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Moblix Media Limited

Publication Date 09 December 2021
Case Reference 189274
Procedure Track 2
Adjudicated Party Moblix Media Limited
Service Type Information
Tribunal's final assessment Very Serious
Sanctions Code 14 - 4.8.3 (b)
Code 14 - 4.8.3 (d)
Code 14 - 4.8.3 (g) Sanctions
Code 14 - 4.8.3 (i)
Breaches raised Code 14 - 2.3.3 Fairness
Code 14 - 4.2.2 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Code 14 - 4.2.3 Obligations of Providers of premium rate services
Summary

This case concerned a subscription alerts Service called “f(b) Friday” (‘the Service’) which provided consumers with voucher codes and discount offers for retail stores. The Service was provided by Moblix Media Limited (‘the Level 2 provider’) and the Level 1 provider was Tap2Bill Limited the (‘the Level 1 provider’).

The Level 2 provider and Service have previously been subject of a Track 2 procedure. On 6 March 2014, the Tribunal upheld breaches of the Code of Practice (12th Edition), namely Rule 2.3.3 (Consent to charge), Rule 2.2.5 (Pricing prominence and proximity) and Rule 2.2.1 (Information likely to influence the decision to purchase). As a result of the sanctions that were imposed as part of the previous adjudication, the Level 2 provider had previously sought and implemented compliance advice in relation to the Service.

On 28 September 2020, a significant issue regarding the Service was brought to the attention of the Executive by the Level 1 provider. The Level 1 provider informed the Executive that a technical issue on the Level 2 provider’s platform had resulted in 25,770 consumers being overcharged on 25 September 2020. The incident resulted in the Executive receiving 220 complaints from consumers affected by this incident. The complaints from these consumers alleged that they had not signed up to the Service or agreed to be charged by it and that they were unaware of how they had come to receive the chargeable messages.

In addition to the 220 complaints, the Executive also received 91 complaints about the Service from May 2018 to August 2020 (prior to the technical incident). These complainants also alleged that they had not signed up to the Service or agreed to be charged for the Service.

Taking into account all of the above the Tribunal considered the following sanctions to be appropriate and proportionate:

  • formal reprimand
  • a prohibition on the Level 2 provider, from providing or having any involvement in any premium rate service for a period of 5 years, starting from the date of publication of the Tribunal decision, or until payment of the fine and the administrative charges, whichever is the later
  • a requirement that the Level 2 provider refunds all consumers who claim a refund, for the full amount spent by them for 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 the PSA that such refunds have been made
  • a total fine of £900,000 consisting of:
    Rule 2.3.3 - £250,000
    Rule 2.3.3 - £250,000
    Paragraph 4.2.3 - £150,000
    Paragraph 4.2.2 - £250,000.

Administrative charge recommendation: 100%

 

 

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