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Paying for extras

Talk: having the conversation

Make sure your child knows what they have to spend and what will cost extra. You could compare it to pocket money to help them understand. Or they could visit Phonebrain, the Phone-paid Services Authority website for young people.

Explore: understanding extra charges

Extra charges on your bill can come from lots of different things, including:

  • premium calls and messages. For example, if you voted on a TV show, entered a competition or called a number starting with 09, 118, 0871, 0872 or 0873. These numbers usually charge a premium rate, and aren't included in your minutes or messages allowance.
  • text services. If you text a five or six digit number to enter a competition, give to charity or download a game it will be charged at a premium rate.

    • subscribing to a text or picture message service. They'll charge you for each message they send.

  • in-app purchases. Some apps charge you to open new levels, get more accessories or in-app currency, like gems. Even apps that are free to download can do this.

To find out more about what might be added to your bill, check out the Phone-paid Services Authority website.

Agree: setting the ground rules

Ask your kids to always check with you before entering competitions or paying for anything on their mobile.

Manage: taking control

If you share your phone or tablet with your child, make sure you keep your passwords secret. That way, they'll have to ask you first if they want to download or buy anything. You can turn off, or set a password for, in-app purchases.

If you're with O2 you can block premium rate calls. Call 202 if you're on Pay Monthly, or 4445 if you're on Pay As You Go, to speak to our team. Or give us a call if you're being charged for receiving texts, but you don't know where they're coming from.

To stop a subscription-based service, reply to one of the texts with STOP or STOP ALL. If that doesn't work, you might need to send STOP and then the name of the service.

For more help, call our helpline on 0808 808 5002, speak to an O2 Guru or head to the Phone-paid Services Authority website.

The children pictured are models. Photography by Tom Hull.