Google announced via Google+ on Wednesday that carrier billing is now an alternative method of paying for items like movie rentals, music and apps on Google Play. This allows a customer to charge purchases directly to their wireless account rather than using a credit card. It's convenient, especially for users who don't have a credit card, but the side effect is possible bill shock if spending gets too far out of hand (and it's easy).
"This week we expanded this service to include all types of digital content on Google Play," the company said. "In the U.S., T-Mobile customers can now purchase apps, music, movies and books by charging them directly to their mobile bill."
Here in the States, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile support carrier billing payments. Verizon will likely never provide this option, as the company wants subscribers to use its own services to purchase apps and other content that does allow direct billing. Unfortunately, Verizon isn't on top of keeping its Android apps up to date.
Currently Verizon customers are forced to download outdated subscription-based services like Rdio and Slacker Radio through V Cast Apps if they want to use carrier billing. But there's a way to use the updated versions n nonetheless: simply download and install Verizon's outdated version, choose the monthly subscription within V Cast Apps itself, uninstall the app after getting the service up and running, and then re-download and install the latest version via Google Play with the monthly subscription still intact. Call it a carrier billing cheat.
"In Japan, DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank customers can also enjoy the convenience of paying for movies, apps and games on their mobile bills, too," Google added. "And coming soon, Sprint will offer expanded direct billing options so you can pay for more digital content for your Android device."
For those eager to go on a spending spree and charge the purchases to their wireless bill, here's the official list of worldwide wireless carrier supporters:
Germany -- T-Mobile International, Vodafone (EUR)
Italy -- Vodaphone (EUR)
Japan -- Docomo, KDDI, Softbank (JPY)
Korea -- KT, SKT, LGU+ (KRW)
Spain -- Vodaphone (EUR)
UK -- T-Mobile International, Vodafone (GBP)
USA -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile (USD)
Spain -- Vodaphone (EUR)"
vodaphone? isn't if vodafone
In any case, cue the usual praise for Google.