Have you ever got a shock from your phone bill and the huge charges you’ve accumulated? Maybe you had accidentally gone over your allowance for a month? Or perhaps you are paying the phone bill for someone else and are concerned about their spending habits. The good news is that you are in total control of your mobile phone bill and there are few simple steps that you can take to block these payments altogether.
In this article, we will cover steps on how to block phone bill deposits, marketing messages and calls from pesky casinos. We will also walk you more thorough measures if you are still dissatisfied, such as making a complaint or registering with the Telephone Preference Service.
Feel free to skip ahead to whatever information you need.
Staying Aware of Your Deposit Limits
Before being dramatic and blocking phone bill deposits altogether, you should know that your mobile network provider and payment handlers like Boku already impose strict limits by default. This is to ensure that you are playing within your means and that you can afford your phone bill at the end of the month.
All of these limits are enforced by default under the Payforit scheme, which are the guidelines that underline all phone bill payments. Some of these limits can be changed and some can't depending on where they're being enforced.
What Are My Phone Bill Deposit Limits
- Per Transaction: You can deposit £10 in some place, whereas others allow £30
- Daily: You can deposit £30 per day
- Monthly: limit is automatically set according to your mobile account activity
These amounts may seem rather restrictive, but it suits most casual players nicely. These are only the default deposit limits set by Payforit. Other limits are up to the discretion of the mobile network. Recently, O2 has tightened their limits further, with customers monthly limits now restricted to £30 monthly on their phone bill.
How To Change These Limits
The only place to change your deposit limits is by calling your mobile network provider. This is the company that provides your phone number, such as Three or Vodafone. All mobile networks have a deposit limit set by default, to protect themselves from the risk of payers not being able to cover their end of the month bill.
You can increase your deposit limit by contacting the mobile network provider. You can find the contact numbers below for most of the major networks.
As we mentioned above, some networks like O2 simply won't raise their deposit limits. Mobile payment handlers like Boku, who will handle your payments at most mobile casinos, will always have a £30 daily deposit limit whenever you use their service. While alternative payment handlers have no deposit limits at all.
You can also set a daily deposit limit at online and mobile casinos. Just visit the casino’s banking area or contact customer support. This will ensure that you won’t deposit beyond your means using your mobile or any other banking method. Of course you'll need to raise the maximum deposit limit with your network operator first before you can raise it with you mobile casino.
Going Over Limits But Haven't Increased Them
The limits set by mobile network providers and mobile payment handlers are always £30 a day, standard. You can't go over them and they will only be increased if you call your network to increase them.
If you're going over your deposit limits but haven't changed them, then someone has increased your deposit limit on your behalf. The best thing to do is call your mobile network provider to find out who authorised it and lower it back to normal.
How To Block Phone Bill Depositing
If you want to block phone bill deposits altogether, contact your mobile network provider: O2, Three, EE, Lebara etc. Simply ask them to disable Premium SMS services on your account. You have every right to do this, so after a hopefully short phone call (depending on customer service quality) with their customer service representative, the changes should occur immediately.
Some mobile network providers allow you to block premium messaging on your own, via their own account apps. Vodafone's MyVodafone app allows for this, so you don't even need to call customer service. These options should be found in the account settings of the app, but it differs between networks, so if you have any issues you might just have to contact customer services anyway.
- There should be no charge for blocking or unblocking access to Premium SMS
- You can also refer to Premium SMS as: Premium messaging, Premium Rate Service (PRS) or third-party messaging
Here are some useful contact information:
|Contact Details||App or Website Details|
|More Advice on Three's websiteMy EE on Google Play and iTunes|
|My Vodafone on Google Play, iTunes and Blackberry World|
|My EE on Google Play and iTunes|
|My O2 on Google Play and iTunes|
How To Block Annoying Casino Texts
We know… some mobile casinos send endless text messages. Have you seen our satirical comic strips? Most times,these texts can be useful, offering you news about new promotions and games.
Sadly though, there are many more mobile casinos that are persistent and annoying, spamming you with reminders to return. It's not exactly unexpected but it's an irritation nonetheless.
Whether you want to block annoying casinos, or simply just want some breathing space from texts in general, there are a few ways to disable casino texts. Some allow it the easy way and others the hard way.
The Easy Way – Respond Stop To Text
Most casinos will allow you to disable the service by replying “STOP” or “STOP ALL” to one of the messages. They may even ask you to type “STOP” to another number entirely. These texts will inform you which number to reply to and what to type in order to cease any further texts.
At their best, this is a simple response that takes a few moments and is very appreciated that a casino would relent access to your phone so easily. At its worst, the number they ask you to text back will charge you a small amount. You can avoid this amount by calling their customer service and they'll usually block it their end if you make contact that way.
