PSA Tribunal issues £700,000 fine to third-party call connection company
A company which charged consumers for connection to customer service helplines via premium-rate 087 numbers has been issued with a substantial fine by the regulator, the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA).
Tobaji Limited, which operated the CustomerServiceContactNumber.co.uk website, has been fined £700,000 and barred from operating until it makes significant changes to the service. The Tribunal also issued a General Refund sanction, meaning that all consumers who are eligible for a refund and claim one must receive one.
The fine exceeds revenue which the company made from the service as a deterrent to the company and others from engaging in similar behaviour in the future.
The PSA Code Adjudication Tribunal found that the company had used misleading promotions on its website, which did not make it clear to consumers that they were using a third-party connection service.
The company also breached Special conditions for services of this type, including a failure to adequately notify consumers of costs and the nature of the service at the start of the call via a voice message. Several of the numbers which it was using were not registered with PSA, as required by the PSA Code of Practice.
PSA received a number of complaints about the service from consumers.