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Parliamentary questions
26 March 2015
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Kay Swinburne (ECR)

 Subject:  Premium-rate text messaging services

Recently, I was contacted by a constituent who had been experiencing significant increases in the cost of their phone bill — they eventually discovered that this increase had occurred because they had been receiving premium-rate text messages, despite, according to my constituent, not having purchased anything from the company sending the messages, nor had they requested their services.

Such premium-rate services often require recipients to unsubscribe if they wish to stop receiving the messages and incurring the associated charges. I share the concerns expressed by my constituent that, unless this requirement to unsubscribe is made clear, consumers and in particular the elderly or children, may incur significant costs without their knowledge.

1. Can the Commission outline what safeguards exist in EU consumer law, if any, to ensure consumers are not misled and do not unknowingly incur charges as a result of premium-rate text messaging services?

2. Can it also confirm if the provision of premium-rate text messaging services is a matter that it has looked into previously, or if it has any plans to examine it in the future?

Last updated: 17 April 2015Legal notice