Shortcodes can be used to pay for certain types of services, like entering TV competitions or voting on reality shows, through your monthly phone bill or balance.
They are a series of numbers, usually around five digits long, which you can call or text to access services which aren't covered by your normal allowances.
The following types of services are normally accessed by shortcodes:
- sending messages to radio stations
- calling into video chat services
- making low cost calls to international numbers
- downloading games to your phone
- entering TV competitions
- voting in TV reality shows
- charity donations.
You can buy text services as either one-off purchases or by setting up regular subscription using shortcodes.
Find out which shortcode services are available on Three by entering a shortcode number here.
- Charges for shortcode services.
Charges for shortcode services are listed in the promotional material or adverts for the service, with the standard charge for texting a shortcode usually 10p or 12p per message, although costs can vary depending on the service.
For contract customers, charges will appear in the Premium Shortcodes – sent & received section of your bill, while charges for voice shortcodes will appear in the Calls to premium rate and other services section.
For Pay As You Go customers, charges will be deducted from your balance, so you'll just need to make sure you have enough credit in your account to cover the cost of texting or calling the shortcode.
Most shortcode services will send you one or more messages as part of the service and you may be charged for one or all of them.
If a message starts with or was sent from FreeMsg or similar, you won't be charged and it won't appear on your bill.
Some services you've used may appear in the Payforit section of your bill. Find out more about Payforit.
- Managing your shortcode services.
If you want to manage whether or not you spend money on numbers outside your allowance, find out how to control your spend.
If you're getting messages from a shortcode and aren't sure who sent it, you can stop the service by texting the word STOP to the shortcode that appears on your bill or phone.
If you've been sent a message you didn't ask for and it was sent from a long number, it may be spam. Sending a STOP reply to messages like this won't work. We recommend that you don't respond to them in any way.
- If your transaction fails.
If your transaction declines, you’ll get a message not sent error and no charge will have been applied to your account.
This may happen because you have insufficient credit in your Pay As You Go account to pay for the service, you’ve set up a voluntary credit limit or an out of bundle block on your Pay Monthly account, or there’s an error with the service or network.
If you continue to have problems texting or calling a shortcode, please call 333 from your Three phone.
- If you don't recognise a transaction.
There may be times where you don't recognise a text or call to a shortcode shown on your bill. For example, you might not realise you've paid for something, someone may have used your phone without your consent, or someone you know may have paid for something without your knowledge.
As the account holder, it is your responsibility for any shortcodes you text or call.
However, if your phone has been lost and stolen, you'll only be liable to pay the first £100 of any unauthorised usage on your account, provided you let us know within 24 hours.
If someone you know has used your phone and paid for content or services without you knowing, you can set up a security PIN to stop them from doing so – please visit our device support pages for more information.
To talk to us about a specific shortcode transactions in more detail, please call us on 333 from your Three phone.
- Refunding purchases made through shortcodes.
Three is not responsible for content or services you've bought from other companies and therefore won’t refund purchases you’ve made using shortcodes. You'll need to speak to the service providor you've bought the service from if you'd like to request a refund.
If you need further help please call us on 333 from your Three phone. You can also contact the Phone-paid Services Authority, the UK regulator for content and services purchases, on 0300 30 300 20, or visit their website for more information - www.psauthority.org.uk.
- Blocking purchases made through shortcodes.
If you would like to block shortcode purchases from your phone, please call us on 333 from your Three phone for more information.