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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Random International 50c SMSM Messages on your bill..... Answered

I was getting these for months, every month I would dispute them and every month I would get some fluff answer and a credit until finally I got the information needed to solve the issue.

I finally after 2 months trying got the supposed international SMS number out of them it was my mother in law an Australian number. But as I travel for work a lot its stored in my phone as +6104XX XXX XXX so they charge it as international even thou both of us are in Australia at the moment.

On a online chat the agent provided the number and time and it all became clear..... (Some information redacted for privacy).

Agent
 at 23:25, Sep 9:

Thank you, Paul.

I have checked details and see that the number *****XXXXXX to which you have sent message on 9/08/2020 and you ahve charged $0.50 for that.

You at 23:25, Sep 9:
thats an australian number
You at 23:26, Sep 9:
my number in international format is *****XXXXXX
You at 23:26, Sep 9:
Your charging me for an austalian number as international
You at 23:27, Sep 9:
That's my mother in laws number and she is very much in australia i am looking at her.
Beck at 23:29, Sep 9:

Let me check again details for you.

------------------------------------------------

12 Minutes later

------------------------------------------------

Beck at 23:42, Sep 9:

Thanks for your patience, Paul.
Beck at 23:43, Sep 9:

I have checked details and see that you have sen an SMS to *****XXXXXX and charged $0.50.

It might be billing error, I am sorry for that.

I will go ahead and waive off $0.50 right away.

 

So how to fix it 

1.     Check your phone book in your phone.

2.     Look for any contacts stored as international numbers in the format +614XX XXX XXX

3.     Change the format from +614XX XXX XXX to 04XX XXX XXX

Check your next bill and then the following one if mid bill cycle and you know you have texted someone stored in the incorrect format.

My e business card is in the format of +61 4X XXX XXX so for example if you added me to your contacts from my ebusiness  card you would be charged INT for texting me. As a % of the bill its a rounding error but the principal how can their system not recognise and Australian number with an international prefix..... Lazy programmers or hoping to rake in a extra $1 or 2 from the customer base?

 

Anyway change it from +61 4XX XXX XXX to 04XX XXX XXX and the charges will go away :):)

 

Hope this helps

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Respected Contributor
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Re: Random International 50c SMSM Messages on your bill..... Answered


@PaulN79 wrote:

phone as +6104XX XXX XXX


So was it +6104XX XXX XXX or +614XX XXX XXX?

If it was the former the message should never been delivered to your MIL because it is not in the correct format.

If it was in the latter format then Optus' system is faulty and you should have been charged local rates if they where sent while you where in Australia.

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Re: Random International 50c SMSM Messages on your bill..... Answered

Hi YetAnotherACC,

For absolute clarity this is an error in the Optus systems, due to country codes being attached to Australian numbers in my phone i am being billed Standard International SMS rate for calls to contacts with a +61 prefix stored in my phone contact list. Please see below.

OPTUS AGENT
------------------
I have checked details and see that the number *****XXXXXX to which you have sent message on 9/08/2020 and you have charged $0.50 for that.
------------------
This is an Australian number - my Mother in-laws phone.

She is stored in phone phone as +610400 XXX XXX The text was sent and received and charged as an international SMS.

I travel often (well used to) for business and am on the $125 plan providing me unlimited international Calls and SMS to Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Mainland China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA, Vietnam and From those countries back to Australia.

There should be no circumstance where I am charged for an SMS to or from Australia outside of those countries or within Australia as a National SMS. However it seems that when I have the +61 Prefix ahead of the number it routs out of Australia and then back in again and as it is not from an included country (as you can see Australia is not in the list of included international countries) it is treat as an out of plan SMS and I pay the $0.50 Standard International SMS fee.

This is an obvious and simple to correct error that could be resolved in minutes. A add Australian the back end as an included country ( problem solved) or update the billing platform to recognize a an Australian number as both origin and destination to be treated as a National SMS.

My issue is the solution I was offered was to update my contacts (Currently 524 of them) to remove the prefix which is both as absurd as it is insulting.



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Re: Random International 50c SMSM Messages on your bill..... Answered


@PaulN79 wrote:
For absolute clarity this is an error in the Optus systems,

I totally agree, but I don't thinks the problem is with +61, but rather the fact that you are using +610, which is not a valid phone number format. If it was just +61 problem then I would expect to see a lot of complaints here in the forum, but you are the only one I have seen.


She is stored in phone phone as +610400 XXX XXX The text was sent and received and 

Change the stored phone number to +61400 XXX XXX as this is the correct +61 format for Australian mobiles, and see if you still get charged for international rates.

However it seems that when I have the +61 Prefix ahead of the number it routs out of Australia and then back in again

I can almost guarantee that the number is not being router outside Australia, but rather its just that the billing system does not recognise +6104 as a valid Australian mobile phone number so it charges you an international rate.

This is an obvious and simple to correct error that could be resolved in minutes. 

If their billing/switching system is anything like Telstra's then it unfortunately will not be a simple fix (in practical terms), and it will not take just a few minutes to fix.

A add Australian the back end as an included country ( problem solved)

Australia should not be included in list of international countries because its not. It is the home country and I don't think I have ever see it included in international calling inclusion lists.


update the billing platform to recognize a an Australian number as both origin and destination to be treated as a National SMS.

It may not be the billing system, it may be the switching system which is sending incorrect information to the billing system

My issue is the solution I was offered was to update my contacts (Currently 524 of them) to remove the prefix which is both as absurd as it is insulting.

I agree, that solution sux.

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