This case concerned alleged breaches of sanctions imposed by an earlier Tribunal (21 September 2018, case reference 111863) following an investigation into a weekly quiz competition service operating under the brand ‘QuizM8’ on PayForIt ("PFI") and shortcode 65065 (the "Service").
The Level 2 provider for the Service was Xplosion Limited (the "Level 2 provider"). The Level 2 provider registered with the Phone-paid Services Authority (the "PSA") on 27 January 2015 and its registration lapsed on 26 January 2018. The Level 2 provider currently remains de-registered on the PSA Registration Scheme.
The Level 1 providers in respect of the Service were Dynamic Mobile Billing Limited ("DMB") and Dimoco Europe GmbH ("Dimoco").
The Executive received 68 complaints concerning the Service between 9 August 2016 and 20 March 2017.
On 21 September 2018, the Tribunal upheld breaches of rule 2.3.3 (consent to charge), rule 2.2.1 (transparency and pricing), rule 2.3.1 (fair and equitable treatment), paragraph 4.2.3 (failure to disclose information), and paragraph 3.4.14 (a) (service registration). The overall assessment was that the case was very serious and the following sanctions were imposed on the Level 2 provider:
• a fine of £250,000
• a formal reprimand
• a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing or having any involvement in any premium rate service for a period of 5 years from the date of the Tribunal decision or until payment of the fine and administrative charges, whichever is the later
• 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.
The Tribunal also recommended payment of 100% of the administrative charge of £5,817.50.
The Level 2 provider was notified informally of the Tribunal’s decision on 1 October 2018. On 4 October 2018 the Level 2 provider was issued with the full Tribunal written decision and fine and administrative charge invoices.
At the date of this Tribunal hearing in relation to the alleged breaches of sanctions, the fine and administrative charge remained outstanding.
Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal decided to impose the following sanctions:
• a formal reprimand
• a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing or having any involvement in any premium rate service for a period of 8 years from the date of the Tribunal decision or until payment of the fine and administrative charges, whichever is the later.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%