Phone-paid Services Authority

PhonepayPlus Logo

The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA), known as PhonepayPlus until 1 November 2016, is the regulatory body for all premium rate phone-paid services in the United Kingdom. These are the goods and services that consumers can buy by charging the cost to their phone bills and pre-pay phone accounts.[1]

It was founded as the Independent Committee for the supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services[2] (ICSTIS) at the request of three network operators (British Telecom, Mercury Communications, and Vodafone) as a response to public criticism of their profiting from adult premium rate content.

It regulates services using a Code of Practice,[3] approved by Ofcom. This sets out the rules with which all providers of phone-paid services must comply. Among other things, it requires clear and accurate pricing information, honest advertising and service content, and appropriate and targeted promotions.

PhonepayPlus investigates complaints about phone-paid services. Where it decides that its rules have been broken, it can fine the company responsible, bar access to its services, and even bar the individual behind the company from running other services under a different company name. Investigations and adjudications are free to consumers and are supposed to be fully independent. PhonepayPlus regulates services using the following number ranges: 070, 0870, 0871, 0872, 0873, 09 and 118.

PhonepayPlus' powers

When PhonepayPlus upholds a breach of its Code, the company responsible must immediately amend the service and/or its promotional material so that it complies with the Code. In most cases, companies found in breach of the Code will be charged to cover the cost of the investigation.

PhonepayPlus also has the power to impose the following sanctions:

  1. formal reprimands
  2. making companies come to the regulator for prior approval
  3. ordering companies to pay full refunds to complainants
  4. imposing fines
  5. barring access to services
  6. banning named persons from operating services

PhonepayPlus launched the 13th Code of Practice on 1 July 2015, which was approved by Ofcom in accordance with the Communications Act 2003 on the same date.

Chairs of the board have included:

Members of the board have included:


  1. "PhonepayPlus (formerly ICSTIS)". Directgov. 2 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  2. "ICSTIS - About". 12 August 2007. Archived from the original on August 12, 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  3. "Code of Practice" (PDF). Retrieved 13 June 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.