Phone rip off that could see you pay £60 for a 10 minute call

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to ripping people off – and it might be affecting you without you even realising it.

Last year nearly 20,000 people made a complaint about a mobile phone issue using Resolver – and numbers are rising.

Enter the great premium phone rate rip off. I’ve been warning about 118 directory enquiries for years now, but I’m still hearing horror stories.

These work by charging not just for making an enquiry, but for the ongoing cost of the call if you agree to be transferred through. You’ll be paying by the minute and the charges can be astronomical. I’ve seen upwards of £60 for a ten-minute phone call.

Next up are premium rate text messages. If you enter one of those ‘text to win’ TV competitions or sign up for a free offer from a firm on the understanding they’ll text you every now and then, you might have unwillingly found yourself being billed a few quid for a load of spam text messages that you don’t want.

Resolver’s tips on how to deal with dodgy firms

  • Don’t ignore your bill: It’s likely that the vast majority of people affected by dodgy phone charges don’t know it. The charges might not stand out if you pay by direct debit and your monthly bill varies. Get into the habit of scanning through your bill and questioning unexpected charges.

  • Set an online password you’ll remember: Lots of us don’t check our bills because we’ve opted for online billing but can’t remember our log in details. Get your mobile provider to resend or reset the information, set a password you’ll remember and check each month.

  • Be a sceptic: Don’t trust ‘text in’ premium rate competition numbers which can ‘mine’ your details. If you want to donate to a charity, check online to find out how you can make a regular payment that you can control.

  • Make a complaint to your mobile phone company: If you explain that you haven’t authorised the payments, the business should block the charges and should consider a refund. If you don’t know how to get started, Resolver can help you for free.

  • Report them: Rubbish service should never be accepted. So, if you’ve been driven mad by a dodgy firm charging your bill, report them to regulator the Phone-paid Services Authority.

Have you been caught out by premium rate phone scam? Get it sorted with Resolver: – and let me know your stories at [email protected].

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