Some mobile content service providers make use of the short messaging service (SMS) and multi-media messaging service (MMS) to deliver their content services to the mobile phones of their target consumers.

To enjoy mobile content services (MCS), consumers may have to register for such services through the Internet or mobile phones. During the registration process through the Internet, consumers will be asked to key in their mobile numbers. When the registration process is completed, they will receive SMS messages from the service providers on their mobile phones. Once the consumers respond to the SMS messages with their mobile phones, they will be taken to have confirmed their subscriptions. For the registration process through mobile phones, consumers may receive promotional messages sent by the service providers direct to their mobile phones, and they will have to respond proactively to these messages with their mobile phones if they wish to subscribe to the MCS. Upon confirming the consumers’ subscriptions by the service providers, the consumers will be billed by their mobile operator on behalf of the service providers for consuming the MCS.

To avoid any billing disputes, in particular those where consumers are not fully aware that they have registered with the MCS and the MCS are chargeable, and unnecessary financial loss, consumers are advised to take the following precautions -

1. Think twice before responding to these marketing messages

2. Always read clearly the service terms and conditions before confirming a service subscription / registration

3. Check your mobile service bill regularly and carefully

4. Enquire your mobile content service provider / mobile operator whenever in doubt

Self-regulatory Industry Code for the Provision of Chargeable Mobile Content Services

To address the public concerns on charging disputes related to Mobile Content Services (MCS), the Communications Association of Hong Kong (CAHK) issued a self regulatory industry code entitled "Code for the Provision of Chargeable Mobile Content Services" (the Code) on 11 January 2010. The Code was subsequently revised by the CAHK to streamline the self regulatory arrangements under the Code on 31 March 2017.

The Code governs the practices of third-party Content Service Providers (“CSPs”) in providing MCS and the establishment of an industry self-regulatory scheme. Under the Code, all third-party CSPs are required to indicate clearly to their customers the chargeable nature of the services and to obtain their clear consent before initiating the delivery and provision of MCS. Mobile operators shall assess CSPs’ capability of and secure their pledges in complying with the relevant requirements stipulated in the Code and monitor the CSPs' continual compliance with the Code. At present, four mobile network operators have pledged to adopt the revised Code.

The Code and related press release about the self regulatory arrangement for MCS are available on the CAHK’s website: