Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Are you one of those people who like to include a lot of smiley faces in your text?
Well be careful, because people who use a lot of emoticons could be racking up a big bill – a woman in Scotland managed to spend over £1,000!
The problem is MMS messages can cost up to 40p and even if you have ‘unlimited texts’ you might still be charged for sending one.
You don’t even need to actually choose an emoticon to get charged – if you make your own from commas, letters and brackets, it could be read as emoticon and converted into an MMS message.
Your first course of action should be to check your bill to see if you have actually racked up any additional charges.
The problem only affects certain phone models and if your phone is relatively new you shouldn’t experience any problems.
If you are one of the unlucky ones and find that you have received bills for MMS messages you didn’t want to send then you should complain to your network provider – hopefully you’ll be able to get some, if not all, of your money back if you can show that you had no intention of sending an MMS message.
Moving forward you should consider using free apps, instead of your network, to have conversations with people.
If you’re a Facebook user then you can use Facebook chat for free – all you’ll need is WiFi and you’ll get no charges.
You could also use WhatsApp which is an instant messaging service that you can use for free for the first year.
This all serves as a stark reminder that we should be regularly checking our bills for any charges that are out of the ordinary so we can nip problems like these in the bud.
Have you ever had a problem with hidden phone charges? Let us know in the comment section below.