Managing your shortcode charges

Noticed a charge on your mobile bill you’re not too sure about? Here’s how you can find out what those charges are and where they’ve come from.

 

 

 


What is a shortcode?

You may have seen a shortcode charge appear on your phone bill. These codes refer to a service or company you have given money to, such as a charity donation or a TV phone vote. They are usually 5 or 7 digits long and will show up on your bill as the number you texted or dialled followed by the charge.

These services can be activated by sending a text message to a 5-digit number with a specific keyword, sending a request to a website or calling from your mobile.

There are two main types of shortcode charges.

  • One-off service – these include charity donations and voting by text during TV shows like The X Factor. These are one-off charges and the cost of these messages will be displayed during the show or charity campaign.
  • Subscription services – these include gambling, news and sports updates or games. Subscription services generally run for an extended period of time, only stopping when you inform the company that you want them to stop.
     

How can I find specific shortcodes?

If you want to find what a specific shortcode relates to, you can search for it on our PDF list.


How can I stop shortcode messages?

The company you’re receiving the shortcode will let you know how to stop receiving them. If you’re struggling to find this information, these tips may be useful.

  • Text STOP or STOP ALL to the shortcode you’ve been getting the texts from
  • Find out the name of the company sending the information and call its helpline number
  • If you can’t find the company’s phone number , call 789 from your Virgin mobile phone, or 0345 6000 789 from any other phone to speak to us
  • You can also bar all incoming premium short code text messages. To add this service just call 789 from your Virgin mobile phone, or 0345 6000 789 from any other phone to speak to us, and we’ll activate it for you free of charge

If you’ve already stopped a service, or you’re about to stop a service, there may be some messages still waiting in a queue to get to you, so you might still be charged when you receive any queued messages.

If you’d like to request a refund for any unwanted texts you’ve received, you’ll need to get in contact with the company that sent them. That’s because they take the credit from your account when you sign up to receive shortcode texts. Again, if you can’t find their helpline number, just give us a call – we’ll be happy to help.

We have more information on Premium Rate services, how they are charged and how they are regulated in our Consumer Code of Practice.