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Adjudication

Publication Date
04 January 2017
Case Reference
90803
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
GAMENATION (UK) LIMITED
Service Type
All games (excluding social)
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 12 2.3.3 Consent to charge
Code 13 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 13 4.2.5 Investigations
Code 13 3.12.5 Specified Service Charges and Durations of Calls
Code 13 3.4.1 Registration
Summary

Between 7 December 2015 and 17 July 2016, the Executive received 31 complaints concerning a games subscription service, charged at £4.50 per month (“the Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was GameNation (UK) Ltd. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcodes 88450 was Veoo Ltd and the Level 1 provider for 87066 was Tap2Bill Limited.
Complainants variously alleged that they had not consented to be charged for the Service.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PSA Code of Practice (“the Code”)
• Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
• Paragraph 4.2.5 - Failure to disclose requested information
• Paragraph 3.12.5 – Subscription spend reminders

• Paragraph 3.4.1 – Failure of a provider to register with the Phone-paid Services Authority

The Tribunal upheld the breaches of the Code raised.  The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was in Band 3 (£250,000 to £499,999). The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed a formal reprimand, a fine of £200,000, and a requirement that access to the Service is barred until compliance advice regarding the Level 2 provider’s procedures for ensuring that it only charges consumers for whom it holds robust and verifiable evidence of consent to charge has been obtained, and implemented to the satisfaction of the Phone-paid Services Authority. The Tribunal also imposed a requirement that the Level 2 provider must refund all consumers who claim a refund, for the full amount spent by them on the Service, within 28 days of their claim, save where there is good cause to believe that such claims are not valid, and provide evidence to PSA that such refunds have been made. 
 
Administrative charge recommendation:                                                                                            100%

Click here to view the Adjudication decision