Question & Answer

Who runs 190 services?
190 services are provided by service providers. These are the companies who lease lines from the telephone carrier – Telstra – and provide the hardware and expertise for information providers. Information providers are the people who provide the information and content on 190 services. A service provider can also be the information provider for the same service.

What type of complaints do you handle?
We only handle complaints about the advertising and content of 190 services. Examples of the types of complaints we handle are:

  • there was no call cost in the advertisement;
  • the service contained out of date information;
  • the call was delayed unfairly;
  • the advertisement for a competition did not state when it closed, so a call was made after the closing date and the caller has been charged;
  • content was ordered for a mobile phone, but not received;
  • charges have been made for Internet connection, but the user did not realise that any charge applied.

Does my ‘phone bill need to be paid?
You must contact your telephone company about this. 190 Complaints has nothing to do with the billing of a 190 service. Our advice is that you pay your telephone account in full by the due date, irrespective of whether you have lodged a complaint with us.

How long does a complaint take to finalise?
Most complaints are finalised within three weeks, but you can always contact the 190 Complaints staff to check on the progress of your complaint by phone 1300 139 955 (local call cost in Australia) between the hours of 9am to 5pm Eastern time, Monday to Friday, or by email If emailing, please include the telephone number/s of the service/s you have complained about.

Will I get a refund from 190 complaints or from the Service Provider?
The 190 service provider arranges the refund. When a refund has been agreed to, 190 Complaints will notify you in writing, giving you the contact details of the relevant 190 service provider. You will then need to inform the 190 service provider as soon as possible that 190 Complaints has referred you for a refund. The 190 service provider will need a copy of your telephone bill, showing the details of the calls and charges, in order to arrange the refund.

How can I stop the problem from happening again?

  • Carefully check the call cost in advertisements for 190 services before ringing so that you know exactly how much you will be spending
  • Listen carefully for the call cost given at the start of 190 services (except competition lines), and take note of the call length warnings which are given at 5 to 10 minute intervals
  • If you do not wish to use 190 services again, contact your telephone company and arrange for a 190 bar to be put on your telephone service.

What is a Code of Practice?
A Code of Practice is not a law. It is a set of standards which people and companies who are subject to that Code agree to comply with.

In the case of 190 services, service providers enter into a contact with Telstra to lease 190 lines, and as part of that contract, agree to comply with our Code of Practice.