PhonepayPlus Promises To Crack Down On Rogue Phone Companies

PhonepayPlus, which had changed its name in June 2007 from ICSTIS, will clamp down on rogue mobile subscription services thanks to some new guidelines that can be expected to become underlying rules for the whole mobile content subscription market.

The new set of rules come after a consultation period but are unlikely to deter rogue dealers already operating on the market according to some industry observers.

The regulatory body's own set of figures show that the number of complaints for the year ending June 2008 had more than double with on average close to 2000 complaints registered every month.

The report published in December 2008 also showed that one in ten users in the 11-17 age bracket will use a phone paid service in the future with nearly half having done so in the past six months.

Amongst some of the clauses in the voluntary code of conduct include the fact that content providers selling mobile content subscription services for more than £4.50 per week must register with PPP before operating. An obvious loophole would be for these to charge £4.49 instead.

PPP is also promoting a double-opt in sign up process, encouraging consumers to reply to a free SMS sent by the provider and containing the terms and conditions.

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Our Comments

Consumers especially teenagers are often charged thousands of pounds for services they expected to be free. In the current economic situation, this can lead to undue stress, a bad credit history and worse. More often than not though, it is more about education and regulation. It is ridiculous that people still choose to buy a single music ringtone for £4 when a music track costs less than £0.80.

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