Children under 18 in Ireland will not be able to spend more than €10 a month on mobile-phone ringtones and other subscription services when a new code comes into force this week.
This follows concerns about the alleged misleading promotion and cost of subscription services such as mobile phone ringtones, logos and wallpapers.
Regtel, which regulates premium rate phone lines such as competition lines and mobile phone ringtones, has just published a new code of practice, which will come into force on Tuesday. Previously, only children under the age of 16 were protected under the Regtel code. This age limit has now been increased to 18.
There will be a €10 monthly limit on the amount children can spend on subscription services.
This year, subscription services have topped the list of complaints received by Regtel, with many consumers not realising they had subscribed to a service.
Regtel has received 3,261 telephone complaints so far this year from consumers who could not cancel subscriptions and were subsequently billed for services. This is almost five times the number of complaints received in 2004.