This is how you can find out what service is behind the premium rate numbers

Last updated: 26 June 2023

All communications service providers have a legal obligation to maintain an authentic and up-to-date list of premium rate telephone and SMS services, and as a responsible consumer you can check these numbers in advance with two simple searches, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) points out. In addition, you can also prohibit you service provider from initiating these types of calls and SMS messages from the outset in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and “bill shocks”.

Since the proliferation of premium rate services, subscribers need to be particularly vigilant in order to prevent the inconvenience caused by disproportionately high mobile bills. Such services can be easily identified by the number sequence itself: these are five- and six-digit telephone numbers beginning with 90 and 91, and starting with 16. Information on the price of a service belonging to a premium rate number, as well as the company providing the service itself and its contact details can be found on the website of telephone service providers.

However, it is important to know that each service provider only records the numbers that the NMHH has assigned to them. Therefore, it is advisable to start with the records on the website of the infocommunications authority.

In the interface for searchingspecial premium numbers, you can search for premium rate numbers 90 or 91:

Five-digit or six-digit short numbers can be found in the following short code finder:

Since numbers starting with 90 and 91 are portable, you can also use the number portability finder to determine which number belongs to which service provider(s):

If you know which communications service provider uses the given premium rate number, the specific content provider can be identified in the register of premium rate services on the provider’s website. The records of the largest communications service providers can be found here: Telekom, Telenor, Vodafone.

However, prudent consumer behaviour is worthless if service providers do not conscientiously update records. Most recently, in connection with the premium rate service called “Ask Bongo”, the infocommunications authority found that Magyar Telekom had not fulfilled its obligation to register, as it had given two conflicting hits to this number at the same time. Therefore, the authority obliged Telekom to restore the legal status and prepare an action plan to avoid similar errors. The service provider appealed against the decision to the second-instance authority and the court, but both bodies confirmed the position of the NMHH.

Receiving premium rate SMS services is disabled by default for all customers, with the exception of those who have specifically asked the service provider to unblock them. But precisely because of the abuses experienced, two mobile operators have already indicated that they will phase out the received premium rate SMS services. However, prohibiting outgoing traffic for premium rate calls and sent SMS messages should be requested separately from your service provider, but for security reasons, you should also take this step.

In addition, from 30 June, communications service providers will have to indicate the premium rate services on the bill item by item, which will make it easier to find out whose and what service the customer used, for how much.