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Mobile Phone ring time is too short, double charging

I frequently cannot answer my mobile phone within 30 seconds. I claim this is a double-charging scam by the telecommunications companies. My logic is:

  1. The caller has paid for a call, but not been answered (one charge)
  2. I must call back, at my cost (second charge)
  3. I cannot extend the ring time beyond 30 seconds.
  4. So the call-back is not avoidable.

30 seconds is the stated maximum for all phone companies.
The default is 15 seconds, so the rate of missed calls will be very high.

Please tag or reply if you also have trouble answering within 30 seconds.


Do your unanswered incoming calls simply ring out or do they go to voice mail?

If they simply ring out, the caller would not be charged for the unanswered call.


I don’t think mine even goes for 30 sec before it stops ringing, so I often don’t get to it in time. Like Fred says, if it doesn’t go to voice mail/message bank etc, then it costs the caller nothing.

However, given how inexpensive unlimited call/SMS plans are these days, calling back/extra calls have a zero marginal cost, so I’d suggest no real double charging scam exists.


Lots of people still use PAYG or prepaid plans. My monthly mobile bill is under $5 on average. I could get a ‘real plan’ for $10 a month but I would not use it. Many plans also do not include 13 numbers so if one misses a call from say their RSP tech support, the only way to ring them back is often a 13 number, often charged at premium+ rates on these non-plans, so yes, it could be considered a double call scam of sorts.


Totally agree about the short ring time problem with mobile phones.

Scenario: you are out somewhere there is a reasonable amount of background noise (it is a “mobile” phone) and by the time you figure out that in amongst that noise your phone is ringing and the time it takes to get it out of your bag or pocket and you reach for the ‘answer button’ (or any button if your phone has ‘answer on any touch’ type of feature) and put it to your ear … and by that time it has rung out.
Not everyone is sitting in a quiet location all the time focussed on waiting for their mobile to ring.

It is so frustrating.
And with so many of us either choosing to, or being forced to, use a mobile phone as the default phone when we are at home it gets worse - you are doing a task at home (say hanging out the washing) and you hear the phone ring, you drop what you are doing and run (if you are able to run) to where the phone is, only to have it stop ringing just as you get there. You wait a bit and you get the SMS about a missed call - but it says “you missed a call from a private number who did not leave a message” or the missed call message gives a number - which when you ring it is either engaged or does not answer.

You go into settings on your phone to try to set the ring time longer. You ring your service provider to ask them to set the ring time longer in their system.
But it seems thirty seconds is the new maximum.
It is far too short for real life.