Telstra is dropping third party mobile billing

Alex Kidman 29 August 2017 NEWS

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Wave goodbye to recurring third party charges on your Telstra mobile bill.

When you sign up for a Telstra Mobile Phone contract, there's typically a monthly charge involved, whether you opt for a Telstra SIM-only contract or a phone plan with a handset bundled as part of the deal. That figure typically represents the minimum you'll pay each month, with additional potential charges for excess data use, roaming and certain call types also added on depending on your usage.

One pain point for many customers has been in the area of third party billing, a feature that Telstra has supported for numerous mobile services that (in theory) simplifies your billing by allowing you to add the cost of a third party service, such as music streaming, to your Telstra Bill. However, the flip side of that is that if you do sign up for a service and forget about it or rarely use it, you're paying that subscription price each and every month. It can sometimes be a contentious issue as to whether you actually agreed to a service subscription in the first place.

Telstra states that it's received significant customer feedback to suggest that third party billing may be occurring for services that customers believe they've never signed up for, so in response it's announced that it will be ceasing support for new third party billing arrangements from 3 December 2017.

After that date, customers will not have the option to add a third party billed service, no matter what it is, to their Telstra bill. Telstra's blog post on the change states that

Customers will be free to purchase subscription mobile content using alternative payment methods, however the current arrangement where a customer can elect to purchase a subscription for third-party content and charge it to their Telstra bill, will end.

If you're already subscribed to a service applied to your Telstra bill it should be business as usual, with Telstra's announcement stating that "Customers with existing subscription services can continue to use these and we will continue to support one-off payments like charity donations and voting for TV gameshows."

Where Telstra itself has a degree of control over the billing experience it will also allow consumers to add services to their Telstra Mobile bill. Telstra's Kevin Teoh told finder.com.au that "Telstra will continue to support charging of subscription content where it directly controls the customer experience, including AFL and NRL Passes. We will also continue to support payment for content offered via the GooglePlay and Windows App Stores."

If you're constantly being hit with expensive premium SMS spam, our guide to how to control and cancel SMS Spam could be very useful for you.

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