Watchdog offers text service on call chargesIt will reveal costs for premium numbers

01 February 2008

A close-up of someone holding a mobile phone.

You can check premium-rate call costs through a new text messaging service.

By texting the regulator PhonepayPlus you can now find out the costs of services such as ringtones, news alerts, TV phone-ins or interactive competitions - before you pay

It’s hoped that the text system will help people decide whether they want a service, and find out more about the company behind it.

Premium rate numbers start with 09, and can cost up to £1.50 a minute from a landline. Mobile costs can top this.

Premium rate number

To use it, you text the premium rate number or shortcode to 76787 (S-M-S-u-s on a keypad) and PhonepayPlus will reply with the information.

It's also be possible to make a complaint by sending a text.

New service

The new service is charged at your standard network rate and the texts received back will be free. 

PhonepayPlus is charged with protecting consumers from abuse in the premium rate industry; it can investigate service providers.

PhonepayPlus already has a number-checking facility on its website which is used more than 100,000 times each month.