Consultation on a new Code of Practice for PhonepayPlus

July 2, 2014

PhonepayPlus today concludes its review of the 12th edition of its Code of Practice and issues a consultation on a proposed 13th edition for stakeholder analysis and comment.

The Code of Practice sets out the rules and regulations for every company or individual involved in providing premium rate services in the UK. PhonepayPlus investigates complaints about services that do not meet the standards and expectations set out in the Code.

PhonepayPlus has issued previous updates during the review, and invited stakeholders to respond to a Call for Inputs last year while the proposed new Code was under development. As a result the final review and proposed 13th Code places emphasis in the following areas:

• Changes to ensure the Code remains effective after Ofcom’s implementation of its Non-Geographic Call Services review in June 2015. This includes proposals around changes to existing spending caps on various voice and mobile services.

• Changes to ensure the Code is future-proof, continues to have appropriate flexibility to adapt to market developments and act as an enabler for market innovation.

• Changes to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of PhonepayPlus’ investigative processes.

• Changes to further embed the principle of Polluter Pays, ensuring that those who cause harm to the consumer bear a higher relative burden in terms of funding regulatory activity than others in the market.

• Changes to the existing prior permissions regimes which will remove the requirement to seek permission prior to operating a relevant service. These changes will allow PhonepayPlus to activate previously defined special conditions to apply to any service types which present risk going forward.

The review and accompanying proposals for a new edition of the Code represent an important set of changes to ensure an already strong regulatory framework can continue to adapt to the pace of change in the digital telecoms arena. PhonepayPlus does not believe that the changes being proposed will create a disproportionate burden on industry. Indeed it is our view that the majority of changes will reduce regulatory burden, increase flexibility, or ensure clarity and consistency, and will be relatively easy to apply.

As such we urge interested stakeholders to read and respond to the proposals by 10 September 2014. Interested parties can respond to the consultation by email to David Levitt – – or by sending written responses to David Levitt, Senior Policy Executive, PhonepayPlus Ltd., 1st Floor, Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, London SE1 2NQ.

The consultation paper can be found here. This document includes two annexes:

A: Draft PhonepayPlus Code of Practice, 13th edition, including changes marked up for transparency.

B: Approach to existing prior permissions regimes under the proposed Special Conditions framework.

You can also view a version of the proposed Code of Practice, 13th edition, here.

Any Code of Practice must be approved by Ofcom under the Communications Act 2003. Ofcom are consulting on this process at this time, and their consultation paper can be found at their website here.


The closing date for responses was 10 September 2014.

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