Ten must-know facts about consumers and premium rate services

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PhonepayPlus, the regulator of premium rate services (PRS), today published an overview of its consumer research over the last three years, together with five previously unpublished consumer reports.

The overview highlights the top ten findings from PhonepayPlus’ consumer research. Top of the list comes the need for clarity in promotions together with clear terms and conditions. More surprising findings include the fact that word-of-mouth promotion of PRS by consumers is second only to internet advertising, and the low use of premium SMS services by Highlanders   and those who live in South-West England, compared with Londoners, who have the highest usage.

From a regulatory perspective, consumers state that awareness that PRS is regulated increases their confidence in using services, while issues with mobile reverse-billed services continue to dominate complaints.

The Consumer Experience of Premium Rate Services top ten findings are:

  • Consumers need clarity in promotions and clear terms and conditions
  • Consumers find it hard to pinpoint 087 and mobile costs
  • Mobile phone reverse charge services top consumer complaints
  • Any consumer can be vulnerable depending on their situation
  • Lack of interest in available services is the main reason for not using PRS
  • Consumers promote PRS by word-of-mouth
  • High earners most likely to vote on reality TV shows, such as The X-Factor
  • Londoners are most likely to use premium SMS services, Highlanders and South-Westerners are least likely
  • Consumers expect network providers to provide a ‘safety net’ when using PRS and this helps to drive use of services
  • Consumers take comfort that services are regulated, although they aren’t necessarily aware that they are

To read The Consumer Experience of Premium Rate Services and related reports, please click here.

David Orrell