- Publication Date
- 9 January 2014
- Case Reference
- Track 2
- Adjudicated Party
- Amectro Ltd
- Service Type
- Mobile download
- Tribunal's final assessment
- Very Serious
- Code 12 para 4.8.2b - Formal reprimand and/or warning
Code 12 para 4.8.2d - Fine
Code 12 para 4.8.2e - Bar
Code 12 para 4.8.2i - General refunds
- Breaches raised
- Code 12 2.3.3 Fairness
Between 26 September 2012 and 18 June 2013, PhonepayPlus received 19 complaints from consumers in relation to a pay-per-stream glamour video download service (the “Service”) operated by the Level 2 provider Amectro Ltd, under brand names including “Home Fun” and “Sexy hot babes!”. The Service operated on the premium rate shortcode 89800 and cost £3.00 for 24 hours access or £3.00 per download depending on the method of entry. The Level 1 provider was OpenMarket Limited. The Service operated between 8 February 2011 and 12 March 2013, when it was voluntarily suspended by the Level 1 provider.
The majority of complainants stated that they had not engaged with the Service but had incurred charges. Some complainants acknowledged receiving messages from the Service but stated that they were unsolicited. The maximum cost incurred by a complainant was reported to be £165.00.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (12th Edition) (the "Code"):
- Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
The Tribunal upheld the breach. 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 issued a formal reprimand, a fine of £250,000, a requirement that access is barred to all the Level 2 provider’s services for 12 months or until compliance advice has been implemented to the satisfaction of PhonepayPlus, whichever is the later, 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.