Madlenka Limited

Publication Date
27 June 2019
Case Reference
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
Madlenka Limited
Service Type
Directory enquiry
Tribunal's final assessment
Very serious
4.8.3 (a) Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (c) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 2.2.7 Rules relating to pricing
Code 14 2.3.2 Fairness

The case concerned a directory enquiry service that operated on premium rate numbers 118068 and 118298 (the “Service”) operated by Madlenka Limited (the “Level 2 provider”). The Level 1 provider for the Service was Telecom 2 Limited (the “Level 1 provider”).

The Service operated in the following manner:

Consumers searching online for the number of a company they wanted to connect saw adverts served by the Level 2 provider directing them to call an 0345 number. If the 0345 number was called during office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), consumers were connected directly to the company (i.e. the AA, RAC, SKY). However, the numbers were not the official contact numbers for these companies. If dialed out of hours, there was a recorded message telling callers to dial a 118 number.

Consumers calling the service on either 118068 or 118298 were charged £6.98 for the call and £3.49 per minute thereafter.

The Executive sent a Warning Notice to the Level 2 provider in which the following breaches of the PSA Code of Practice, 14th Edition (the “Code”) were raised:

• Rule 2.2.7 – Pricing Prominence
• Rule 2.3.2 – Misleading

The Level 2 provider did not respond to the Executive’s Warning Notice.

On 12 June 2019, the Tribunal reached a decision on the breaches.

Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal decided to impose the following sanctions:

• a requirement to remedy the breach
• a formal reprimand
• compliance advice
• that access to the Service be barred until the breach is remedied to the satisfaction of the Executive
• a requirement that the Level 2 provider refund all consumers who claim a refund
• a fine of £250,000.

Administrative charge recommendation: 100%