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PowerTel Ltd

Publication Date
2 October 2018
Case Reference
128953
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
PowerTel Ltd
Service Type
Directory enquiry
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
4.8.3 (a) Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 2.2.7 Rules relating to pricing
Code 14 2.3.2 Fairness
Code 14 3.4.8 Registration
Code 14 3.4.8 Registration
Summary

The case concerned a directory enquiry service operating on premium rate numbers 118023, 118822, 118093 and 118041 (the “Service”).

The Level 2 provider for the Service was PowerTel Limited (the “Level 2 provider”). The Level 2 provider first registered with the Phone-paid Services Authority (“PSA”) on 10 June 2011.

The Level 1 provider for the Service was Telecom 2 Limited (“the Level 1 provider”).

A company called IPV6 Limited (“IPV6”) obtained the 118 numbers, on which the Service operated, from Ofcom and was the number range holder. IPV6 is not part of the commercial agreement and contract made between the Level 2 provider and the Level 1 provider in relation to the Service. The Level 2 provider had been authorised by IPV6 to manage and act on its behalf for the Service on numbers 118822, 118041, 118093 and 118023.

IPV6 stated the Service started on 21 June 2016 for 118023, 1 October 2015 for 118822, 1 October 2015 for 118093 and 20 June 2016 for 118041.

The Service was said to be promoted via a recorded promotional message on unconnected and/or unallocated geographic numbers and via promotional websites. The promotional websites for 118023, 118093 and 118041 were launched in 25 March 2017. The promotional website for 118822 was launched on 1 October 2015.

Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal decided to impose the following sanctions:
• a formal reprimand
• a fine of £200,000
• a requirement that the Level 2 provider remedy the breach by ensuring compliance
advice on the Service and its promotions is sought and implemented to the satisfaction
of the PSA. Compliance advice must remain implemented for the duration that the
Service remains in operation unless otherwise agreed with the PSA.
• A bar on access to the Service until compliance advice on the Service and its
promotions is sought and implemented to the satisfaction of the PSA. Compliance
advice must remain implemented for the duration that the Service remains in operation
unless otherwise agreed with the PSA.
• 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 the PSA that such refunds have been made.

Administrative charge recommendation: 100%