8/26/2009 11:42:00 AM
Mobile industry is top for complaints
PhonepayPlus has revealed 93% of all complaints came from the mobile industry during the first quarter of 2009.
The mobile industry also received the highest fines, with £1.5m of penalties imposed on service providers over the past two months.
However, the paid-for services regulator’s quarterly report revealed the total number of complaints had dropped by 52% from the same period in 2008.
The majority of complaints received (84%) were due to the operation of a service, followed by the promotion of a service.
A new way of identifying lead investigations has now been put in place to try to secure more information on the complaints.
One of the most recent emergency investigations launched by the regulator was into mobile virtual chat services provided by three service providers: MYTXT.co.uk Ltd, Mobvista Ltd and K2Media Ltd. The investigation was prompted by a number of complaints made by consumers over reverse-billed text messages.
The regulator has made a number of changes to the way it operates over the last five months including the appointment of a new chief executive, Paul Whiteing, and a mobile review, launched in July. The review set out new rules for the mobile phone paid-for sector.
PhonepayPlus’ director of standards and communications, Simon Bates, said: ‘Mobile now accounts for almost half of PRS [premium rate services] revenues, and we’d expect newer services in a newer market to cause problems in the short term.
‘That’s why we worked hard with the industry in 2008 to resolve these problems. Although the proportion of mobile-related complaints remains the same, the volume has reduced sharply – down 50% from last summer.’