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Call the 118113 Helpdesk Limited

Publication Date
7 March 2018
Case Reference
106260
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
Call the 118113 Helpdesk Limited
Service Type
Directory enquiry
Tribunal's final assessment
Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 2.2.7 Rules relating to pricing
Code 14 3.4.1 Registration
Code 14 4.2.3 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Summary

This case concerned a directory enquiry service operated by the Level 2 provider, Call the 118 113 Helpdesk Limited.  

The PSA had received 73 complaints about the service stating that they had been unaware of the cost of the call, which was charged at £6.98 for the first minute and £3.49 per minute thereafter.

The Tribunal upheld the following breaches of the PSA Code of Practice (13th and 14th editions)
•    Rule 2.2.7 (Code 13 and 14) – Pricing  
•    Paragraph 3.4.1 (Code 13) - Registration
•    Paragraph 4.2.3 (Code 14) - Failure to disclose information

It concluded that the breaches, overall, were very Serious and imposed the following sanctions:
•    a formal reprimand
•    a total fine of £425,000, comprised of
           - £150,000 in respect of the breach of rule 2.2.7 (pricing)
           - £25,000 in respect of the breach of paragraph 3.4.1 (registration)
           - £250,000 in respect of the breach of paragraph 4.2.3 (failure to provide information).
•    that access to the service is barred 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.
•    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.