Billing and Charges > Premium Rated Services

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Premium Rated Services

Premium Rated Services

2017-11-17

 In order to comply with a new code of conduct from ICASA for the provision of premium rated services, we have made some changes to how customers can manage their subscription services. 

Please review the below FAQs and information in detail. 
 
General:
1. What is PRS?
PRS is a standard term used to describe any service, that a consumer pays for through their mobile bill/airtime, which can be consumed directly from their phone. PRS tend to be priced higher than standard Voice, Data or SMS. Examples of PRS are Daily Subscription Jokes, Tips, Ringtones, and Games etc.
2. What type of PRS do customers subscribe to? 
Premium Voice Calls 
Currently, VMSA does not differentiate between local premium calls, so our customers are charged at normal local voice rates (as per their rate plans) for these calls. 
An update will be sent out when this changes. 
Premium SMS/MMS
Each premium SMS/MMS charge is dictated by the PRS provider and the full charge will be passed on to customers. 
Premium USSD
Currently, VMSA does not differentiate between Premium USSD requests and normal USSD request so all USSD requests are FREE until further notice. 
An update will be sent out when this changes. 
Premium Content Services 
Each premium content charge is dictated by the PRS provider and the full charge will be passed on to customers. 
3. How do customers view active PRS they have on their accounts?
Dial *133*1# and follow the prompts 
4. How do customers block PRS services? 
Dial *133*1# and follow the prompts
 
Thresholds:
In order to protect the customer from receiving exorbitant bills, we have applied a R200 monthly limit to each PRS channel mentioned above. 
1. Is it R200 per channel or per premium rated service?
The threshold is applied on a channel basis. E.g. customers can subscribe to R200 worth of premium SMSs per month (the same with content, etc.)
2. What are the different channels available to customers?
Refer to “What type of PRS do customers subscribe to?”
3. What happens when a customer reaches this threshold?
They will receive an SMS and their PRS’s will be blocked. No additional PRS services will be provisioned or billed.
4. Can customers remove this limit, i.e. “unblock” the service?
Yes, they can dial *103#, select option 9 and then follow the prompts to unblock the service for certain channels, they will then be billed for all additional PRS content they receive after the unblocking. 
5. If a customer extends the limit and then decides mid-month that they want to stop a PRS service, can they do this?
Yes, they can dial *103# again and stop PRS services for the rest of the month. 
6. Can customers set their own monthly limit? 
No, not at this stage. Each subscriber will have a standard R200 limit per PRS channel. 
7. If a customer unblocks the limit in one month, what happens in the next month?
The R200 threshold gets reset back to R200 at the beginning of every month so if a customer would like to continue to receive premium rated services after that month’s threshold is reached then they will need to dial *103# to unblock the limit every time. 
 
Complaints procedure: 
1. What to do when a customer calls in to complain? 
Advise the customer to notify and file the complaint with the PRS provider prior to contacting us. 
Advise the customer to block the subscription by dialing *133*1# until the dispute is resolved.