Mobtech UG

Publication Date
7 June 2021
Case Reference
145055
Procedure
Track 2
Adjudicated Party
Mobtech UG
Service Type
Virtual Gifts
Tribunal's final assessment
Very Serious
Sanctions
4.8.3 (b) Sanctions
4.8.3 (d) Sanctions
4.8.3 (g) Sanctions
4.8.3 (i) Sanctions
Breaches raised
Code 14 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 14 2.3.2 Fairness
Code 14 4.2.3 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Summary

This case concerned a subscription alerts service called ‘Secret Sales Codes’, which provided consumers with voucher codes for retail stores. The promotional material supplied by the Level 2 provider indicated that the service used two opt-in methods – a PIN verification method and a MO (Mobile-Originated) keyword method. However, the Level 1 provider confirmed that no opt-ins had taken place via the MO keyword method. 

The Executive received 92 complaints concerning the service. The complainants variously alleged that they had not signed up to the service nor agreed to be charged by the Level 2 provider and were unaware of the service or what they had been charged for. 

The Executive sent a warning notice to the Level 2 provider on 23 March 2021 in which the following breaches of the PSA’s Code were raised:

  • Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
  • Rule 2.3.2 – Misleading
  • Paragraph 4.2.3 – Failure to provide information. 

The Tribunal concluded that the seriousness of the case should be regarded overall as very serious.
 
Sanctions imposed

  • formal reprimand
  • a prohibition on the Level 2 provider from providing, or having any involvement in, any premium rate service for a period of five years, starting from the date of publication of the Tribunal decision, or until payment of the fine and the administrative charge, 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 £200,000. 

Administrative charge recommendation: 100%