Paid services, the AGCOM procedure to deactivate them

The Italian Communications Authority offers two tools to combat paid services on mobile. Here's what they are and how they work

Value-added services are the nightmare of anyone with at least one cell phone card. Better known as paid services, these are those subscriptions, often activated at random, linked to services such as online games, live news, horoscopes, gossip, viral videos, ringtones and more.

So, without even realizing it, you find yourself with one or more weekly subscriptions activated on your cell phone and with the remaining credit on the SIM rapidly running out. Just to counter this phenomenon, the Guarantor Authority for Communications has developed tools, now in the experimental phase, allowing users to disable paid services on the smartphone and, simultaneously, ask for reimbursement for the incorrect activation of value-added services. An experimentation that, commented AGCOM, has brought "very positive" results.

What are the tools of AGCOM

Since November 2017, the Guarantor Authority has begun to activate services aimed at mobile users ended up, despite themselves, in the Dantean circle of paid services. The first, and most used, is a toll-free number that allows you to deactivate VAS services in a few seconds: the user must call 800.44.22.99, follow the instructions of the recorded voice and request deactivation. At the same time, he will also be able to ask to speak with the customer service of his telephone operator and ask for a refund for services activated erroneously or because he is the victim of a fraudulent operation.

Since April 2018, the email box [email protected] has been active, in which to report critical issues found on the acquisition of consent, the correct functioning of the toll-free number and the process of deactivation of the premium service.

AGCOM tools against paid services: the results

Since its activation, the Single Call Center created and managed by AGCOM has handled thousands of calls every day, with an average increase in reports in the order of 10% per month. "The Single Call Center - explained AGCOM to Libero Tecnologia - thanks to its ease of use, has become more and more the reference tool of the market for the deactivation of premium services. Its effectiveness is detectable by the fact that only 5% of users have requested to be put in touch with an operator in voice for further investigation".

Good results also for the email box that, however, is used only in case of extreme need by users. "From November 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 have received about 210 reports through the so-called Models D and through PEC and about 300 reports to the dedicated box [email protected]¬†- numbers AGCOM - All reports received by the Authority, through the channels mentioned above, have been analyzed by the Offices and have been transmitted to the operators for appropriate evaluations, requesting the same to provide feedback on the outcome of the verifications carried out."