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19 Number

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Before you opt-in to any service:
CHECK what you are actually purchasing
CHECK the cost of the service
CHECK if it is a subscription or one-off
CHECK if your phone is compatible
CHECK the terms and conditions
ASK questions if you are unsure
Keep RECORDS of what you opt-in / opt-out for
Text 'STOP' at any time to cancel

19 SMS Useful Definitions

$Msg - if this appears at the beginning of a 19sms message it is an indicator that this message is chargeable.

19 - this is the prefix for a 19 SMS number. Premium rate services are charged at a more expensive rate with services usually costing up to $6.60 per message. There may also be data carriage fees (as determined by your mobile service provider) for downloading content sent to you via WAP push (as described further below).

19 Service Finder - an online tool maintained by Communications Alliance that enables members of the public to look up details of specific 19 numbers.

3G - third generation mobile network - a high bandwidth means a 3G phone has more memory, can use WAP sites faster and can download more info quickly.

Age restricted content - some 19 SMS services are only for persons aged 18 years of age and over and anyone using them needs to show proof of their age. Phone companies do this in different ways. Some ask for credit cards details or run identity checks. If you are under 18 you must not use these services. Age restricted content services are accessed via numbers prefixed with 195*** and 196* ** **.

Aggregator - an organisation who acts as an intermediary between content providers and carriers, enabling premium content to be delivered across multiple mobile carriers network to their customers.

Barring premium rate - access to 19 SMS numbers can sometimes be barred by asking your mobile service provider for a bar on premium rate SMS. The bill-payer needs to contact the phone company to arrange for this bar to be added or lifted. This means the phone will not allow you to call a premium rate number, ie: all numbers starting with '19'.

Cap - this is another term for a spending limit. Many mobile service providers now place a cap on how much you can spend on premium content per month.

Chat services - describes 19 SMS services which enable two or more people to engage in an ongoing dialogue via SMS. (e.g. dating services, adult chat lines)

Club - this typically means that you will be joining an ongoing subscription service. This type of service is most commonly used for news updates or horoscopes that are updated regularly but can also extend to the provision of actual content such as ringtones and wallpapers. Sending a STOP SMS to the content provider is required to remove your mobile number from the subscription service.

Content Provider - the actual provider of the 19 SMS service and the owner of the short code to which you may have subscribed. The content provider should be your first point of contact should you have any queries relating to your service.

Contract Period - 19 SMS services in Australia have NO MINIMUM CONTRACT PERIOD, meaning that you can remove yourself from a subscription service simply by texting STOP to the appropriate short code AT ANY TIME. You will not be penalised or forced to pay an early termination fee.

Data Carriage Charges - these are the charges as stipulated by your mobile service provider which are applicable when sending SMS messages or downloading content. These charges apply on top of any subscription fees that you may incur as a result of accessing mobile premium services. Many mobile service providers provide data plans as part of their mobile service offerings.

FreeMsg - if this appears at the beginning of a 19sms message it is an indicator that this message is not chargeable.

MMS - stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. These allow you to send or receive pictures, videos and emails from your mobile phone.

Mobile Carrier - the company that provides your mobile phone service and whom bills you for all mobile related charges, including those relating to 19 SMS services.

Mobile Internet - a service that allows you to browse the internet and access emails whilst away from your PC. As long as you have a compatible mobile handset and a phone plan including internet access, you'll be able to access the internet from your mobile phone.

MO (Mobile Originating) - any correspondence or content that originates from your mobile phone, e.g. outgoing SMS messages.

MT (Mobile Terminating) - any correspondence or content that terminates on your mobile phone (e.g. incoming SMS or MMS).

Opt in - this describes the action of joining a premium content subscription service. This can be initiated via an SMS sent from your mobile handset, by responding to an IVR, or via text input over the internet. In all cases confirmation of your subscription will also be required via your mobile handset (NB: Before you Opt in you should be made aware of the charging structure, the service's customer helpline and how to Opt-out (see below).

Opt out - this describes the action of unsubscribing from a 19 SMS subscription service, which can be requested by texting STOP to the relevant short code AT ANY TIME.

Participation TV - sometimes referred to as Quiz TV. Television shows run competitions or quizzes which require viewers to vote or answer questions via their mobile phone. The voting text is initiated by the viewer and charged at a premium rate.

Pre-paid - under this scenario you top up your mobile phone service with a stipulated amount prior to accessing any content or making any calls. Once the credit is run down you will not have access to these services until such time that you replenish the account. The advantages of pre-paid is that you are able to control the amount you spend.

Scam - a term used to describe a service providing misleading information as to its intent, e.g. correspondence purporting to be from overseas banks advising you of an opportunity, or advising that you have won a competition that you cannot recall entering. Any suspected scams should be referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC). More information about scams is available at

Short code - a 6 to 8 digit code starting with '19' that you can text to order a Mobile Premium SMS and MMS service. Also referred to as the Premium SMS or MMS 'number' or 19 number.

SMS (Short Message Service) - a text message.

SPAM - the term used to describe unsolicited electronic messages which are usually transmitted by automated means to a large number of random phone numbers. The manner in which SPAM is sent usually disguises the sending party and often there is no means by which you can reply to the message. Any suspected examples of SPAM should be referred to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

STOP command - texting this command back to the short code/ 19 SMS number to which you originally subscribed will automatically unsubscribe you from the 19 SMS service. Sometimes you may have to text 'STOP' to a different 19 number. The STOP command should be acted upon within 10 minutes, but no longer than one business day from receipt of the request. From that point you should not be charged for any content apart from that for which you may have already paid.

Subscription - a 19 SMS Service that delivers material to a Customer on an ongoing or periodic basis, with associated ongoing charges.

Terms & Conditions - often referred to as the 'fine print' at the bottom of any commercial message or advertisement. Details of what you have purchased, the associated charges, frequency of billing and the means for unsubscribing should be contained with the Terms and Conditions.

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) - a technology that allows you to access the internet via your mobile handset.

WAP push - a text message containing a website link. Clicking on the link will lead you to the website. Compatibility of the mobile handset needs to be verified before accessing content delivered in this way. These messages cannot be directly replied to.