CHECKLIST FOR PHONE-PAID
(BASED ON THE PHONEPAYPLUS
CODE OF PRACTICE)
PhonepayPlus has a Code of Practice that all phone-paid services must comply with. It is like a rule book for the providers of these services. The following checklist will help you make sure you’re following the guidelines when coming up with your phone-paid service
• Ensure a clear description of the premium rate service is included in promotional
material. This is important because customers should know exactly what they’re
getting and not feel like they’re being misled.
• Ensure clear pricing information is stated in close proximity to the premium rate
telephone number/shortcode. For example, ‘calls cost ?1.53 per minute, calls from
some networks and mobiles may cost more’. Again, this is a requirement to avoid
• Ensure the identity and contact details of the service provider (the individual or
company running the service) are stated in promotional material. Contact details must
include a UK non-premium rate customer care number. This is a requirement under
the PhonepayPlus Code, allowing consumers to easily contact the service provider in
the event they have queries or complaints about the service.
• Use of the word ‘free’, or similar such language, is not allowed when promoting
premium rate services. Unless a product or service can be received completely free of
charge, with no strings attached, by the consumer, the word ‘free’ must not be used.
? PhoneBrain 2011
• Should the proposed service operate on a subscription basis, meaning that
customers pay on a regular basis (often weekly or monthly), instead of a one-off charge, take the following into account when designing promotional material: – Clearly indicate that the service is subscription-based
– Clearly indicate the billing period (e.g. per day, week, month, etc) or, if there is no
applicable billing period, the frequency of messages being sent – Advertise the availability of the ‘STOP’ command
All of the above is required to allow consumers to make informed decisions as to whether to use the service, and should they choose to do so, the amount of money they will be charged and how often.
• When operating a subscription-based service, subscribers must be sent a free-to-
receive message containing the following information:
– Name of service
– Confirmation that the service is subscription-based
– The billing period (e.g. per day, week, month, etc)
– Charges for the service and how they will, or can, arise (e.g. if you choose to
receive goal alerts for your favourite football team, you will receive a text every
time they score)
– How to leave the service (i.e. use of the ‘STOP’ command)
– Service provider contact details (i.e. a non-premium rate customer care number) The above information is required for service providers to reconfirm to consumers that service charges will be ongoing. It also tells them how they can leave the service, should they wish to.
If the subscription service costs more than ?4.50 in any given week (including any joining fee), then the service provider must include a line in the free text message telling the consumer to respond to the text message to reconfirm his or her subscription. The consumer cannot be charged until he or she has confirmed the subscription with the provider.
• When promoting a competition-based service, take the following into account when
promoting and operating the service:
– Clearly state all major terms and conditions (i.e. any age restriction, closing date,
– Give a clear description of the prizes on offer
? PhoneBrain 2011
-- Do not exaggerate the chances of winning, or suggest that winning is a certainty – Ensure prizes are issued within 28 days of the closing date (unless promotional
material clearly states an alternative time period)
The above information is required to allow consumers to make informed decisions as to whether they want to participate in the competition.
• When promoting a service aimed at young people (i.e. a service aimed at, or that is
likely to be particularly attractive to, persons under the age of 16), take the following into account when designing the service and any associated promotional material: – The service must cost no more than ?3 or, if operating on a subscription basis,
cost no more than ?3 per month
– Clearly state that the service should only be used with the permission of the
The above information is designed to prevent young people from spending large sums of money on phone-paid services.
• When promoting a charity fundraising service (or donation to a good cause), take
the following into account when designing the service and associated promotional material:
– Clearly state the total sum per call or text which will be paid to the charity or good
– Clearly state the identity of the charity or good cause
– Provide details on any restrictions or conditions attached to the contribution to be
made to the charity or good cause
The above information is designed to allow consumers to make informed decisions as to whether to make a donation through the service.
? PhoneBrain 2011