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PhonepayPlus publishes its Business Plan and Budget 2014/15

27 March 2014

Following consultation with industry and other stakeholders, PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator of premium rate telephone services (PRS), publishes its Business Plan and Budget 2014/15 – Adding Value in a Complex and Converging Market.

In this plan PhonepayPlus sets out how it will to continue to deliver effective and forward-looking regulation in a rapidly changing market.

The PhonepayPlus Business Plan and Budget 2014/15 contains the following themes and priorities:

  • Strengthening compliance and enforcement – PhonepayPlus will work with industry to build compliance through improved due diligence, risk assessment and control, make sure that polluters pay for the harm that they cause in the market and help to ensure that affiliate marketing is used compliantly.
  • Improving the customer experience – PhonepayPlus will work with industry to raise standards of consumer care and redress, further improve its own consumer support and further develop protections for vulnerable consumers.
  • Future proof regulation – PhonepayPlus will work with industry, regulators and other partners to tackle the increasing risk from new online and security threats, update and future proof its Code of Practice and work with government and other bodies to ensure that the regulatory framework for low-value digital purchases, such as premium rate services, keeps pace with changes in the market.
  • Enhancing regulatory efficiency and effectiveness – PhonepayPlus will further strengthen its partnership working with other bodies and continue to improve its business systems and processes.

The overall cost of regulation for 2014/15 is £4,444,645 including VAT. Following four years where we reduced our budget by 24.5% without compromising our overall effectiveness, this represents an increase of 3.3% in cash terms and 0.5% in real terms taking account of the current rate of inflation. The increase is due to rising legal costs and the increased volume and complexity of calls, enquiries and complaints that we receive. We are working with industry to increase compliance and improve to the consumer journey, which will bring down the number of contacts that we receive.

The Registration Scheme Budget is presented as a separate budget in the consultation published today. From 1 April 2014 the registration fee for those eligible to pay will increase from £135+VAT to £150+VAT. This will help to ensure that the costs of the scheme are covered and that the initial upfront costs are paid back over time.

To view the full PhonepayPlus Business Plan and Budget 2014/15 please click here.