The new 13th Code of Practice
01 July 2015, Jo Prowse, Acting Chief Executive
Yesterday PhonepayPlus launched a new Code of Practice, our 13th, for the premium rate services (PRS) industry. It continues our focus on outcomes for the market and for consumers, not prescriptive rules, and it is designed with the future development of PRS in mind.
Here are the some of the key changes and further information that industry members need to know.
Key changes in the 13th Code
We have listened to industry and consumers’ views in our consultations and we will continue to be proportionate in applying regulation. The key changes to the Code include:
- A new rule requiring providers to possess any qualifications and/or licences necessary in law before operating a PRS
- An updated rule around the requirement not to take advantage of vulnerable consumers
- The raising of the “forced release” cap on live chat and sexual entertainment services from £30 to £45 per call – with the introduction of the requirements to clearly inform consumers when they have spent £15 and require them to clearly opt in to continue when they have spent £30
- The raising of the existing single purchase cap, and monthly subscription cap, on Children’s Services from £3 to £5 (incl. VAT), and the introduction of a new cumulative purchase cap for Children’s Services of £20 (incl. VAT) per service in any given billing cycle
- The removal of a requirement for all PRS to supply and promote a non-PRS UK phone number for consumer enquiries – although a number should still be provided where this is the most appropriate medium for consumer contact
- The introduction of special conditions to apply to defined higher risk service types
A small number of regulatory standards are being introduced for the first time, which require technical developments. PhonepayPlus will work with industry members to make sure all technical standards are fully implemented before 1 August 2015.
During this period PhonepayPlus will not take enforcement action in relation to these standards:
- Reminders provided in call after £15 has been spent;
- Consent to further charges in call after £30 has been spent;
- Receipt requirements set out in PPV2 (see Notice of Special conditions for (i) ‘Pay-Per-View services’).
UK Calling changes
The new Code also aligns with changes arising from Ofcom’s review of Non-Geographic Call Services, which are known as UK Calling and also come into effect today. These changes, implemented by Ofcom, make the cost of calling service numbers clearer and include numbers that fall under PhonepayPlus’ regulation.
Further information and advice
We have been working with industry to help them prepare for this new Code. Further information and FAQs can be found on the Code of Practice page.
Industry members can also sign-up for our seminars on key parts of the new Code.
Further information on the consultation process for 13th Code of Practice can be found here.
Separately, PhonepayPlus is now reviewing the investigation, adjudication and sanctions procedures contained in ‘Part 4’ of the Code, more information on that work can be found here.