New consumer protection law for SMS texters

A new law comes into force in Spain today to entitle users to know which texts will be charged at premium rates. The Code of Conduct will require providers of such services to comply with a series of rules to guarantee the rights of users of downloaded content such as games, videos, and tones, and those who send texts to competitions, draws, and radio and TV programmes.

  • Calls to five digit numbers beginning with 25, 27, 29 and 280, assigned to charitable campaigns, will cost no more than 1.2 Euros.
  • Five digit numbers beginning with 35, 37 and 39 will cost between 1.2 and 6 Euros.
  • Six digit numbers beginning with 795, 797 and 799 will have subscription services priced at no more than 1.2 Euros per message received.
  • Six digit numbers beginning with 995, 997 and 999 are assigned to exclusively adult services and will be priced at no more than 6 Euros.

According to the new legislation, chain messages in which two or more consecutive messages must be sent to request a service, and which are subjected to additional tariffs, will be prohibited. Moreover, operators must guarantee their subscribers the right to disconnection, so that the sending of message costing more than a basic SMS, or those to adult sites, can be prevented.

Finally, bills must detail the list of messages sent and received, and operators must themselves confirm by SMS any request for such services, giving the price that will be charged: until a user confirms in reply that they wish to proceed, no instruction will be assumed to have been given.  La Opinion

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