The Hard Way – Calling Customer Services
The more irritating method is when a casino will only allow you to stop their texts by calling their customer service. This not only takes more time, but costs money and sometimes it'll take several questions as to why you want them to stop sending you texts, before its completed.
Casinos that don't offer the easier option are obliged to give you their customer service number in their texts, in order to stop this.
You can also eliminate all marketing calls by registering your telephone number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). All companies are obliged to check the TPS list before making marketing calls. If a company continues to contact you after you have registered with TPS, you may lodge a complaint at tpsonline.org.uk.
How To Make A Complaint
If you believe that you have been misled by an advertisement or that you were tricked into making a payment via your mobile phone, you may file a complaint with PhonepayPlus. PhonepayPlus are the regulator for all mobile payment and mobile commerce in the UK.
PhonepayPlus will independently assess the situation and order a refund, impose a fine or suspend the service. You can also contact PhonepayPlus for advice on a premium rate service. Remember, you should do only pursue this after contacting your mobile network provider and the mobile casino.
PhonepayPlus is an organisation that regulates Premium Rate Services in the UK. They produce a code that companies and telephone networks must comply with, such as how to advertise and how to operate their services. Premium Rate Services include voice calls, text and multimedia messages to shortcodes (4, 5 or 6-digit numbers), as well as numbers starting with 09. Any of these services should cost 10p or more.
To find out which company is charging you and how to contact them, you may also go to the PhonepayPlus website and enter the number you're receiving any messages and calls from.
PayphonePlus Contact Details
- Phone Number: 0800 500 212 (Free Helpline; open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays)
- Address: FREEPOST RTJJ-RLGS-HRJK, PhonepayPlus, Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, London SE1 2NQ
Complete Self Exclusion
This is a great strategy if you are finding it hard to manage your deposits, be it via mobile or through credit card. All the above options are solid, but there's nothing to be ashamed of if you are simply finding the temptation to much.
Recognizing it is a great first step.
All mobile casinos provide the option of closing your account for a minimum of 6 months or permanently. You can then withdraw all applicable funds from your account, after which your account is closed.
The casino will block you from opening another account during this self-exclusion period. It’s harsh, but it prevents you from giving in to temptation.
Here are 8 tips on how to gamble safely and sensibly at mobile casinos.
Bonus Things To Remember
Here's a few of the extra things to keep in mind while you're trying to block messages or prevent further access to your casino and mobile payments.
There Are No Hidden Charges
You may have received your phone bill and found charges from a company that you’ve never heard of. We can assure you that these hidden charges are not from legitimate mobile casinos.
Casinos that offer deposits via phone bill are governed under the Payforit scheme. The Payforit scheme is regulated by UK mobile network operators and independent organisations such as AIME (an industry trade association), Ofcom (independent regulator for UK communications industry) and PhonepayPlus (organisations that regulate phone-paid services in the UK.) This means that the mobile casinos must obey the terms of their contract.
You can only be held accountable for charges you have agreed to. Standard mobile billing should have no such agreement, so if you see it, you've been ripped off and you should contact Payforit or the UKGC.
Read The Fine Print Before Depositing
On the subject of hidden charges, always check the terms and conditions before making a phone bill deposit, or any mobile payment for that matter! You should also be wary of offers that are too good to be true.
For example, most mobile casinos do not offer bonuses for deposits made via phone bill (SMS). This is because the casinos share a much larger portion of the revenue with the phone network, compared to credit card deposits. There are some casinos that offer welcome bonuses regardless of depositing method, but always check the terms of the casino if you're after welcome bonuses with mobile depositing.
Stay Wary And Check Your Phone Bill
It is also important that you keep an eye on your phone bill whenever it is delivered, so you can spot any charges that don’t seem right. Make sure no one is depositing on your behalf and that you're playing within your budget. It pays to be attentive!
It is easy to keep on top your phone bill deposits these days, with text receipts after each deposit and your monthly phone bill. You may receive your phone bill in the mail, or digitally via the mobile network’s app.
The apps for the biggest mobile networks can be found here. So download yours and stay up to date:
Premium Rate Texts Explained
Depositing by phone bill and SMS is still the safest way to make payments online. You give out no personal information outside of a phone number and you have to confirm every payment you make. This puts mobile depositing leaps and bounds ahead of other depositing methods like e-wallet and credit/debit card.
But as with all things, it can't be perfect all the time. That's why we hope this guide has been helpful in getting you through any rare issues you may have. If you'd like to learn more about phone bill depositing in general, then check out our section of our site dedicated to depositing via phone bill.
Thanks for reading our guide and happy mobile depositing. If you have any further questions or points, then please leave a comment below.