A service provided by the Level 2 provider Worldwide Websites Limited (the “Level 2 provider”) was the subject of a PhonepayPlus investigation and adjudication (case reference: 19887), which resulted in sanctions being imposed by a Tribunal on 14 November 2013. The sanctions imposed by the Tribunal were a formal reprimand, a fine of £75,000, a requirement that access is barred to the Level 2 provider’s service until compliance advice has been implemented to the satisfaction of PhonepayPlus and a requirement that refunds are paid to 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. In addition, an administrative charge of £8,592.30 was imposed.
The Level 2 provider failed to pay the fine and administrative charge within the time period specified.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (12th Edition) (the "Code"):
• Paragraph 4.8.4 (b) – Failure to comply with a sanction
• Paragraph 4.10.2 – Non-payment of an administrative charge
The Tribunal upheld both of the breaches of the Code. The Tribunal considered the breaches to be very serious. It issued a formal reprimand and a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing, or having any involvement in, any premium rate service for a period of three years, starting from the date of publication of this decision, or until the breaches are remedied by payment of the outstanding fine and the original and instant administrative charges, whichever is the later.