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PhonepayPlus consults on Guidance associated with the 13th Code of Practice and proposals for new Special conditions

31 March 2015

Update (01/07/2015):
PhonepayPlus has completed its consultation on both Guidance for Code 13 and its proposals for new Special conditions. We publish a final statement outlining our position following consideration of a wide range of responses from stakeholders.

PhonepayPlus issues Guidance in support of its Code of Practice to assist people in understanding its expectations and help industry achieve high compliance standards. A full review of Guidance took place during the Code Review Project, and we set out our review findings in the consultation paper published on 31 March 2015.

PhonepayPlus proposed changes to seven pieces of Guidance. Following consultation some amendments have been made, including the decision to separate the advice given on ‘Privacy’ from that dealing with ‘Consent to charge’. These changes are explained in our Final Statement on Guidance and Special conditions (1 July 2015)

Special conditions
The changes to the Code also led to a full consultation on new Special Conditions for a range of service types that PhonepayPlus considered to pose a higher level of risk. The framework for Special Conditions is found in section 3.11 of the Code and the introduction of Special Conditions is to make sure those risks are managed and achieve high compliance standards.

The proposals were set out in a consultation paper published on 31 March 2015: Guidance and new Special conditions associated with the 13th edition of the Code of Practice. Following consultation PhonepayPlus is publishing ten (10) Notices of Special Conditions. They can be found on our website here: the Code of Practice.

The Special Conditions Notices take effect as of the publication of our Final Statement on Guidance and Special conditions (1 July 2015).

Update (17/06/2015):

PhonepayPlus has engaged in a variety of discussions with key stakeholders since publication of this consultation and have received 18 written submissions, two of which have been shared with us confidentially. The policy team are reviewing the submissions and making some amendments in light of the constructive input received during this consultation period. We will be publishing a final statement shortly.

Following the announcements by Ofcom and PhonepayPlus on Thursday, 26 March 2015 relating to the provisional approval of the 13th edition of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice, PhonepayPlus is publishing a consultation paper outlining our proposed new guidance and details of Special conditions we propose to introduce under the new Code.

As part of the Code Review Project that has been undertaken over the last two years, PhonepayPlus has reviewed all of its published guidance in light of the changing market and the proposals made by Ofcom in its statement on non-geographic call services (December 2013). While we consider much of the guidance remains fit for purpose, we have proposed to amend seven pieces of guidance on the following topics:

- Due diligence, risk assessment and control;
- Promoting premium rate services (PRS);
- Complaint handling;
- Lower cost services;
- Definitions, including parties in the value chain;
- Privacy and consent to charge; and
- Virtual chat services.

In light of the planned introduction of Special conditions to apply to defined higher risk service types, which will replace “prior permissions”, PhonepayPlus is consulting on the proposed scheme for Special conditions. There are 12 categories of service covered by this consultation, which are listed below:

- Broadcast PRS;
- Live entertainment and chatline services;
- Higher rate PRS;
- Credit broking services;
- Information, connection, and signposting services;
- Professional services, including counselling services;
- Pay-per-view services;
- Call TV quiz services;
- Remote gambling services;
- Subscription services;
- Recurring donation services; and
- Voice-based, text charged services.

Today PhonepayPlus is consulting on proposals to transpose conditions found in current “prior permission” regimes across to the new framework of Special conditions established by the 13th Code. The consultation paper sets out our proposals giving reasons why we consider the need to impose such Special conditions. In the annexes to the consultation paper there are twelve Notices, which set out in full the proposed Special conditions for each category of service.

We invite all stakeholders to consider the draft guidance and proposed Notices of Special conditions and to respond with their feedback and evidence in support of their comments. The consultation period starts today, and will conclude on Friday, 15 May 2015.

All feedback received in that time will be carefully considered before PhonepayPlus publishes finalised guidance and issues Notices of Special conditions in line with the launch of the 13th Code on 1 July 2015.

Key links to documents being published today:

- Consultation on Guidance and new Special conditions

- Proposed Guidance
     - Annex B1 – Due diligence, risk assessment and control (DDRAC)
     - Annex B2 – Promoting PRS
     - Annex B3 – Complaint handling
     - Annex B4 – Lower cost services
     - Annex B5 – Definitions, including parties in the value chain
     - Annex B6 – Privacy and consent to charge
     - Annex B7 – Virtual chat services

- Proposed Notices of Special Conditions
     - Annex C1 – Broadcast PRS (BCAST)
     - Annex C2 – Live entertainment and chatline services (LECS)
     - Annex C3 – Higher rate PRS (HRPRS)
     - Annex C4 – Credit broking services (CBRK)
     - Annex C5 – Information, connection and signposting services (ICSS)
     - Annex C6 – Professional services, including counselling services (PROF)
     - Annex C7 – Pay per view services (PPV)
     - Annex C8 – Call TV Quiz services (CTQ)
     - Annex C9 – Remote gambling services (RG)
     - Annex C10 – Subscription services (SUBS)
     - Annex C11 – Recurring donation services (RDS)
     - Annex C12 – Voice-based, Text charged (VBTC)

- Responses to the consultations:
Channel 4
Clix Connect and others
Dualmix ServicesGuidance
Ian Galtin
Louis Groves
Micro Software & Computers
Nine Group