If you're a regular reader, you probably already know that here at MobileSlots4u we love mobile billing. We think it's one of the best ways to deposit at a casino as it's easy, convenient and quick. However, rather than wax lyrical about mobile deposits once again, today we're talking about how to avoid that sinking feeling when your monthly bill comes through. ‘Bill Shock' is defined as the negative reaction a subscriber can experience if their phone bill has unexpected charges — a situation we've all been through before. Although mobile billing shouldn't hold any surprises or result in any sneaky extra fees, it's easy to lose track of your spends and be confronted with a harsh figure when bill-paying day comes round.
Regular ‘bill shock' focuses on how to keep your mobile phone bills in check so that you won't be stung with a bigger bill than expected. This includes things like making sure you're on the right tariff for your needs, making sure you're not caught out by premium numbers, not exceeding your data allowance and knowing exactly how much your network provider charges for data roaming.
However, we're focusing on how bill shock can affect players who use mobile billing as a way of depositing to casinos. Since mobile billing should be completely free there shouldn't be any circumstances where you're hit with nasty charges, however a careless or simply forgetful attitude could leave you feeling out-of-pocket. Here's our top 3 tips for making sure your phone bill doesn't become a monthly bombshell.
1. Keep Tabs On Your Spends
Whilst to some people this may seem like the most obvious way of making sure you know exactly what you'll be charged for, it's easy to forget what you've deposited throughout the month. As the money won't leave your bank account until your phone bill comes through, it's no use using bank statements to keep track of your spending.
Some casinos do offer deposit history pages in their banking sections, so if you can keep and eye on that, you'll be able to see very easily how much and when you've deposited. If your casino of choice doesn't provide this history then the next easiest way to keep tabs is to check your mobile account regularly. You can do this by either texting/ringing a certain number for a bill update, or by logging into an online mobile phone account. We know this sounds obvious, but we can all be forgetful at times!
Lastly, do the old fashioned thing of writing it down! Yup, we actually mean putting pen to paper each time you make a deposit and keeping a record. Alternatively, if that sounds too antiquated for you, jot it down in your phone's notes section.
2. Protect Your Phone
As we've mentioned earlier, phone billing shouldn't charge you any fees for making a deposit, so as long as you're keeping tabs on what your spending there should be no shocks. However, whilst mobile billing is perfectly safe, as with anything else you use your phone for, if it goes missing it can cause a real problem.
You should always treat your phone as carefully as you would your bank and credit cards, as thieves can rack up huge bills if they get their hands on it. Casino apps sometimes allow you to stay signed into your account, so your first prevention tactic is to make sure you always log-out once you're finished gaming. This way, any thieves can't even access your account details. If, however, you've overlooked this step or can't remember if you did sign out, there are plenty more steps to take to make sure your phone is protected.
If you're using your phone for mobile deposits (or anything else that needs to be kept secure for that matter), it's a wise idea to set a passcode on both the handset and your sim. This is the first barrier of protection for if your phone is stolen. Secondly, if you're phone is lost or stolen, you should contact your provider as soon as possible to make sure the phone is blocked.
If you've taken out mobile phone insurance, you may be covered for any unauthorized payments, but do make you check your policy carefully. There's also apps on the market for wiping data and details from your phone remotely, such as Find My iPhone, which means even if a thief manages to get into your phone, they won't be able to access anything.
3. Set A Deposit Limit
If keeping tabs on your spends proves to be something you keep forgetting, then it's probably a good time to look into setting a deposit limit on your casino account. Most of the time mobile billing is automatically capped at a £30 maximum deposit per day.
However, with 30 days in the month, you can easily imagine how even this low limit can rack up some huge spends. From your casino account you should be able to set a maximum deposit of your own. Work out the limit you want to set by deciding how much you can afford to spend, and how much you want to.
If setting a limit on your gaming account or keeping tabs on your money seems like an impossible feat, then this is an indicator that you may have a gambling problem and should seek help. There's nothing to be ashamed of, but make sure you handle it before it gets out of hand. All casinos offer a self-exclusion option, which can close your account for a minimum of six months or permanently. Remember to always gamble responsibly and to never spend more than you can afford to.
How to Make a Complaint
If you feel like you have been misled into making a mobile payment, or believe that you have been charged for something you didn't ask for, you can file a complaint with PhonepayPlus. PhonepayPlus are the regulator for all mobile payments made in the UK.
After your complaint is made, PhonepayPlus will assess your situation and decide how to move forward. They have the power to order a refund, or in extreme circumstances even to suspend the service. PhonepayPlus also offer advice if you're ever unsure about making a phone payment. You should also always check that your mobile billing method is FSA approved.
PayphonePlus Helpline: 0800 500 212 (Free Helpline; open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays)