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Adjudication

Publication Date
10 April 2017
Case Reference
12617
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
TREASURE MEDIA LIMITED
Service Type
Video
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
4.8.3 (g) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 4.8.6 (b) Sanctions
Summary

A service provided by the Level 2 provider Treasure Media Limited (“the Level 2 provider”) was the subject of a Phonepaid-Services Authority (“PSA”) investigation and adjudication (case reference: 62595), which resulted in sanctions being imposed by a Tribunal on 15 August 2016. The sanctions imposed by the Tribunal were:

  • a formal reprimand;
  • a fine of £135,000;
  • a requirement that the Level 2 provider remedy the breach by ensuring that it has robust verification of each consumer’s consent to be charged before making any further charge to the consumer, including for existing subscribers to the Service; and
  • 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 PhonepayPlus that such refunds have been made.

The Tribunal additionally recommended that the PSA (then known as PhonepayPlus) impose 100% of the administrative costs incurred in relation to the case. The administrative charge was £12,749.62

The formal notification was sent to the Level 2 provider by email and post on 26 August 2016.

The Level 2 provider subsequently failed to provide evidence to the Executive that it had complied with the remedy the breach sanction by ensuring that it had robust verification of each consumer’s consent to be charged before making any further charge to the consumer, including for existing subscribers to the Service.

The Executive received a further 33 complaints regarding the Service following the Tribunal adjudication of 15 August 2016. Complainants variously alleged that the Service charges were unsolicited. 

The Executive raised the following potential breach of the Code of Practice 14th Edition (“the Code”):

  • Paragraph 4.8.6(b) – Failure to comply with sanctions

The Tribunal upheld the breach of the Code raised.

The Level 2 provider’s evidenced revenue in relation to the Service in the period from August 2016  to December 2016 was in the range of Band 3 (£250,000 - £499,999).

The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed the following sanctions:

  • A formal reprimand;
  • A fine of £250,000;
  • That the Level 2 provider be prohibited from providing , or having any involvement in, any premium rate service for a period of 5 years from the date of this publication;
  • A requirement that access to the Service be  barred for a period of 5 years from the date of publication of the adjudication; and
  • 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 Phone-paid Services Authority that such refunds have been made.

Administrative charge recommendation:                                                                                                100%

Click here to view the Adjudication decision