31-Mar-2011 14:28

PhonepayPlus publishes ‘fit for future’ Codes

PhonepayPlus publishes its awaited new ‘fit for the future’ Code of Practice.

PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator of premium rate telephone services (PRS), yesterday published its new Code of Practice for the PRS industry.
The new Code, widely consulted on with industry and other stakeholders, marks a significant departure from previous Codes and is designed for the digital age.

The new Code of Practice is built around very clearly defined consumer outcomes, such as pricing transparency, good customer service and respecting consumers’ privacy, especially important in the online age.

For the first time, PhonepayPlus will directly regulate every part of the PRS value-chain, ensuring that all providers share responsibility for delivering good consumer outcomes, while allowing the regulator to better target that minority of providers who cause consumer harm.

The new Code also helps support innovation in the market by allowing providers flexibility in how they comply with the Code, so that they might adapt their services to take full advantage of digital technology, including social networking and smartphone apps.

PhonepayPlus’ Chief Executive, Paul Whiteing, commented:

“The result of over two years’ development, including in-depth consultation with industry and consumer stakeholders, our new Code of Practice is designed to be fit for the future. We are in a fast-moving age for communications, where we are seeing more and more innovative use of micropayments, including PRS, in the digital arena. 2010 saw an explosion in virtual goods, with the market driven by social networking sites expanding by over 400%. We are seeing more and more innovations in the PRS market, from virtual jukeboxes in bars and clubs to charity badges for phones.

“As the market for PRS and other micropayments expands, our new Code of Practice, with its clear focus on what matters to consumers, will be flexible enough to deal with innovations in the digital and micropayment worlds as they happen. We are proud of the new Code of Practice and look forward to working with the PRS industry to build and sustain consumer confidence in these exciting new markets.”

New Code of Practice, which will come into effect on 1 September 2011 is available here:

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