We’ve been reviewing Third Party content charges that were billed to our customers’ under our Premium Direct Billing (PDB) service.
We no longer offer PDB as a payment option for third party digital content, however our investigation shows that some customers experienced issues when trying to unsubscribe/opt-out of being billed for these services.
What is Premium Direct Billing?
Premium Direct Billing (PDB) was a payment option that allowed customers to subscribe online to third party content like apps, games, ringtones, wallpapers, music and videos from other companies for use on mobile phones or tablets. The charges were added to the customers Telstra bill. Many PDB services are subscription services which involve recurring charges on a weekly or monthly basis. There may also be one-off charges such as voting competition charges.
Telstra ceased its PDB service from 3 March 2018.
It is different to Premium SMS services to which the customer subscribes by sending an SMS.
Will all content be affected? No. This change only impacts some 3rd party (non-Telstra) services and subscriptions. The following Telstra content will be unaffected, and will continue to be charged to your Post-Paid Telstra bill, or debited from your Pre-Paid credit balance as normal:
Apple App Store
Google Play (post-paid customers only)
Telstra Mobile Fun
Telstra reverse call
Premium SMS Content
Other Telstra content
How did charges appear on my Post-Paid bill?
Telstra billed Premium Direct Billing charges on behalf of content service providers. If you subscribed to a service online by selecting a purchase now button and for services purchased after June 2016, accepting the service provider’s conditions and charges, those charges were billed on your Telstra mobile phone account.
If customers saw additional charges on their Post-Paid bill (under Third Party/Separate Purchases), or had money debited from Pre-Paid accounts, it meant Telstra has paid the content provider on the customers behalf then recovered the cost on their mobile bill. Not all third party charges were impacted by this issue. Only Premium Direct Billing charges were impacted.
Has this issue been fixed?
Telstra took a number of steps to improve the customer experience: two years ago we introduced double opt in for these services and last year, we stopped selling new services. From 3 March, we have completely exited these services.
Why has it taken you so long to identify this issue?
We have taken a number of steps to improve the customer experience over the years, including double opt in. Last year we also stopped allowing new subscriptions to be billed under this service. From 3 March we completely exited these PDB services.
How do you know that this error is limited to this particular issue and no other examples of incorrect charges?
We’ve undertaken extensive analysis and put controls in place to ensure that the procedures for determining impacted customers are correct.
How much is my refund?
Your refund amount would have been provided to you when you contacted you by either SMS or email.
How was my refund calculated?
We’ve looked back at the Premium Direct Billing charges on your previous bills from the start of this issue, plus looked into your account details to see if there was an opt-out or barring request made by you and reviewed charges that followed. If there was any charges that we believed should not have been listed on your bill we’ve collated them all and calculated a total refund owing. The calculations were performed by our billing experts and we’re confident the refund amount is accurate.
Idon’t think my refund amount is correct. What should I do?
We’ve carefully reviewed your records and calculated your refund amount as a result of that process. However, if you have any additional disputes related to PDB charging, we can investigate further if you’d like to contact us on the numbers listed below.
For more information contact us on 1800 007 413 (Prepaid customers), 1800 007 763 (consumer customers) or 1800 007 830 (Business customers) we’re available 7 days week between 8am - 9pm (AEST).