Country Focus: Ireland

Telephony and SMS Services in Ireland: What are premium rate Services (PRS)?

PRS typically offer information and entertainment services, which can be accessed through landline phones, mobile phones, fax, interactive digital TV or the Internet. PRS are promoted in newspapers and magazines and on television, radio and the Internet.

Examples include:

  • Chatline services
  • Services advertised as being for the benefit of charity or any not for profit body or organisation
  • Services offered by means of subscription services
  • Quiz television services
  • Ringtones and wallpapers
  • Games
  • TV voting (for example, The X Factor)
  • Horoscopes
  • Psychic or other entertainment services
  • Sports alerts (e.g. goal alerts)
  • Competitions
  • Weather forecasts
  • Sexual entertainment services
  • Business information

PRS are provided on premium rate telephone numbers. Premium rate voice services begin with 15XX e.g. 1515 or 1530. There are also premium rate text services which are 5-digit short codes, beginning with the number 5 i.e. 5XXXX.

Charges for PRS vary depending on what service you are using. Some services are much more expensive than others, so you need to know the cost of any call or text which you might make.

Please be aware that additionally, call charges from mobile phones generally cost more. You should check the cost of calling or texting phone-paid / premium rate services from your phone with your own phone company (landline, mobile or cable) as they may also add an additional charge to the advertised rate.

Phone calls

Outlined below are a set of charges which you can expect to incur when you call certain PRS. Some services are charged per call and some per minute. Network charges may vary, so contact your landline telephone service provider or mobile network operator to check the charges.

  • 1512 numbers Not exceeding €0.50 per call
  • 1513 numbers Not exceeding €0.70 per call
  • 1514 numbers Not exceeding €0.90 per call
  • 1515 numbers Not exceeding €1.20 per call
  • 1516 numbers Not exceeding €1.80 per call
  • 1517 numbers Not exceeding €2.50 per call
  • 1518 numbers Not exceeding €3.50 per call
  • 1520 numbers Not exceeding €0.30 per minute
  • 1530 numbers Not exceeding €0.50 per minute
  • 1540 numbers Not exceeding €0.70 per minute
  • 1550 numbers Not exceeding €1.20 per minute
  • 1560 numbers Not exceeding €1.80 per minute
  • 1570 numbers Not exceeding €2.40 per minute
  • 1580 numbers Not exceeding €2.95 per minute
  • 1590 numbers Not exceeding €3.50 per minute

SMS Text Messaging

Sending or receiving a text from a PRS (for example, to enter a competition or cast a vote) may cost more than the normal cost of a text message.

The costs also vary depending on the prefix of the five-digit short code number (for example, texts to or from 53XXX could cost up to 80 cent, while there is no limit on the cost of a text to or from 57XXX).

Outlined below are a set of charges which you can expect to receive when you text certain premium rate text services:

  • 50XXX – Free (these numbers are not regulated by ComReg as they are free services)
    • 51XXX – Not exceeding €0.16 (these numbers are not regulated by ComReg as they are less than the 25 cent regulated threshold)
    • 53XXX – Not exceeding €0.80
    • 57XXX – €0.80 or above
    • 58XXX – Variable price
    • 59XXX – Variable price
  • If you are receiving texts that invite you to enter a competition or call a number to win, it is likely that these are free promotional messages which will contain instructions on how to opt-out. Follow these instructions to remove your details from the promotional database
  • To unsubscribe from a premium rate subscription service (a service for which a recurring charge is imposed on an end-user who has subscribed to, and thereby agreed to receive and pay for, such a service), send a text to the short code number for the service. Text the word STOP. The word ‘STOP’ is not case sensitive! Do not text any other words as this could cause your request to be ignored and may result in you receiving even more texts. Please note that a standard network charge may apply for this text. Once you have texted the word STOP to the sender, you should be unsubscribed within 24 to 48 hours. 
  • If you have deleted the number from whom you have received the text, please contact your mobile network operator to get further information on the number and the PRS provider associated with that number.
  • In addition to premium rate subscription services, there are also once-off PRS. These services involve a single payment for a PRS, purchased using a mobile handset, that usually consist of a number of text messages being sent to your handset to pay for the service in question. For instance payment for a once-off service that costs €10 may require sending 4 text messages (charged at €2.50each) to your mobile phone. As it is a once-off payment, texting STOP is not relevant in this case. If you are unsure whether you have subscribed to a service or made a once-off purchase, please check the text messages that you have received from the PRS provider as these should state or confirm if it is a subscription or an outright purchase. Most subscription services involve a weekly charge so if charges just occur once on your phone bill, it is likely that it is a once-off PRS.
  • To avoid getting more unwanted texts, try not to give out your phone number to any companies, just give it to friends you know and trust.