Annual Report 2016/17
13 July 2017, David Edmonds CBE, Chairman
Back in April, I promised to blog occasionally. Today we published our 2016/17 Annual Report and I thought it was a good opportunity to share some personal perspectives again.
Looking back on the year, it struck me that 2016/17 was pretty noteworthy for the PSA. It was our 30th year of regulating the market – ICSTIS, as we were known then, was founded in 1986.
The market, of course, is almost unrecognisable. In 1986 – way before the first text message had been sent and the smartphone was even dreamt of – we regulated 0898 numbers only. Now, the market is predominately mobile and offers consumers a vast array of services from digital content downloads and app store purchases through to charity donations and voting on TV shows.
Being our thirtieth year, we took the opportunity to make sure we’re still fit for purpose and meeting the needs of consumers. We rebranded to the Phone-paid Services Authority and we published a new vision, mission and set of strategic priorities.
All of these changes put consumers at the heart of what we do. Our new name tries to make it clearer to consumers who we are and how we can help. Our vision emphasises consumer confidence and our mission prioritises consumer protection and furthering their interests.
I’m glad to report that we have been putting this into action. Not only did we take robust enforcement action against the providers who broke the rules but we also tightened our requirements up where consumers were getting confused. The introduction of new Special conditions on online competition and adult services has coincided with a significant drop in consumer complaints to us.
But we also recognise that consumers can and do benefit from competition and innovation. And that’s why we are open to working with industry to ensure they are well placed to take advantage of new market opportunities in a responsible way. That’s innovation in the consumer interest.
I hope you find this year’s annual report informative. It sets out in detail how we’ve worked towards our goals over the last 12 months.
Access the Annual Report here.