Unicate Ltd

Publication Date
29 January 2020
Case Reference
161768
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
Unicate Ltd
Service Type
Virtual Gifts
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (g) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 2.2.2 Transparency and Pricing
Code 14 2.3.2 Fairness
Code 14 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 14 2.6.1 Complaint handling
Code 14 4.2.3 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Summary

The case concerned a subscription alert service operating under the brand name ‘Crowd Offers’ (the “Service”) billing on the shortcode 83003.

The Level 2 provider for the Service was Unicate Ltd (the “Level 2 provider”). The Level 2 provider registered with the Phone-paid Services Authority (the “PSA”) on 23 April 2018. The Level 2 provider updated its own registration with the PSA to end on 12 August 2019. The Level 2 provider is currently not registered with the PSA. 

The Level 2 provider decided to place the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation. A Liquidator was appointed on 15 August 2019. 

The Level 1 provider in respect of the Service was Veoo Ltd (the “Level 1 provider”).

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 two years, starting from the date of publication of the Tribunal decision or until payment of the fine and the administrative charges in full, 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 PSA that such refunds have been made

  • a fine of £170,000.

Administrative charge: 100%