Balance services and usage limits

Nearly all telecoms operators provide services that help you to monitor your phone costs. Such services include balance reminder, balance inquiries and balance limit. You can also agree on a spend limit in euros with your operator, for example to restrict the damage caused by misuse.

Described below in more detail are balance inquiries, balance reminder, balance limit and usage limit.

Balance inquiries

Balance inquiries enable that you can monitor your phone costs. You can make inquiries usually by

  • text message
  • visiting the operator's website
  • calling to an automatic balance service or the operator's customer service.

Check your own operator what it charges for balance inquiry. The inquiry is often free of charge.

Phone calls, text messages and picture messages normally appear in the balance service's balance with delay. Therefore, the service does not necessarily give fully up-to-date information on your phone costs. Balance service does not necessarily either take into consideration the connection, alteration or basic fees of the subscription or services, or possible offers.

Balance reminder

With the help of the balance reminder, you will keep up-to-date with your phone costs. It will help you to monitor your costs and keep your bills reasonable. However, the balance limit in itself does not limit the use of the subscription.

Balance reminder will send you a message when you exceed the balance limit that you have selected. The service is not real-time: a reminder message of the exceeded balance will always be sent with delay. The message tells you the period from which the calls, text messages, picture messages and data transfer date are.

The reminder messages do not necessarily take into consideration the connection, alteration or basic fees of the subscription or services which will appear on the invoice, or possible talk time advantage of the subscription.

The balance reminder can be sent to two mobile subscriptions. For example, a reminder message of a child's use of the subscription can be sent to the parent.

Balance limit controls your phone costs

Balance limit is a service provided by telecoms operators. It enables that you can adjust your phone costs to a level of your choice. When your balance is full, you can no longer make calls or send text or picture messages. However, the balance limit is not necessarily real-time.

When your balance is full, you can

  • receive calls and text messages
  • make calls to free numbers
  • call to emergency numbers

Many operators send a text message notifying of a full balance limit. The reminder message can also be sent to another mobile subscription. This gives parents a better opportunity to monitor their children's phone costs.

Check with your operator before the service is connected whether the balance limit affects the use of the subscription when abroad. Balance limit will not necessarily function at all when abroad. The limit may also totally prevent the use of the subscription abroad.

Usage limit prevents oversize phone bills

The usage limit helps you to avoid oversize bills for example when it is not technically possible to set a balance limit or you do not wish to have a balance limit service subject to a fee. By setting the usage limit, it is also possible to prevent damages caused by misuse in cases where the level of the subscription use during the invoicing period becomes exceptionally high. The usage limit is typically higher than the balance limit in euros, and it can be compared to the spending limit of a credit card.

When the limit is exceeded, the operator can restrict the use of the subscription by, for example, allowing the receipt of calls only. The operator will inform you in advance of the restricted usage. You will also be given instructions on how to prevent the restriction of use.

Key words: Telephone , Mobile phone , Subscription , Tariffs

Updated 01.12.2014

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