- Publication Date
- 18 December 2018
- Case Reference
- Track 2
- Adjudicated Party
- FlipCove Ltd
- Service Type
- Tribunal's final assessment
- Very Serious
- 4.8.6 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
4.8.3 (g) Sanctions
- Breaches raised
- Code 14 2.3.3 Fairness
The case concerned a glamour subscription service operating on shared shortcodes 84514 and 78686 under the brand name Score that Girl (the “Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was FlipCove Ltd (the “Level 2 provider”). The Level 2 provider had been registered with the Phone-paid Services Authority (“PSA”) since 9 March 2016. The Level 1 provider for the Service shortcode 82225 was Zamano Solutions Limited (“Veoo”).
The Service was stated to be a glamour subscription service charged at £4.50 per week. The Level 2 provider stated that the Service commenced operation on 16 September 2016. The Service was no longer promoting, marketing having ceased in August 2017. The Level 2 provider confirmed that it was no longer charging existing subscribers. All billing for the Service ceased on the Level 1 providers platform on the 20 November 2017.
At the date of the Tribunal hearing the Executive had received 6 complaints from members of the public alleging that they had been charged for a Service they had not signed up and had not otherwise given their consent to be charged.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PSA Code of Practice 14th Edition (the “Code”):
- Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
The Tribunal upheld the breach of the Code raised. The Level 2 provider’s relevant revenue in relation to the Service was found to be £377,744. The Tribunal considered the case to be Very Serious and imposed a formal reprimand, a fine of £250,000, a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing or having any involvement in any premium rate service for a period of 3 years from the date of the Tribunal decision or until payment of the fine and administrative charges, whichever is the later.
The Tribunal also imposed 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%