Between 25 March 2015 and 9 December 2016, the Executive received 500 complaints concerning five glamour video subscription services, at £2.50, £3 or £4.50 per week (“the Service”). The Level 2 provider for the Service was Global Awareness Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcodes 85878, 78450 and 78113 was Zamano Solutions Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcodes 82999, 88150 and 66111 was Veoo Limited. The Level 1 provider for Service shortcode 85250 was mGage Europe Limited.
Complainants variously alleged that they had not consented to be charged for the Service.
The Executive raised the following potential breaches of the PSA Code of Practice (“the Code”)
- Paragraph 3.1.7- Inadequate technical quality
- Paragraph 4.2.3 (13th Code) and 4.2.5 (14th Code) – Failing to disclose information to PSA
- Rule 2.3.3 – Consent to charge
The Tribunal upheld the breaches of the Code raised. The Level 2 provider’s revenue in relation to the Service was in Band 1 (£1,000,000+). The Tribunal considered the case to be very serious and imposed a formal reprimand, a fine of £650,000, 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, and that the Level 2 provider take all reasonable steps to ensure that message failures are rectified promptly. The Tribunal also imposed a bar on access to all number ranges associated with the Services which the Level 2 provider currently operated until it had sought and implemented compliance advice on consent to charge, and remedied the breaches as required by the sanctions. 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 PSA that such refunds have been made.
Administrative charge recommendation: 100%