Before Holidays – what is worth knowing? - UKE

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Before Holidays – what is worth knowing?

Globus i kable sieciowe (słońce)
The Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) once again takes part in the information campaign titled „Before Holidays – what is worth knowing?” that is implemented jointly by tens of public institutions. It aims at drawing consumers’ attention to outstanding issues that may be important during summer leisure time.


Like every year, we remind emergency numbers and numbers for services of social value that may be used in the territory of the whole European Union to obtain assistance in case of accident, hazardous event or to report a dangerous situation. We warn against Premium Rate services and keep you up-to-date on roaming charges in the territory of the European Union.

In the case of emergency, remember emergency numbers and numbers for services of social value

Summer holidays are the time of many unexpected events at the seaside, at the lake side, in the mountains and on tourist trails. Weather conditions, and at times unattendance and absent-mindedness of the holidaymakers themselves account for the increasing number of accidents causing life or health hazards or threats to safety and public order.

The summer season may be conducive to escapes from home, robbery, kidnapping, and the statistical figures of missing adults and kids are alarming. ITAKA Foundation – Centrum Poszukiwań Ludzi Zaginionych [Lost People Search Centre] keeps records of approximately 17 thousand of missing people, including 6.5 thousand of children and the youth.

The Office of Electronic Communications would like to remind about emergency numbers available in the territory of the European Union, including Poland, that shall be used in case of any accident or missing person.

112 emergency number and 116 number for services of social value are available 24 hours a day free of charge, in the whole European Union, which means that one may easily call those numbers to seek help and assistance even when staying outside of Poland.

Number 112 -  Europe-wide emergency number for communicating threats to life, health or property. It can be used to communicate fire, car accidents, robbery and burglary, sudden fainting or loss of consciousness, serious injuries and haemorrhage and other health or life hazards or threats to safety and public order. It is essential that apart from 112 number, emergency numbers to respective services limited to the territory of Poland are still active.

Those numbers are:

  • 997 – Police,
  • 998 – Fire Service,
  • 999 – Ambulance Services,
  • 984 – Lifeboat Services (limited to a specific area),
  • 985 – Mountain Rescue Services (used also by TOPR [Voluntary Rescue Service in the Tatry Mountains]).

Pursuant to the regulations of the European Union the numbers beginning with 116 prefix belong to the so-called group of numbers for harmonised services of ‘social value’, serving community welfare purposes,

Number 116 000 – is the European missing children hotline number for parents and guardians whose child is missing, for the missing children and all people who may help find them;
Number 116 111 – the helpline for children and the youth;
Number 116 123 – the helpline for adults;

Premium Rate Services

Premium Rate Services are normally rendered by organizers of lotteries, quizzes and plebiscites that multiply in the summer season. Colourful publicity and adverts suggest that one may be almost sure about the prize, and a short text message sent or phone call made is the only precondition for winning the prize. Unfortunately, the information on premium rates for text messages or phone calls is often not easily visible, just like regulations and service terms and conditions.

It bears noting that all and any kinds of games and information services in the form of short text messages are launched by various enterprises that use paid numbers provided by telecommunication operators for these purposes.

This means that complaints regarding a specific game, lottery, information service must be lodged through:

  • a telecommunications operator,
  • an entity offering relevant services.

A delayed complaint may turn out to be unsuccessful due to complicated regulations.

Thus, it is worth taking advantage of the offered options:

•    Claim blockage from an operator on all Premium Rate Services (this service is offered free of charge).
•    Set  a maximum amount for that kind of services. In result, a subscriber is immediately notified of exceeding the maximum amount set for a settlement period and may decide whether to continue using paid services.
•    Register a child as a telephone user. This enables a parent (or an adult guardian) to manage services on a child’s account as well as control access to and content of Premium Rate Services.
•    Check the company responsible for the services. Knowing the number to which a text message is to be sent (or has already been sent), a provider of Premium Rate Services may be easily identified. It is enough to check the list of Premium Rate numbers that is maintained by the President of the Office of Electronic Communications and enter a number into search engine. Then the column „an entity providing additional services” will display the name and address of a company accountable for the Premium Rate Services.

One needs to be aware that service providers are obliged to provide reliable information on the service cost and related regulations, including the option of immediate cancellation (free of charge).
Without any difficulties we should be able to find (e.g. on a website) the name, address and contact details of a service provider, service provision regulations, and service terms and conditions (scope, payments, cancellation conditions).

If a service provider makes it possible to pay for services through a Premium text message –due amount must be indicated together with the number to which a text message needs to be sent. The information on the price must be provided in the same font, colour, and line as the Premium Rate number. Upon completion of services, our telephone number or other personal particulars may be processed exclusively for the purpose of clearing the services unless we have agreed to receive commercial offers under separate agreements.

*  *  *

UKE is still reported on attempts to swindle mobile subscribers consisting in missed phone calls from the numbers beginning with the prefixes +225 or +243. Although the numbers do not raise any suspicion (the first two digits look like Warsaw or Płock area codes), missed calls are actually made from exotic countries: Ivory Coast, New Guinea or Republic of the Congo, which accounts for the fact that such call are extremely expensive. If we call back to those numbers instinctively, we may be later surprised about the immense due amount on the telephone bill.

Before calling back, one should check how many digits a number has (domestic landline and mobile numbers show the standard number of 9 digits, international numbers normally have 12-15 digits). This may help identify possible threats.


The Office of Electronic Communications has good news for all mobile phone users travelling to the European Union Member States. Pursuant to the Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council, roaming charges will be reduced again on 1st July 2014.
That is a big success of the European Union Member States’ regulatory authorities for the telecommunications markets, and what is more important – a big financial benefit for travelers. Even if they do not purchase special roaming packages, comprising both phone calls and the Internet data transmission, they should not be negatively surprised by the size of phone bill.

Regulated retail roaming settlements should be performed as follows:

•    for voice connections – second-based billing for inbound and outbound calls. For outbound calls service provider may set a minimum length of the first impulse that cannot exceed 30 seconds,
•    for text massages – every single text message is paid for, no fees are payable on received text messages,
•    data transmission – every megabyte of data transmitted is paid for, kilobyte-based billing except for MMS, which may be charged on a per-unit basis. In such a case a charge for sending or receiving MMS does not exceed the maximum retail charge for data transmission.
Maximum charges for retail roaming services effective from 1st July 2015 in the European

Union Member States are as follows:


Effective from  1st July 2015



in Euro VAT excl.

in PLN VAT excl.

in PLN
 VAT incl.

Retail Services

(Maximum Rates)

outbound calls (min)




inbound calls (min)












Data transmission (MB)




1 Euro = 4,0889 PLN (average of exchange rates published on 03.03., 01.04., 01.05.2015 in the Official Journal of the European Union)

The above charges are solely applicable in the territory of the European Union. Travelers going outside of that territory should contact a representative of a mobile network operator beforehand to learn about specific terms and conditions governing the relevant tariffs and billing procedures.
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