Between 5 March 2015 and15 November 2016, the Executive received 418 complaints concerning a glamour video subscription service, charged at £3 or £4.50 per week (“the Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was Syncronized Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcode 84506 was Zamano Solutions Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcode 66255 was Fonix Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcodes 88150, 82999, 80008, and 89225 was Veoo 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”):
- Paragraph 3.1.7- Inadequate technical quality
- Paragraph 4.2.3 (13th Code) and 4.2.5 (14th Code) – Failing to disclose information to PSA
- Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
The Tribunal upheld the breaches of the Code raised. The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was in Band 1 (£1,000,000 +). The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed a formal reprimand, and a fine of £600,000. The Tribunal also imposed a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing, or having any involvement in, any premium rate service for a period of three years from the date of publication of this decision, or until compliance with sanctions, whichever was later, and a requirement that the Level 2 provider seeks prior permission for the operation of any premium rate service for a period of 24 months after the expiry of the prohibition. 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%