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PhonepayPlus (formerly known as ICSTIS) is the regulatory body for all premium rate phone-paid services in the United Kingdom. These are the goods and services that consumers can buy by charging the cost to their phone bills and pre-pay phone accounts.

It regulates services using a Code of Practice, approved by Ofcom. This sets out the rules with which all providers of phone-paid services must comply. Among other things, it requires clear and accurate pricing information, honest advertising and service content, and appropriate and targeted promotions.

PhonepayPlus investigates complaints about phone-paid services. Where it decides that its rules have been broken, it can fine the company responsible, bar access to its services, and even bar the individual behind the company from running other services under a different company name. Investigations and adjudications are free to consumers and fully independent.

PhonepayPlus' powers

When PhonepayPlus upholds a breach of its Code, the company responsible must immediately amend the service and/or its promotional material so that it complies with the Code. In most cases, companies found in breach of the Code will be charged to cover the cost of the investigation.

PhonepayPlus also has the power to impose the following sanctions:

  1. formal reprimands
  2. making companies come to the regulator for prior approval
  3. ordering companies to pay full refunds to complainants
  4. imposing fines
  5. barring access to services
  6. banning named persons from operating services

External links


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