A

Age verification
Some premium rate services are for people over 18 years of age only so you will need to show proof of your age. Phone companies do this in different ways. Some ask for credit cards details or run identity checks. If you are under 18 years of age, you should not use these services.

Auto-dialler
This is a type of computer software that can automatically dial telephone numbers from your computer when you have dial-up internet access. Some auto-diallers can make your computer switch from the number it is dialling and dial another number, usually one that costs more. This can happen without you knowing about it.

B

Barring/Blocking premium rate calls

Calls to premium rate numbers can be blocked by asking your phone company for a bar on premium rate calls. The bill payer needs to contact the phone company to arrange for this block to be added or lifted. This means your phone will not let you call a premium rate number (that is, a number starting with ‘15’).

C

Call barring
Calls to premium rate numbers can be blocked by asking your phone company for a bar on premium rate calls. The bill payer needs to contact the phone company to arrange for this block to be added or lifted. This means your phone will not let you call a premium rate number (that is, a number starting with ‘15’).

Call TV, sometimes called Quiz TV or Participation TV
These are television programmes which allow viewers at home to play games on screen and call in with their answer to win a prize. You will be charged for doing this and there can be age restrictions (e.g. you must be over 18 years of age) on these services. Make sure you are old enough to enter and be aware of how much it will cost to take part in the service. Remember, even if you don‟t get through to the studio you will still be charged for calling in.

Cap
This is another word for a limit. If you speak to your landline phone company about putting a cap or limit on your bill they will ask you what you want it to be. For example, if your cap is €60, they will contact you when this amount has been reached.

Club
This may mean that you are signing up to a subscription service i.e. this is where you get more than one of whatever you are ordering. For example, with a horoscope service, you may get a new horoscope every day. With a goal alert service, you may get several alerts over a weekend.

Compatibility
If you buy a product for your phone, it needs to be compatible with your phone. So, check the model of your phone before you make a purchase because the product may not work or be viewed but you will still be charged.

ComReg

The premium rate services regulator also known as The Commission for Communications Regulation

D

Dialler
See definition for Auto-Dialler.

Dial-up
Some computers use dial-up (i.e. they work through a telephone line) to get an internet connection.

F

Freephone
These numbers start with 1800 and there is no charge for calling them if you call from a landline (a fixed line phone).

H

Handset
This refers to a mobile phone.

Hands-free
This is an extra attachment for a mobile phone that allows people to chat without holding the handset to an ear.

L

Landline
A traditional fixed line telephone service. This term is used usually to differentiate a fixed line service from a mobile service.

M

MMS
Stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. These allow you to send pictures, videos and emails from your mobile phone.

Mobile
A phone that can be used while you are mobile. Costs for calling from a landline and a mobile are different.

Mobile operator
This is the company who provides a network for a mobile phone (e.g. Vodafone, Meteor, 3 Ireland etc.).

Mobile web
A service that allows you to use the Internet from your mobile phone (subject to network coverage).

O

Operator
This is the company who provides a network for a mobile phone (e.g. Vodafone, Meteor, 3 Ireland etc.) or a landline telephone service (e.g. Eircom, Virgin Media etc.).

Opt-in
Using some services may opt you in (i.e. add your contact details) to a promotional database. If this is the case, the original promotion will advise you of this and provide information on how to opt-out of the database.

Opt-out
If you are receiving free promotional messages, these will contain instructions on how to opt-out. Follow these instructions to remove your details from the promotional database.

Once-Off PRS
A single payment for a PRS, purchased using a mobile handset. It is not a subscription service (a service with a recurring charge) although it usually involves a number of text messages being sent to the consumer’s handset to pay for the service in question e.g. payment for a once-off service that costs €10 may require sending 4 text messages (charged at €2.50 each) to your phone

P

PDA
A Personal Digital Assistant is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. Current PDAs often have the ability to connect to the Internet.

Permission
If you are not paying the phone bill, you need to check with the person who is paying the bill before ordering a Premium Rate Service. If you don’t get permission, don’t call.

Plus any network charges
Different mobile phone companies charge different amounts so it’s best to contact the phone company and check their charges.

Premium rate call barring or bar premium rate
Calls to premium rate numbers can be blocked by asking your phone company for a bar on premium rate calls. The bill payer needs to contact the phone company to arrange for this block to be added or lifted. This means your phone will not let you call a premium rate number (that is, a number starting with ’15’).

Premium rate services
These are goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your mobile phone or landline. Premium rate services typically offer information and entertainment services, which can be accessed through landline phones, mobile phones, fax, interactive digital TV, the Internet or an auto-dialler on a computer.

Pre-pay
This means buying credit so that you can make calls from your phone. Once you have spent all the credit, you must buy more before you can use your phone again.

R

Recurring charges
Costs which come up again and again. Recurring charges are linked to subscription services.

Reverse-billed SMS
a text message that costs money to receive.

Regulator
ComReg is the premium rate services regulator. This means that ComReg polices the content, promotion and operation of all premium rate services to make sure they comply with the rules set out in the Code of Practice for premium rate service providers.

Ringtone
The sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call or text message. You can customise the sound used on your mobile phone.

S

Short code
This is a 5-digit code starting with the number 5 (that is, 5XXXX) that you can text to order a service (such as goal alerts, horoscopes, jokes).

SMS
This means Short Message Service and is a text message.

SPAM
This can be a text message, advertising call or literature that you did not ask for which is sent to your phone, email or home.

STOP command
To unsubscribe from a premium rate subscription service (a service where there is a recurring charge), you can send a text to the short code number for the service. Text just the word STOP. Do not text any other words as this could cause your request to be ignored and may result in you receiving even more texts. Please note that a standard network charge may apply for this text. Once you have texted the word STOP to the sender, you should be unsubscribed within 24 to 48 hours. If you continue to receive messages, please contact ComReg

Subscribe

This is where you agree to avail of a premium rate service.

Subscription
This is where you get more than one of whatever you are ordering. For example, with a horoscope service, you may get a new horoscope every day. With a goal alert service, you may get several alerts over a weekend.

T

Terms & conditions
The boring small print that you might miss is really important because it tells you what you are buying, how much it will cost, how often you will be billed and how to stop a service if you no longer want it.

U

Unsubscribe

If you have joined a subscription service and no longer want to receive it, text STOP to the short code number for the service to unsubscribe (a standard network charge may apply for this text). If texting STOP doesn’t work, contact ComReg.

V

Video calling or “videophone”, or “video conferencing”
Lets two people with 3G video calling phones talk to each other while seeing live video of each other. Some phones with this feature have a camera that moves or swivels, so it can face “in” at the user for video calling, andface “out” for taking photos. Other phones have two cameras – one facing in and one facing out.

VoiP
Voice over Internet Protocol. This allows you to use your computer as a telephone. Calling VoIP to VoIP is free.

W

Wallpaper
The pattern on the screen of your phone. You will get some for free with your hand set and can choose to buy others if you wish.

WAP
This means Wireless Application Protocol and is the technology that brings internet sites to mobile phones.

WAP push
This is a text with a link to a website in it. If you click the link, you get to the website but you may be charged for going onto a WAP site.

WAP billing
If you visit a WAP site, payment may be deducted from your mobile phone bill. Always check to see if you will be charged for accessing a WAP site. This should be clearly stated in any text messages you receive.

Wi-Fi
The name of a wireless technology that lets a computer, mobile phone or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) access the Internet without using cables and plugs. For this to work it needs a Wireless Access Point (WAP).