A service provided by the Level 2 provider Partner Telecom Limited (the “Level 2 provider”) was the subject of a Phone-paid Services Authority (“PSA”) investigation and adjudication by consent (case reference: 74817), which resulted in sanctions being agreed between the parties and imposed by a Tribunal on 19 October 2016. The sanctions imposed by the Tribunal were a formal reprimand, a fine of £120,000, a requirement that the Level 2 provider remedy the breach by ensuring that it has robust verification of each consumer’s consent to be charged before making any further charge to the consumers, including for existing subscribers to the service; and a requirement that the Level 2 provider 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 the PSA that such refunds have been made. In addition, an administrative charge of £3,681.58 was imposed.
The Level 2 provider failed to pay the fine in the time period specified or at all.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PSA Code of Practice (14th Edition) (“the Code”)
* Paragraph 4.8.6(b) – Failure to comply with a sanction
The Tribunal upheld the breach of the Code raised. The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed 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.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%