PhonepayPlus: Changes to prior permissions from 1 September 2011

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Notice to Industry: Changes to prior permissions from 1 September 2011

PhonepayPlus has today published a Notice to Industry, setting out changes to its prior permission regime in line with the new Code of Practice that comes into effect on 1 September.

PhonepayPlus has, in the last few editions of its Code of Practice, required providers of certain categories of premium rate service, which are deemed to carry a higher than normal risk to consumers, to seek prior permission from PhonepayPlus before they operate.

Under the Eleventh Edition of the Code, such permission was sought and granted to the ‘Service provider’. However, because the new Code of Practice distributes responsibility throughout the premium rate value-chain, it has become necessary for the focus of the current prior permission regime to change.

The change affects:

  • Those providers that currently hold prior permission certificates prior to 1 September 2011;
  • Those providers that may need to seek permission after this date; and
  • Those providers who have failed to commence operation of their services within six months of the issue of their prior permission certificate, as these providers will need to re-apply for permission.

The Notice sets out in more detail which services require permission, as well as the party (or parties) in the value-chain that will need to obtain permission – whether a party will have to obtain prior permission is based on whether they fulfil one or more of the key conditions attached to the service which requires permission.

Although PhonepayPlus urges all providers to review their prior permission requirements as a matter of priority, it is worth noting that providers have six months (from 1 September) to update their certificates in line with the new Code. Additionally, during this period, existing services may continue to operate.

PhonepayPlus’ Industry Services Team will be on-hand to assist providers during the six-month transition period, and providers who are unsure about whether they need to seek prior permission should contact us on 0845 026 1060*.

*Calls provided by BT will be charged at up to 5p per minute. Mobile and other providers' charges may vary and are likely to cost more.

Mark Burcher