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ICSTIS's Rogue Dialler Clamp Down

Posted: 06th Aug, 2005 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has approved an amendment to the ICSTIS's (premium-rate phone number regulator) Code of Practice, which should help to protect dialup Internet users from 'Rogue Dialler' fraud.

The change is simple and has a lot to do with the management of premium-rate call revenue:

The revision will prevent network companies who connect premium rate calls from sharing call revenues with providers offering premium rate services for at least 30 calendar days after calls have been made by consumers.

Premium rate calls cost up to £1.50 per minute from the BT network and typical services include TV vote lines, competitions, adult services, chat lines, mobile phone ring tone downloads, and interactive TV games.

The 30 day rule will allow ICSTIS important additional time to assess complaints and detect misleading or potentially fraudulent activity. Call revenues may then be frozen during any additional ICSTIS investigation that is necessary. This change is a key recommendation from Ofcom's report to DTI on improving premium rate regulation.

The new requirement will deliver additional protection for consumers in two ways:

* Rogue premium rate service providers will not be able to secure revenues in advance of consumer complaints. This will remove an important incentive from criminals who want to abuse the premium rate industry;

* Delaying payments to premium rate service providers will improve the prospect of customer refunds where an ICSTIS investigation concludes that a customer has been the victim of misleading or potentially fraudulent service.

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