​​Internet dumping occurs when a person logged on to the Internet has their modem connection to their usual dial-up number disconnected and reconnected to another dial-up number. This dial-up number then remains the default number for any future dialling to connect to the Internet. In many cases people are unaware they have been dumped until they receive an unusually high telephone bill caused as a direct result of the modems redirection.

The normal cause of this occurring is when a user clicks on a box to accept an onscreen agreement that has not been read. Some of these agreements are lengthy in content, and require you to use the scroll bar at the side. The wording of the agreement normally makes reference to you agreeing to change the dial-up number.

Some simple precautions to prevent this from occurring are:

  • Always read onscreen prompts before clicking on them,
  • Check the dial-up number each time the user logs on to their ISP. Some Internet browsers by default display the dial up number upon connecting.
  • Block dial-up access to 190 numbers or international numbers if they are not required on your phone line

Although you may consider the procedure is unethical, it is not unlawful. Service providers that operate in this manner can often prove that a link was clicked and therefore approval given for the change to take place.
The Telephone Information Services Standards Council (TISSC) is an independent regulatory body that sets fair standards for the message content and advertising of any Australian telecommunication service with the prefix 190, in the form of a Code of Practice.

Service providers of 190 numbers must abide by this Code of Practice, which is developed by TISSC. You can make an enquiry or lodge a complaint about the message content and/or advertising of any 190 services by contacting the TISSC. Their services are independent, free and confidential, if required.

In addition, some ISP’s may waive the cost of any calls made to this 190 number if a Statutory Declaration is provided (signed by a J.P.) indicating that you were in fact dumped. This is offered as a first-up option and remains at the discretion of the ISP.