Premium Rate Services (PRS) are goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your landline or mobile phone bill. ComReg is the independent regulator of phone-paid services in Ireland and is responsible for regulating the content and promotion of PRS which cost in excess of 25 cent per call/text.
PRS typically offer information and entertainment services, which can be accessed through landline phones, mobile phones, fax, interactive digital TV or the Internet. PRS are promoted in newspapers and magazines and on television, radio and the Internet.
PRS are provided on premium rate telephone numbers. Premium rate voice services begin with 15XX e.g. 1515 or 1530. There are also premium rate text services which are 5-digit short codes, beginning with the number 5 i.e. 5XXXX.
Charges for PRS vary depending on what service you are using. Some services are much more expensive than others so you need to know the cost of any call or text which you might make. Please be aware that call charges from mobile phones generally cost more. You should check the cost of calling or texting phone-paid / premium rate services from your phone with your own phone company (landline, mobile or cable) as they may also add an additional charge to the advertised rate.
Outlined below are a set of charges which you can expect to incur when you call certain PRS. Note that some services are charged per call and some per minute. Network charges may vary, so contact your landline telephone service provider or mobile network operator to check the charges.
Sending or receiving a text from a PRS (for example, to enter a competition or cast a vote) may cost more than the normal cost of a text message.
The costs also vary depending on the prefix of the five-digit short code number (for example, texts to or from 53XXX could cost up to 80 cent, while there is no limit on the cost of a text to or from 57XXX).
Outlined below are a set of charges which you can expect to receive when you text certain premium rate text services:
If you receive a text message and don't know who it's from, don't delete it. Read it carefully as it may contain important information (such as a helpline number for the company who have sent the message). If the message is from a short code number or mentions the name of the service, please use the service checker on the homepage of this website to find out who the PRS provider is and to get contact details for them.
If the message does not help you to identify the sender, and there is no identifiable short code or service name, call your mobile phone company to see if they can give you any information on the sender and whether it cost you anything to receive the message.
If you were charged for it, and don't think you agreed to receive it, then contact the PRS provider to raise the issue with them. PRS providers are allowed 10 working days to resolve your complaint. Please note that PRS providers are only required to retain their records for a period of six months so if your complaint is older than six months, they may not be in a position to investigate it further.
If, after using the service provider’s complaint procedures, you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with properly or has not been addressed within the 10 working day timeframe, please contact ComReg. You will need the number that the text message came from, the content of the text message and the mobile number used to access the PRS when you make your complaint to ComReg.
If you receive a phone bill listing a call/calls to a premium rate number and don’t recognise the number, please use the service checker on the homepage of this website to find out who the PRS provider is and to get contact details for them. Please lodge a complaint with the PRS provider. If, after using the service provider’s complaint procedures, you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with properly or has not been addressed within the 10 working day timeframe, please contact ComReg - you will need the premium rate number and the phone number used to access the PRS when you make your complaint to ComReg.
If you are receiving texts that invite you to enter a competition or call a number to win, it is likely that these are free promotional messages which will contain instructions on how to opt-out. Follow these instructions to remove your details from the promotional database. It is important that you keep these messages in case you need to make a complaint to ComReg or the Data Protection Commissioner.
To unsubscribe from a premium rate subscription service (a service for which a recurring charge is imposed on an end-user who has subscribed to, and thereby agreed to receive and pay for, such a service), you can send a text to the short code number for the service. Text just the word STOP - the word ‘STOP' is not case sensitive i.e. it does not matter whether it is in capital letters or not. 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 have texted stop without success, ComReg will send a request on your behalf.
If you have deleted the number from whom you have received the text, please contact your mobile network operator to get further information on the number and the PRS provider associated with that number.
Consumers can avail of a facility to block premium rate Short Messaging Services (SMS) text messages and Multimedia Message Services (MMS) from their mobile phone. If you wish to have premium rate SMS text messages and MMS blocked from your mobile phone, the mobile operators eir Mobile, Three and Vodafone provide a barring facility allowing you to bar such services in the short code number ranges 53XXX to 59XXX. If you are with eir Mobile, Three or Vodafone, you will have received a text message earlier this year advising you of this facility and how to avail of it. To avail of the barring option, if you are unsure how, you can contact your mobile operator's customer care to make your request. The barring facility is available free of charge and should be in place no later than 14 days following your request.
Please note that in addition to premium rate subscription services, there are also once-off PRS. These services involve a single payment for a PRS, purchased using a mobile handset, that usually consist of a number of text messages being sent to your 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 mobile phone. As it is a once-off payment, texting STOP is not relevant in this case. If you are unsure whether you have subscribed to a service or made a once-off purchase, please check the text messages that you have received from the PRS provider as these should confirm if it is a subscription or an outright purchase. Also, most subscription services involve a weekly charge so if charges just occur once on your phone bill, it is likely that it is a once-off PRS.
To avoid getting more unwanted texts, try not to give out your phone number to any companies, just give it to friends you know and trust.
You should be able to use premium rate services with confidence. However, if you're having problems with a premium rate service, you need to contact the service provider directly to address the issue.
If, after contacting the premium rate service provider, your issue is not resolved, we’re here to help.
You can contact us either to make a formal complaint or to get advice.
Get in touch with the ComReg Consumer Team in any one of the following ways:
Consumer Line Commission for Communications Regulation One Dockland Central Guild Street Dublin D01 E4X0
* The message will be charged at the standard text rate which is 7 cent – 14 cent depending on the operator. If you have any problems with the service, please let us know at 01 804 9668