I have only just started using Virgin Mobile on a pay per month fee. I am happy with the phone and service. However I don't understand some of the charges. For instance Picture Messaging. Let me say I avoid omicons. If I sent a picture then I would understand it. Some providers may make this charge if you send a very long text. I even went into a Virgin Mobile store in Westfield but didn't receive a very clear answer. I now have a Premium Text charge (ok only 10p) but as an ex-engineer I like to understand these things. I haven't found on the Virgin Mobile web site a clear page setting out the different categories and what they are and what triggers them. As far as I know I haven't sent text to an 0800 or similiar type phone number. I do text my friend in the USA and I get charged 30p for international call. I understand that and is good value as it keeps me in touch with him. (He is not very good at Emailing me! but seems to use text).
Emoticons and long texts converting to MMS is a mobile phone manufacturer choice not service providers.
Premium texts can be a few things, usually you see a charge for an incoming sms as a premium text and this is from competitions, subscriptions etc. If you've text to a radio or TV show etc that would be a premium text or if you filled in your phone number online and missed a bit of the small print this can charge you.
If it's a well known number pop it into google to see if others suffer from the issue and have advice to contact the company to stop it.
_______________________________________________________ I do not work for Virgin Media.
I haven't been counting the characters when I text. 160 characters seems very low. I think one I have just sent might be in the range 200 - 300 characters and it doesn't say much! Nobody at Virgin explained this to me. When I went into the Virgin Media shop in Westfield to try and clarify what will cause Picture Messaging and mentioned long texts in my view the assistant was very unclear about it. So let me understand if I send a text messages exceeding 160 characters Virgin will treat it as a Picture Message and make additional charges above the fixed monthly fee. Perhaps I should talk to a few other Mobile phone providers I sense they don't all charge for long text messages (160 characters is not long in my opinion).
I have just looked at some of my recent texts to a friend on his mobile. I am sure these texts exceeded 160 characters. But they are shown as zero charge as accepted text??? I wish I could get a definitive answer out of Virgin about charges. An 0800 number has been charged - expected I suppose as a premium number? But what numbers 0900 0300 cannot some on in Virgin publish a clear statement of the charging on their service. I have asked in the Mobile shop and searched their web site. So I am not a 'very happy' bunny with Virgin. Up to now using their broadband I have been very pleased but this phone is making me a bit fed up. It won't connect cleanly to my PC. Not a Virgin problem per se. Samsung are on the case and I am having to let them dial in and connect to the phone, even though the driver shows an error code 37 which is a driver problem and as an ex IT network person with their guidance might solve it. So I have to arrange a time when I will be able to take their connection. I know this is not a Virgin mobile nor this forum responsibility. But it all doesn't make me that pleased with my new smart (Samsung) phone with Virgin mobile that replaced my old pay as you go dumb phone.