Govt Takes On Shonky SMS Companies

Great to hear that the Federal Government has finally got its act together with regard to companies who sell premium SMS services to consumers.
For far too long some of these operators have gotten away with taking unsuspecting customers for a ride, with some shonky companies charging exorbitant prices for premium services that some people don’t even realise they have signed up for.

From July 1, this is all about to change with some of these companies facing fines up to $250,000 if they don’t follow certain guidelines. Some of these companies are charging up to $5 a minute to use their services.

For those of you who take the moral high ground and use the “well, they signed up for the service,” or “nobody forced them to sign up, pay your bill” arguments, a recent survey found that up to 90 percent of people didn’t even know they had signed up to an agreement. Another 55 percent said they tried to unsubscribe, but either couldn’t, or the attempt to do was so convoluted that they couldn’t see the woods for the trees.

Let’s call a spade a spade. There are operators out there that offer up honest, transparent services. They are not the problem. Unfortunately, there are a group of “entrepreneurs” (and I use the term loosely), whose sole purpose is to try and rip as much of your hard-earned cash away from you as possible, using dubious and nefarious means. And this is who the legislation is aimed at.

Finally, the government has given the Australian Communications and Media Authority the ammunition to fire a broadside at operators that are a blight on the SMS landscape.