Steps to Software Security

Vodafone has been charging its pay as you go customers an extra 12p for texting premium rate numbers.

Customers are usually charged 12p for the delivery of the message, and then the premium rate charge. However, it seems the mobile operator has been tagging on an extra 12p.

The overbilling came to light when a customer complained to an aggregator after noticing the SNAFU.

A Vodafone statement said: "Vodafone can confirm a charging issue affecting a number of our pay as you talk customers using premium rate SMS services. The issue continues to be investigated."

Vodafone could have been netting about £360,000 per week through the overbilling, if it affected all its premium rate SMS', less if it's only hit PAYG customers.

The question now is whether ICSTIS will come to the rescue.

The premium rate services regulator is geared more towards aggregators than the networks themselves, so if Vodafone is misbilling it may well get away with it, or be given the chance to rectify the situation.

An aggregator misbilling would inevitably lead to a fine, or worse.

Vodafone could, of course, remedy the situation and go through all its billing records and credit customers who have been overcharged. Whether it will or not is another matter.

The aggregators and content providers who utilise premium rate SMS may be unwilling to help sort out the situation, even though it's their customers who will be complaining. They do have a point as usually they are the first to get the "finger pointed at" and have to sort out billing issues very rapidly or get cut off from the networks - Vodafone is unlikely to cut itself off or stop providing premium rate short codes as they are hefty revenue generators - even more so it now seems. ®

Related articles

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.