Slaying the Dragon

Today I’m going to talk about Transaction Charges and Separate Purchases.

These are two seemingly inconsequential items on your phone bill that might be costing your business (or you) quite a lot of money. I’ll explain what they are. Then, time permitting, I’ll boast a little about how we’ve finally eradicated them from one of our premium client’s bills.

First: Transaction Charges

Transaction Charges are a separate item on your mobile phone bill. On a standard Telstra bill they usually appear under the heading Charges Ineligible for Plan Discount, or something similar. It varies for other carriers, but not by much. It could definitely be labelled more clearly.

A Transaction Charge can theoretically be just about anything, but is usually a third-party subscription service. You might, for example, have subscribed to an AFL or NRL update service, so that you get automatic score updates. You might subscribe to a news service, such that you’re updated whenever a new story breaks.

Often you’ll find you’ve subscribed to one of these services without even realising it (or a loved one has done so using your phone – this is very common). Unsubscribing is usually as simple as unsubscribing – often just be texting ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ to the number. Telstra can also bar these services at your request, if you really don’t know who they came about.

What could be simpler? You know what could be simpler? Doing nothing, and watching these irritating charges appear on your bill each month. Larger businesses can end up paying hundreds of dollars per month, without even realising it.

Second: Separate Purchases.

These aren’t especially different from a Transaction Charge – the main difference is that rather than being a recurring subscription, they’re usually a one-off purchase (though not always). These can be anything from a cute ringtone (most common) to using an SMS chat service or signing up to a game.

Often they’ll be a type of Premium SMS, which is another way to spot them on your bill.

Since they aren’t a recurring charge, the easiest way to stop paying for them is to stop sending them. Once again, it’s very common for kids / teenagers to accrue these types of charges on your phone. And, also once again, they can really add up for larger organisations.

Now to the bit where our indefatigable TMaaS consultant Samantha slays the dragon. One of our premium clients – a fairly big charity – had accrued charges of over $40,000 on Transaction Charges and Separate Purchases over the past five years.

Enter Dog and Bone, and the righteous and tireless Samantha, and those charges now sit at about $0.25 a month. That’s 25 cents. Meaning that this client now has some extra money to spend on more important things, such as delivering their key services to needy people.

TMaaS stands for Telecommunications Management as a Service, and this is the kind of benefit it can provide.