PSA bans two individuals from market for five years
9 September 2019
Two named individuals, Eliad Shenar and Meital Shenar, have been banned from the UK phone-paid services market for five years
The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) has banned two individuals from having any involvement in the UK phone-paid services market for five years.
Eliad Shenar and Meital Shenar were associated with the company Halak Online Ltd, which was issued with sanctions by the PSA in 2018, including a fine of £200,000.
Halak Online Ltd operated a website called HelplineContactNumber.co.uk. It provided access to helplines for companies including Microsoft, Sky, Virgin and O2 via premium rate numbers.
Consumers who contacted the PSA reported that they did not realise that the service was a third party, and they were not made aware of the costs. One consumer reported:
‘I was billed… £10.71 from an unknown number. I would like to know the identity of the company making these charges as I do not recognise it.’
Another reported that they:
'didn’t see any pricing information on the website and didn’t know [they] would be charged for the call.'
The Tribunal rated the case as ‘Very Serious’ and upheld all the alleged breaches of the PSA Code and Special conditions. Access to the service was barred. Halak was issued with a fine of £200,000 and ordered to refund all eligible consumers who claimed one.
For failing to comply with these original sanctions, the named individuals behind the company have been prohibited from the UK phone-paid services market for a period of five years.
Read the adjudications in full here.