Mobile Phone out of plan charges (MMS) that are NOT clear or explicit

doddsy1
doddsy1 Posts: 22
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I wanted to raise something that has just come to light and could have been going on for years without me knowing and being charged for.

I was with Three mobile for years and recently left because of the poor signal I had for over a year and despite three admitting there had been an issue for that time, never offered to compensate me despite raising this with the complaints team.

I then moved to Talk mobile and have only been with them 5 days.

I went to pay my three bill and noticed that I was being charged for MMS- Picture messages.

I know I had not sent any and therefore I went through these charges and discovered I was being charged for sending the BBC website links (news articles).

I reviewed the contract and nothing was explicit and therefore checked their internet and again, nothing mentions website links being classed as MMS.

I have complained and they have refunded this amount from this bill. However they did say a website link is classed as an MMS, but unclear why as again not says in their literature/T&C/charges.

I need to check over the years I have been paying picture message charges thinking they were correct and it was because I was in fact sending pictures.

As I have moved to talk mobile, I looked on that bill and I am getting charged for elements not in my “plan” despite only being with them 5 days.

They have charged me for the days I did not activate my sim as the sim arrived on 9th Jan and I asked it to be activated on 17th Jan. They have charged me for this and they have also charged for MMS which apparently if characters in a text are more that 160 you are charged extra.

This wasn’t the case and it must be the website links again.

The reason I am telling you this is I checked both T&Cs I received when I started the contract and none explained these types of charges. You have to actually know what you are looking for in order to search on the internet to find this info.

I find this tactic very deceiving and I believe this shouldn’t be allowed to happen and companies need to be open, honest and transparent straight away of their charges.

It appears to be that they are happy to go into contract with you, by giving you only half of the info and expecting you to find the charge info yourself.

Please can you see if this is normal practice or if this is not as I want to take this forward for others and may take to an ombudsman.

Many thanks


Comments

  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,808
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    Re: MMS, it has always been chargeable, its basically SMS on steroids, which has been replaced to a certain extent with data and the likes of WhatsApp.

    I just dug out a random price list from Three and the MMS charges are listed there, so if you didn't read that and you've only just noticed... sorry.

    As to Talk Mobile - may I refer the honourable poster to https://talkmobile.co.uk/all-plans which I've found in two seconds where it says "Picture messages (MMS up to 300kb) 30p [per message]"  What's classed as MMS is nothing to do with it - that's how you've set your device up.

    Your contract is just how the service runs, there is usually a separate document with all the prices on it.  This may well be referenced in your contract.

    As to the rest of your post, I would simply suggest either change your settings so you don't send MMS messages, or send them on something like WhatsApp where you won't have this problem.  Ombudsman won't be interested if the issue of your own making.
  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,044
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    edited 22 January at 7:36PM
    If I remember correctly I think some people had a similar issue when we moved from the old :  ) to :smile: emoji, in that the message was no longer classed as text, but rather one containing multimedia content. If you are sending a clickable link that might well be happening, if you paste the link as plain text which has to be copied and pasted into a browser it would still be a text. Presumably your tariff specifies a charge for sending mms messages?
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,144
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    MMS and SMS are different and work in completely different ways. 

    It's your phone (or you ) that decides how a message is sent. So this is nothing to do with either network because any Network will charge you for what you do. 

    I think that either you've setup the phone to send messages longer than 160 characters via MMS or you are creating the links in a weird way that means they are not just text. 

    Suppose you are on a website and want to send a link, what exactly do you do?
  • doddsy1
    doddsy1 Posts: 22
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    Thanks for your comments, however the charges I am being sent for are sending links of websites, not sending picture messages

  • TadleyBaggie
    TadleyBaggie Posts: 5,939
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    Whenever I type in a website address, a small thumbnail preview picture of the website is produced. That might explain the MMS usage. 
  • FredTrump
    FredTrump Posts: 321
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    doddsy1 said:
    Thanks for your comments, however the charges I am being sent for are sending links of websites, not sending picture messages

    It's the method of sending i.e. using their MMS servers - not what is sent.
    You could ask the provider to bar outgoing MMS, bar all MMS (incoming & outgoing) or set a zero spending cap.
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,144
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    Probably better for the OP to work out what they've done fir a message to be sent as MMS 
  • mrochester
    mrochester Posts: 1,505
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    IIRC Samsung phones had a tendency to turn what people thought were SMS into MMS without them knowing, and that there was a setting on the phone to switch it off. However this might not be helpful if the OP isn’t using a Samsung phone. 
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,144
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    IIRC Samsung phones had a tendency to turn what people thought were SMS into MMS without them knowing, and that there was a setting on the phone to switch it off. However this might not be helpful if the OP isn’t using a Samsung phone. 
    Not quite, on an Android phone, if you entered text that was too long for an SMS or had a picture then the phone would ask you if you wanted to send an MMS. There was also a setting to turn ON sending by MMS which added a subject line. 

    These were conscious thing you needed to do, but given people's propensity to do things then deny they did, phone manufacturers hid the ability to use MMS deeper in the settings. 

    Similarly, iPhones now hide the option deeper in settings. But I've still seen people with this on that then complain and deny any knowledge. 
  • spud17
    spud17 Posts: 4,390
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    edited 15 February at 8:48PM
    I was caught out when a friend texted me, he uses some sort of Apple messaging which I receive as an SMS, I'm used to WhatsApp for everything, I automatically sent him a couple of pictures of my new kitchen without thinking. 83p/MMS later....
    P.S. I'm use Xiaomi

    Move along, nothing to see.
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