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Premium texts can be a costly business

THANK you for highlighting the menace of “unwanted premium text messages” and the money being taken from people’s mobile phone accounts.

I am one of the thousands of victims of such behaviour.

After money was taken from my mobile phone account for premium text messages that I had clearly requested not be sent to me, I spent many weeks writing to O2, Comreg, the text company in question and even had the pleasure of being interviewed by RTÉ’s Prime Time.

I got my money back, but the company in question was allowed claim a “computer malfunction” as the reason I sustained the loss of money. There must have been thousands of such “computer malfunctions” during the period in question.

What became clear to me during all of this was that there was no legislation compelling the phone companies (rather than the premium text companies) to request permission from customers before allowing the text companies access to mobile accounts.

No other service provider could get away with telling you at the end of the month that it was adding charges to your monthly bill for goods or services you had not requested and was giving that money to other companies. It begs the question: how much commission do the phone companies receive from the premium text companies?

Recent legislation initiated by Communications Minister Eamon Ryan does nothing to change the behaviour of the phone companies.

Edmund O’Riordan

Cahir

Co Tipperary


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