Regulator fines ICSS provider £250,000 after it misled consumers

7 January 2020

The Phone-paid Services Authority has fined ECN Digital Ltd £250,000 for five breaches of the Code.

ECN used an ICSS – an Information, Connection and Signposting Service – to connect consumers to companies including Vodafone, Royal Sun Alliance, Yorkshire Water and TNT at a cost of 13p a minute, but the pricing information on ECN’s website didn’t make clear that consumers would be charged. The website also included pictures of some of the companies’ logos, which meant it wasn’t clear to consumers whether they were phoning a call-connection service or the company directly.

The PSA’s Tribunal found that ECN had committed five breaches, four ‘very serious’ and one ‘serious’. ECN made an estimated £90,362 in gross revenue from these breaches.

As well as imposing a fine of £250,000, the Tribunal issued a General Refund sanction meaning that all consumers who are eligible for a refund and claim one must receive one.

In a separate case, the PSA Tribunal has banned a Level 2 provider called Tobaji Ltd from the market for a minimum of five years, after it failed to pay a £700,000 fine. In September 2018, the Tribunal fined Tobaji following six regulatory breaches, but Tobaji has not paid it. The Tribunal has prohibited it from having any involvement in the phone-paid services market for a minimum of five years.

View the ECN Digital Ltd adjudication in full here.

View the Tobaji Ltd adjudication in full here.