- Publication Date
- 16 July 2020
- Case Reference
- Track 2
- Adjudicated Party
- Plus que PRO SAS
- Service Type
- Tribunal's final assessment
- Very Serious
- 4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (e) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
- Breaches raised
- Code 14 2.2.1 Transparency and Pricing
Code 14 2.3.1 Fairness
Code 14 2.3.2 Fairness
Code 14 3.11.3 Special Conditions
Code 14 3.4.8 Registration
The case concerned an Information, Connection and/or Signposting Service (ICSS) which operated on the number range 0904289514X (“the Service”).
The Level 2 provider for the Service was Plus que PRO SAS (“the Level 2 provider”). The Level 1 provider was Innecto though a second Level 1 provider Daotec also operated within the value chain. The Network operator was GCI Network Solutions Ltd.
The Service was first promoted in November 2016 but was initially run by another Level 2 provider. The Level 2 provider registered the Service with the Executive on 7 March 2017.
The Service was a call-connection Service which offered connection to a number of organisations and was promoted on web-based search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
The Executive received one complaint in relation to the Service which prompted monitoring of the Service to take place.
The Executive sent a Warning Notice to the Level 2 provider on 24 April 2020 in which the following breaches of the Code were raised:
- Rule 2.2.1 – Transparency and Pricing
- Rule 2.3.1 – Fairness
- Rule 2.3.2 – Misleading
- Paragraph 3.11.3 (Special Conditions ICSS3)
- Paragraph 3.4.8 – Registration.
On 1 July 2020 the Tribunal reached a decision in respect of the breaches.
The Executive’s initial assessment, before any potential uplift or downgrade in light of aggravating or mitigating features, was that the following sanctions were appropriate based on a preliminary assessment of the breaches as “very serious”.
- formal reprimand
- that access to the Service is barred until the Level 2 provider has paid its fine and administration charges in full, and sought and implemented compliance advice to the satisfaction of the PSA
- 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 £1,100,000 comprised of:
Rule 2.2.1 - £175,000
Rule 2.3.1 - £250,000
Rule 2.3.2 - £250,000
Rule 3.11.3 (ICSS SC 3) - £250,000
Paragraph 3.4.8 - £175,000
The Tribunal agreed with the Executive’s initial assessment of sanctions however it was of the view that the wording of the sanction which related to the Service being barred should be amended as follows:
• that access to the Level 2 provider’s Service and all of its numbers is barred for a period of two years or until the Level 2 provider has paid its fine and administration charges in full, and sought and implemented compliance advice to the satisfaction of the PSA, whichever is the later.