Between 3 February 2015 and 14 June 2016, PhonepayPlus received 199 complaints concerning a glamour video subscription service (“the Service”), operated by Treasure Media Limited (“the Level 2 provider”). The Service was operated under the brand name “Glamour Teasers” on dedicated shortcode 78123, and shared shortcodes 80333, 82999, 88150 and 88881, and was charged at £3 per week.
Complainants variously alleged that the Service charges were unsolicited.
The Executive raised the following potential breach of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (the "Code"):
* Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge (12th and 13th Edition)
The Tribunal upheld the breach of the Code raised. The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was in Band 2 (£500,00 to £999,999). The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed a formal reprimand, a fine of £135,000, and a requirement that the Level 2 provider remedy the breach by ensuring that it has robust verification of each consumer’s consent to be charged before making any further charge to the consumer, including for existing subscribers to the Service. The Tribunal also imposed a requirement that the Level 2 provider must refund all consumers who claim a refund, for the full amount spent by them on the Service, within 28 days of their claim, save where there is good cause to believe that such claims are not valid, and provide evidence to PhonepayPlus that such refunds have been made.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%