Stopping unsolicited premium rate services

The plight of unsuspecting mobile customers being charged for unsolicited services by third-party content providers is a perennial one (Singtel probes claims over 3rd-party services; June 25).

There are at least two ways for the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the telcos to alleviate the above problem.

First, the premium rate services-barring facility should be activated by default on all mobile lines to block all unsolicited content. Those who wish to subscribe to any third-party content must opt out of the service temporarily, and thus would do so knowingly.

Second, third-party content providers must bill their subscribers directly instead of doing so anonymously (without any company name, address or contact numbers) through the telcos. Subscribers, who have any disputes or grievances, could then take up their cases directly with the third-party content providers, and withhold any payment, if necessary.

I believe that implementing the above proposals would drastically reduce the number of such complaints.

IMDA and the telcos would then save much valuable time to do other more productive work instead of having to investigate these complaints repeatedly.

Ng Chee Kheon