New rules for UK mobile content providers


Regulator PhonepayPlus introduces prior permission and active confirmation to curb abuses.
PhonepayPlus has confirmed the measures it's putting in place to protect consumers from rises in bad practice by direct-to-consumer mobile content providers in the UK.

Specifically, it is introducing to two new rules:

Prior permission - Content providers offering mobile subscription services charging over £4.50 in any given week or applying pay-per-page charges on the mobile internet must first apply for permission from PhonepayPlus;

Active confirmation - as part of the prior permission undertaking, any consumer joining a subscription service must first receive a free confirmation text message detailing the cost and conditions of the service. The consumer cannot be charged until they have confirmed their subscription by replying to that text.

PhonepayPlus hopes the rules will reverse a 108 per cent rise in consumer complaints about so-called phone-paid services (ringtones, games, interactive TV, competitions, news alerts, etc).

Also detailed in the statement are rules pertaining to:

- Price transparency: price information must be clearly displayed - as prominent as any other aspect of the promotion. Promotional material must not suggest any premium rate product or download is 'free';

- Promotional text messages: providers sending free promotional messages must inform recipients that the message is free and make clear how to opt out of receiving similar messages in the future;
 -  STOP: providers offering subscription services or sending promotional text messages must enable consumers to easily opt out of the service via the 'STOP' command. Any failure of this command already results in the service being immediately shut down while PhonepayPlus investigates;

- Marketing lists: companies that sell or otherwise trade third party marketing lists must provide evidence upon request by PhonepayPlus that recipients have agreed to receive promotional text messages for particular types of services;

- Chat: text-based chat services must not imply that users are exchanging messages with other individuals, or that customers will be able to meet people by using the service, unless this is the case.

Paul Whiteing, acting CEO of PhonepayPlus, said: "These new measures are targeted at a small number of providers who do not offer services to customers in a fair and straightforward way. Consumers should not need to work hard to understand the full price of any service.

"The guidelines are the result of intensive research in to the mobile market, and PhonepayPlus expects them to result in fewer complaints and greater confidence in the market."

Nenhum comentário: