Between 26 March 2015 and 15 December 2015, the Executive received 84 complaints concerning a glamour video subscription service, charged at £3 per week, operating on dedicated shortcode 78686, and shared shortcodes 82999 and 88150 (the “Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was SMS Avalanche Limited (the “Level 2 provider”). The Level 1 provider for Service shortcode 78686 was Zamano Solutions Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcodes 82999 and 88150 was Veoo Ltd.
After analysing complainant message logs, the Executive noted that there was a high failure rate of chargeable messages following the purported consumer opt-ins, and the delivery status of Service messages was unclear.
The Executive raised the following potential breach of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (the "Code"):
The Tribunal upheld the breach of the Code raised. The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was in Band 2 (£500,000 - £999,999). The Tribunal considered the case to be significant and imposed a formal reprimand, a requirement to remedy the breach by ensuring adequate processes were established and implemented to prevent undue delay of Service provision in future, with such processes to be established by no later than 18 March 2016, a fine of £35,000, 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.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%