On 13 November 2014, the Tribunal adjudicated against a recruitment and recruitment training and advice service operated by the Level 2 provider, BKings Group Limited (formerly known as BKings Telecommunications Limited) (“BKings”), and another recruitment and recruitment and training advice service operated by the Level 2 provider, Total Recruitment Consultancy Limited (“TRC”).
The Tribunal had upheld breaches of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (12th edition) (“the Code”) against each of the Level 2 providers in relation to misleading promotions, failing to provide full and clear information likely to influence the decision to purchase and operating premium rate numbers that were not registered with PhonepayPlus. In addition, in relation to the adjudication against BKings, the Tribunal upheld a breach of rule 2.1.1 of the Code as the service was operating contrary to the law. In relation to TRC, the Tribunal upheld a further breach of rule 2.2.5 regarding a lack of clarity concerning the pricing information.
The Network operator in both cases was Numbers Plus Ltd (“the Network operator”). During the course of the investigations against both BKings and TRC, the Executive had concerns regarding the adequacy of due diligence procedures on its client BKings, and the assessment of risk and the adequacy of the continuing steps taken to control risk by the Network operator, as required by the Code.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the Code:
- Paragraph3.3.1 - Due diligence
- Paragraph3.1.3 - Risk assessment and control
The Tribunal upheld both the breaches of the Code. The Network operator’s revenue in relation to the Service was at the lower end of the range of Band 6 (£5,000 - £49,999). The Tribunal considered the case to be serious and imposed a formal reprimand, and a requirement that the Network operator submit to a compliance audit of its due diligence, risk assessment and control procedures, the Network operator must submit details of the auditor and the auditor’s proposal within 14 days from the date of publication of the decision, unless an extension is agreed with PhonepayPlus. The audit must be conducted by a third party approved by PhonepayPlus and the recommendations of the audit must be implemented within a period defined by PhonepayPlus. The costs of such audit must be paid by the Network operator.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%