Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority reports that the five major mobile network operators in Hong Kong have agreed to formulate better operating practices to give more transparency to consumers.

All the parties will develop a Code of Practice to implement a series of measures to improve the transparency about charging information and arrangements for mobile content services delivered through short messaging services.

In order to safeguard consumer interest, OFTA has requested the MNOs to take necessary measures to improve the charging arrangements for various services. The measures include indicating prominently in the short messages the chargeable nature of the services and when such charges start to trigger; providing clear charging information; providing clear arrangements for unsubscribing or deregistering from the services; and ensuring that disputed content service charge will not affect the normal mobile phone services of the concerned subscribers.

"OFTA will not hesitate to take regulatory action if any telecommunications licencee is found in breach of the licence conditions or provisions under the Telecommunications Ordinance," OFTA Director-General Marion Lai Chan Chi-kuen stated. "In order to avoid unnecessary financial loss or billing disputes, we would also like to remind consumers that they should read carefully all the service terms and conditions before confirming a service subscription, and think twice before providing their mobile phone numbers or other personal information to content service providers."


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