Premium SMS

Mobile Premium Services or 19 SMS Services are information and entertainment services that deliver various forms of content to your mobile phone. These services are created by a content supplier and delivered over your mobile service provider’s network. They are called ‘Mobile Premium Services’ because you buy them using your mobile phone, you receive them on your mobile phone, and you will be charged a premium cost for them.

NOTE: 19 SMS services are more likely than not to be subscription services. Whenever you are buying content using a 19 number – such as a ringtone – you will in all likelihood be signing up to receive more than one and to pay for more than one.

What is a Mobile Premium or 19 SMS Service?

Mobile Premium Services or 19 SMS Services are information and entertainment services that deliver various forms of content to your mobile phone. These services are created by a content supplier and delivered over your mobile service provider’s network. They are called ‘Mobile Premium Services’ because you buy them using your mobile phone, you receive them on your mobile phone, and you will be charged a premium cost for them.

19 SMS Services in Australia are typically accessed via a call or SMS to a 6 or 8 digit number starting with ’19’, which initiates the service, which then in turn delivers the premium content to your mobile phone. There are many fun, informative, and entertaining services you can purchase via sending an SMS message to a 19 number such as:

  • Mobile ringtones
  • Mobile wallpaper
  • Games capable of being played on mobile telephones and other downloads
  • Chat services
  • Competitions
  • Voting
  • Horoscopes
  • Age-restricted content
  • News, sports and weather updates
  • Music video clips
  • HSC results
  • IQ tests
  • Directory services
  • Financial data

NOTE: 19 SMS services are more likely than not to be subscription services. Whenever you are buying content using a 19 number – such as a ringtone – you will in all likelihood be signing up to receive more than one and to pay for more than one.

How Do I Get A 19 SMS Service?

19 SMS Services are typically advertised via the following mediums:

  • Television
  • Online
  • Magazines
  • SMS
  • IVR
  • Scratch Cards

In order to access a 19 SMS service you will be required to ‘Opt-in’ in response to an advertisement. The Opt-In model requires you to make a positive expression of consent before 19 SMS services are made available to you.

An Opt-in is typically initiated in three different ways:

  1. SMS – you respond to a product offer received on your mobile phone or seen on a TV advertisement by texting a keyword to a designated 6-8 digit number starting with ’19’. Online – your mobile number is entered in an online advertisement IVR – you respond to a voice prompt in an automated recorded message received on your mobil
  2. Online – your mobile number is entered in an online advertisement
  3. IVR – you respond to a voice prompt in an automated recorded message received on your mobile

In the case of Online and IVR based subscriptions, you will also be required to re-confirm your consent by responding to a subscription confirmation message that you will receive on your mobile handset. This ensures that consent is received by the actual owner of the mobile phone.You should also check that your handset is compatible for receiving Premium SMS or MMS messages.

How Do I Subscribe?

Before subscribing to a 19 SMS Service, it is crucial that you confirm the following details BEFORE you agree to opt-in.

  • Check what it is that you are purchasing. Is it a subscription or a once off transaction? (Note: Most 19 SMS Services are subscription services)
  • Check that the cost is clearly displayed in the advertisement
  • Check the frequency of billing
  • Check that a Customer Helpline is clearly indicated
  • Check that a means of unsubscribing (opting out) is clearly indicated.

It is important that you do not delete any messages received from the premium service provider once you have subscribed. The detail contained in these messages will assist you should you have any subsequent queries.

How Do I Pay For A 19 SMS Service?

Charges for 19 SMS Services will appear on your normal mobile phone bill as issued by your mobile service provider.

When viewing your bill:

  • Check that the itemised transactions match the content which you have received
  • Check that the 19 Number of the service/s that you have accessed is clearly indicated
  • Check that a Helpline number has been provided.

Note: Charges for 19 SMS services accessed using a pre-paid mobile will be deducted from your pre-paid balance.

How Do I Stop My Subscription?

If you wish to Opt-out, or unsubscribe from a 19 SMS Subscription Service, all you need to do is to SMS the word ‘STOP’ to the specified 19 number.

​There are NO MINIMUM CONTRACT PERIODS for SMS Services, meaning that you will not be required to pay any ongoing or contract termination charges from the point at which you have sent STOP. You should also be removed from the marketing database for that particular service.

How Do I Get Help?

  1. Should you have issues with your service, or are having trouble unsubscribing, then you should call the provider of the services using the Helpline number provided in the subscription confirmation message and /or on your bill, quoting your mobile number and the 19 number of that particular service. Remember, if you have received content from more than one 19 shortcode, you may need to call more than one customer care number.
  2. If you cannot locate the Helpline details, the provider’s details can be accessed via the 19 Service Finder provided on the right side bar of this site.
  3. If your query or request for help has not been addressed, then call your Mobile Service Provider (the company that issues your bills).
  4. If still unsuccessful, please call the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on 1800 062 058

Dealing with a ‘Scam’

Unfortunately there are also scams which may trick you into sending an SMS to a 19 number in the expectation that you will be buying a bona fide 19 SMS service. A scam can be identified by the fact that you were never asked to confirm your intention to subscribe to the service.

​If you feel that you may have fallen victim to a scam please report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) www.accc.gov.au or 1300 302 502.

​More information about scams is available at www.scamwatch.gov.au

​Dealing with ‘SPAM’

If you receive an unsolicited SMS that advertises a service, or invites you to subscribe to a service, you may have been spammed. Don’t delete it – report it to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) www.acma.gov.au or 1300 850 115.Please note that Communications Alliance does not deal with specific telecommunications complaints.