31 May 2018
EETT, due to the large increase of complaints lately, regarding Multimedia Information Services (MIS), and in particular, arbitrary charges through 5-digit premium rate numbers, issues the following recommendations for consumers:
- Protect any device connected to the Internet by installing an antivirus program, in case it does not already have one. Also, regularly download updates in order to upgrade your device's security level. Select the program exclusively from official app stores.
- Do not bypass the device's security settings, so that is does not become vulnerable to malicious software. It is noted that the installation of malicious software on mobile devices is often not perceived by the user and involves risks, such as sending messages to premium rate numbers without his/her knowledge.
- Download apps only from official app stores. It is recommended that you read the terms carefully, before granting the application the right to access and use the personal data (such as phone numbers, SMS, photos) stored on your mobile phone.
- Before entering your mobile phone number on websites or in applications in order to subscribe or participate in MIS, carefully read the terms and costs. The same applies to services offered or advertised through electronic and print media.
- Read carefully the terms of the advertisements and check if the service requires subscription or is completed with more than one SMS etc.
- The monthly cost for MIS subscriptions must not exceed €20 per service (number), plus VAT, unless you have chosen a different limit.
- Block either all MIS, or certain number ranges, depending on usage. Contact your mobile operator in order to activate blocking.
- If you find unjustified charges on your mobile phone bill, please contact your mobile operator.
It is reminded that MIS regard voting, competitions, downloading via SMS (e.g. games, ringtones or videos), TV games with participation by telephone, information services (e.g. weather broadcast), astrology/cartomancy, adult services etc. Access to these services is possible through calling or receiving /sending SMS/MMS either to 5-digit numbers (e.g. 14XXX, 190XX-195XX, 54XXX) or 10-digit numbers starting from 901, 909, 806, 812, 825, 875, 190-195 etc. The charge for using the above services is higher than basic services.
EETT checks the compliance level of providers with the relevant regulatory framework. In particular, EETT conducts audits, ex officio or following complaints, and, where necessary, imposes administrative fines in order to protect consumers' rights.