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Phonepayplus confirms 2010/11 administrative charges, business plan and budget as research shows growth in some market segments

30 March 2010


PhonepayPlus today confirmed its annual Business Plan and Budget for 2010/11 following its consultation published on 2 December 2009. The regulator also announced its Administrative Charges for 2010/11, which will apply from 1 April 2010. Earlier this month, PhonepayPlus confirmed its budget for 2010/11 will reduce by 3% to £4,221,850, with the resulting industry levy reduced to 0.21%.


PhonepayPlus today confirmed its annual Business Plan and Budget for 2010/11 following its consultation published on 2 December 2009. The regulator also announced its Administrative Charges for 2010/11, which will apply from 1 April 2010. Earlier this month, PhonepayPlus confirmed its budget for 2010/11 will reduce by 3% to £4,221,850, with the resulting industry levy reduced to 0.21%.

The Business Plan for 2010/11 sets out an ambitious programme of work for the coming year. This programme includes the implementation of a new Code of Practice and the introduction of a registration scheme for premium rate service providers. PhonepayPlus has also committed to delivering an extension of our compliance advice service for industry, and to work with industry on a better approach to handling consumer complaints and providing redress. PhonepayPlus also remains committed to the monitoring and research of phone-paid services, reflected in the publication today of the regulator’s third annual research report into the phone-paid services market.

The ‘Current & future market for Premium Rate Services’ report estimates that premium rate revenues, excluding VAT, totalled £810 million in 2009. This includes £78.2 million generated through 087 numbers, leaving a premium market value excluding 087 of £731.8 million, an 11.4% decline compared to 2008.

However, despite the tough economic climate, there is good news for the phone-paid industry, with signs that consumer confidence is on the up in some areas. Consumers are returning to TV voting, for example, where the market grew by 8-10% in 2009. Some industry commentators see consumer confidence returning to the premium rate services market in general, with only 14.4% of survey respondents saying they do not use phone-paid services because of a lack of trust.

As well as economic conditions, clarity of pricing for premium rate services – particularly for voice calls on mobile – remains a major obstacle to growth for the industry. Of the 45% of consumers who said they were not certain what they would be charged for using a premium rate service, 70% of these said this lack of clarity had stopped them using the service.

The research also shows that, as in previous years, a lack of innovation has played a part in market decline – 77% of adults aged 20 and older gave the reason of not finding services on offer interesting as an explanation for not using premium rate services. However, the advent of more user-friendly, feature-rich phones could encourage use of more paid-for services on the mobile internet, or through mobile applications, capitalising on growing consumer confidence in phone-paid services.

Paul Whiteing, PhonepayPlus’ Chief Executive, welcomed the Business Plan and research report, saying:

‘The Business Plan 2010/11 priorities are the ones industry and other stakeholders have been requesting. They are about working with industry to build on our successes in preventing consumer harm and raising consumer confidence in the value of premium rate services. The new Code and registration scheme, as well as our work with industry around compliance and complaints resolution, are all opportunities to increase consumer confidence and help the industry grow and develop. We recognise that innovation is important in sustaining and growing the market and we will work hard to ensure that regulation around new products and services is fair and proportionate for both consumers and industry.’

To view the full final Business Plan and Budget, click here

To view the Administrative Charges notice, click here

To view the ‘Current & future market for Premium Rate Services’ research document, click here

  1. Carried out by Thinktank, an international qualitative and market research company, the ‘Current & future market for Premium Rate Services’ report has consumer research as its core – using qualitative feedback from members of the public, in-depth interviews with industry members and a quantitative study of 5,000 respondents to inform statistics on premium rate usage, consumer trust, and service developments and platforms that will drive the future of the market.
  2. For further comment, please contact the PhonepayPlus press office on 0207 940 7440 or pressoffice@phonepayplus.org.uk