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Blue Stream Mobile Limited

Publication Date
11 July 2013
Case Reference
11743
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
Blue Stream Mobile Limited
Service Type
Entertainment - Adult
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
Code 12 para 4.8.2b - Formal reprimand and/or warning
Code 12 para 4.8.2d - Fine
Code 12 para 4.8.2i - General refunds
Breaches raised
Summary

Since October 2011, PhonepayPlus has received 94 complaints from consumers, regarding an adult pay per page WAP video service operated by the Level 2 provider Blue Stream Mobile Limited (“the Service”). The Level 1 provider was OpenMarket Limited.

The Service was operated on the premium rate shortcode 69155. The cost of viewing a "set" of videos was either £4.50 or £6.50 depending on the content selected. The Service was promoted using mobile text advertisements and banners which appeared when consumers searched for adult content on the mobile internet. The majority of complainants stated that they had received unsolicited, reverse-billed text messages and that they have not engaged with the Service. Others acknowledged using the Service, but claim not to have consented to the amount billed or were not aware that any charges would be incurred.

The Executive raised the following potential breach of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (12th Edition) (the “Code”).

  • Rule 2.3.3 – Charging without consent

The Tribunal upheld a breach of rule 2.3.3 of the Code. The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was within the range of Band 1 (£500,000+). The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed a formal reprimand, a fine of £150,000 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.