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Adjudication

Publication Date
29 March 2017
Case Reference
97476
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
BROWSER GAMES 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 13 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 13 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 14 4.2.3 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Code 13 3.4.14 (a) Registration
Code 13 3.12.5 Specified Service Charges and Durations of Calls
Summary

Between 29 February 2016 and 21 October 2016, the Executive received 38 complaints concerning a games subscription service, charged at £4.50 per month(“the Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was Browser Games Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcode 88450 was Veoo Ltd.

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 4.2.3 - Failure to disclose requested information
  • Paragraph 3.12.5 – Subscription spend reminders
  • Paragraph 3.4.14 (a) – Failure to register a service

The Tribunal upheld all the breaches of the Code raised save for the alleged breach of paragraph 3.12.5 of the Code.  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 the PSA that such refunds have been made.  

Administrative charge recommendation:                                                                                                                  100%

Click here to view the Adjudication decision