These services they climb the phone credit quickly and, if we do not intervene in time, they can lead us to have large debts with the telephone operator, to the point of preventing the renewal of the offer chosen for lack of residual credit (even if we make many top-ups).
Let's see together in this guide what these premium subscription services consist of and what we can do to completely block them and cancel the already active subscriptions, making us also give back the money spent.
How to disable premium paid services
To understand how to deal with the problem it is better to know how these paid services work: unfortunately in many cases it is not even our fault, since they can be activated even without us doing anything (in fact they often activate at night while we sleep).
Fortunately they can be deactivated, we can prevent them from activating in the future and we can also get the money back quickly, just act immediately after discovering the stolen goods.
How to recognize the active service
These services operate in a "transparent" way warning the user of the activation of a subscription service via SMS and giving indications, often confused, on how to disable it. In the event of higher costs than usual on the phone bill or if the credit recharged on the SIM runs out very quickly, you should immediately open the SMS list and try to find the one that warns of the activation of a paid service.
The number from which the SMS message originates varies; for safety, better read all the SMS received and check them to find the one to activate the service. In that SMS message there should also be the link to connect to to find the instructions with which deactivate the service and cancel the subscription.
Our advice is never to click on the links received via SMS, especially if they come from unknown sources: there is the risk of activating the service thanks to the link or worse, catching viruses!
Are these services legal?
This type of services, which are real legalized scams, they are activated on the mobile number by clicking on a link on Facebook or an advertisement on the internet, perhaps relating to the download of ringtones, wallpapers, emoticons, psychological tests, funny videos, gossip news, erotic videos or dating services just to give some examples.
The sad thing is that these services not only are considered legal, but are also provided by partner companies of Italian telephone companies and approved by European cell phone operators including WindTre, TIM and Vodafone.
In many cases, it may even happen that the service is activated without clicking anywhere: we wake up one morning and find ourselves with the active subscription; luckily we can intervene quickly and solve the problem once and for all!
How to disable premium paid services
As soon as we realize that the telephone credit has gone down or we have been charged strange costs, it is better to call our operator's telephone assistance immediately.
Below we have collected the telephone numbers of the assistance, to call based on the SIM in our possession:
- TIM: 119
- Vodafone: 190
- WinTre: 159
Alternatively we can access the assistance pages (where there is also a live chat, as in the case of Vodafone) and provide our request from there; support pages can be seen below:
Recently it has become increasingly difficult to speak with a human operator: if the chosen channel invites you to use artificial intelligence or the steps described by the voice guide, we always ask to speak with an operator or a consultant, denying any pre-packaged solution. Fortunately, you can view and disable paid services in the account pages of the various operators. For example, by registering an account on the WindTre site, there is a section to check active subscriptions and deactivate them with a click.
As soon as we get in touch with a human operator we explicitly ask you to disable premium paid services (this is called barring in English) and to deactivate any premium service already active; from now on we will no longer receive any strange SMS messages and premium services cannot be activated even if we want to.
If our credit has dropped due to a premium service, we explicitly ask for a refund of the amount paid: the operator cannot deny it, since it is our right (it is still advisable to act within 14 days of receiving the SMS message of the premium service, even better if in the first 2 hours of activation).
In case of refusal, the official refund request can be made by filling out a form such as that provided by the site Bastabollette, sending it to the registered office of the telephone operator (the addresses are on the Bastabollette.it page).
If the amount spent is high, you can also ask the lawyer to send this letter of protest and refund, bearing in mind that the telephone operator is a partner and accomplice of these premium subscription service companies.
In another article we have seen how disable MobilePay and services Mobando; to deactivate others we can also use the site Disattivati.it.
Fastweb, Iliad or Postemobile are not mentioned: why?
The most attentive will have noticed that, among the operators to whom the premium paid services should be blocked, Fastweb, Iliad, Postemobile, Kena, Ho are missing from the appeal. Mobile and the like.
Virtual operators (also called MVNO) they cannot access the infrastructure that manages premium subscription services on the cellular network, which therefore remain the preserve of those who have their own cellular infrastructure (the main mobile operators).
If we use a virtual operator then these services are not available: they are intrinsically safe even without barring (which in fact is not foreseen by these operators).
If we spent a lot of money with the premium paid services activated via SMS without knowing where or when, it is time to take our phone line back in hand: we call the assistance of the telephone operator, let us reimburse the expense and finally deactivate completely premium services, in our opinion completely useless and harmful (probably also live thanks to the complicity of the operators, who earn something for each premium activation).
If we often receive advertising SMS to activate some offer or for some unwanted service, we can read our guide How to block unwanted advertising text messages on Android and iPhone.
If we receive many calls from call centers and we want to block them permanently, we suggest you read our study Block unwanted commercial calls on landlines and mobile phones.