Monday, 28 August 2017 22:04

Telstra to hang up on third-party billing on 3 December

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A senior Telstra official has confirmed that Australia’s largest carrier will cease “third-party billing” on its post-paid accounts by early December this year.

Such billing will cease on Telstra bills, for services such as premium SMS, or expensive ringtone, wallpaper and other services.

The news isn’t on the Telstra Exchange site, and there has been no media release in my inbox, but EFTM and Ausdroid have published stories confirming this move.

Once 3 December rolls around, your post-paid Telstra bill can no longer have third-party bills applied, which will avoid the messiness of strange payments that are difficult to decipher being charged to you.

These third-party services include things like premium SMS, or services that offer you games, wallpapers and ringtones, things which are very easily and inexpensively, if not even freely, accessible online.

What this means is that complicated and distressing third-party changes, some of which are scams, will no longer be Telstra’s problem from 3 December, which will lead those trying to levy these services to get you to pay via Paypal or some other payment mechanism.

Telstra’s director of Consumer Mobiles Kevin Teoh was quoted as stating: “We know how frustrating it can be when unexpected third party charges appear on our customers’ mobile bills and we have been working for some time to fix the problem. Last year we made a number of changes to improve the sign up process, but customers continue to tell us the experience is poor. We have taken the decision to withdraw support for new third-party content subscriptions.”

Telstra has offered these tips on managing third-party services on its bills until 3 December:

  • Be aware of what you sign up to – always read the terms and conditions to understand any ongoing costs associated with an app download or content service.
  • If your kids like to play with your smartphone or tablet use parental controls to monitor purchases and access to content.
  • If you’re not sure about a charge on your bill, contact us on 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’ and we’ll help you.
  • If you no longer wish to receive a subscription to the third-party content, you can cancel the subscription by texting “STOP” to the number outlined in the confirmation SMS.
  • You have the option of barring these services from the mobile number(s) on your account. This will restrict future access. You can contact us to set this up. Call 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’.

Finally, Telstra, if you’re going to issue such news, can you please alert all media outlets the way you normally do? I’m not sure why I have to read about news from you on other sites first – are you having problems with your communications?

If so, maybe Optus can help you? Maybe Vodafone?

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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