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Ten must-know facts about consumers and premium rate services

22 November 2010


PhonepayPlus, the regulator of premium rate services (PRS), today published an overview of its consumer research over the last three years, together with five previously unpublished consumer reports.


PhonepayPlus, the regulator of premium rate services (PRS), today published an overview of its consumer research over the last three years, together with five previously unpublished consumer reports. 

The overview, The Consumer Experience of Premium Rate Services, highlights the top ten findings from PhonepayPlus’ consumer research. Top of the list comes the need for clarity in promotions together with clear terms and conditions. More surprising findings include the fact that word-of-mouth promotion of PRS by consumers is second only to internet advertising, and the low use of premium SMS services by Highlanders   and those who live in South-West England, compared with Londoners, who have the highest usage.

From a regulatory perspective, consumers state that awareness that PRS is regulated increases their confidence in using services, while issues with mobile reverse-billed services continue to dominate complaints.

The Consumer Experience of Premium Rate Services top ten findings are:

  1. Consumers need clarity in promotions and clear terms and conditions
  2. Consumers find it hard to pinpoint 087 and mobile costs
  3. Mobile phone reverse charge services top consumer complaints
  4. Any consumer can be vulnerable depending on their situation
  5. Lack of interest in available services is the main reason for not using PRS
  6. Consumers promote PRS by word-of-mouth
  7. High earners most likely to vote on reality TV shows, such as The X-Factor
  8. Londoners are most likely to use premium SMS services, Highlanders  and South-Westerners are least likely
  9. Consumers expect network providers to provide a ‘safety net’ when using PRS and this helps to drive use of services 
  10. Consumers take comfort that services are regulated, although they aren’t necessarily aware that they are

 

Previously unpublished consumer research includes:

  • Consumer Vulnerability and Premium Rate Services
  • Consumers’ understanding of MT-billed services
  • Consumer journey stage 1: Mapping the journey and re-engagement
  • Consumer journey stage 2: What happened to customers who complained about a PRS?
  • Premium rate services consumer research

 

To read The Consumer Experience of Premium Rate Services and related reports, please click here.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. PhonepayPlus is the organisation (previously known as ICSTIS) that regulates phone-paid services - the goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bills and mobile pre-pay accounts. Further details of its work can be found at www.phonepayplus.org.uk.
  2. Ofcom has responsibility and accountability for the regulation of premium rate services under the terms of the Communications Act 2003. However, Ofcom has appointed PhonepayPlus to deliver the day-to-day regulation of the market, granting it formal powers to protect consumers on its behalf by approving its Code of Practice
  3. For more information, contact the PhonepayPlus Press Office on (020) 7940 7440 or email pressoffice@phonepayplus.org.uk