Registration Scheme for premium rate service providers: an interim update and short consultation

13 April 2010

An interim update and short consultation on PhonepayPlus' proposed Registration Scheme for premium rate service providers.

PhonepayPlus today published an interim update on the development of a Registration Scheme for premium rate service (PRS) providers that includes a six-week consultation on a key question regarding its implementation.

In 2010, the regulator will launch a new Code of Practice that, if approved, will for the first time place an emphasis on desired outcomes for consumers rather than prescriptive rules on how services should operate. The proposed new Code will also distribute regulatory responsibility along the value chain, including content businesses that market directly to consumers.

Key to this new approach is a proposed mandatory registration for all PRS providers. This will deliver a number of benefits: businesses will find it easier to carry out due diligence on their partners; consumers will be able to quickly find answers to questions about a service they have used or seen advertised; and because PhonepayPlus will link its adjudications to businesses and their directors, a light will be shone on rogue providers that sometimes give the market a bad name.

The update outlines the Scheme’s objectives and governing principles and explains our thinking on its scope; the information we would require businesses to provide; and how it should be paid for.

We are also seeking views on our intention to proceed with the implementation of the Scheme despite the fact that the Code has not yet been consulted on, nor approved by, Ofcom. In light of a challenging implementation time-frame, we are conducting a six-week consultation that ends on 25 May.

Please click here to view the update which includes details on how to respond to this limited consultation exercise.