Just checking out the latest details from the UK telecoms regulator (“PhonePayPlus”) and right there at the bottom of the list are two separate adjudications against SMS.ac and their service providers (MIG and WIN plc).
I used to hear tons from SMS.ac for years — they were, I’m sure I remember, billing themselves as one of the largest mobile companies on the planet and I’m sure they had (and most probably still do) a huge amount of members. I haven’t heard a jot from them in recent months. Not a press release, not a comment from a reader, nothing.
I’m not entirely sure what SMS.ac service caused PhonePayPlus to issue these adjudications — however 73 people complained about the first adjudication though, resulting in the WHOPPER fine — 105,000 pounds (or about 210,000 dollars). That’s almost 1,500 pounds per complaint! The service is barred until the service provider (SMS.ac) is compliant and pays all claims made by users for refunds.
The second, smaller fine (22 complaints) resulted in a 70,000 pound fine (ok, not that small a fine, really) and a bar on the service until it is compliant.
I suspect that will have got the attention of the chaps at SMS.ac Inc’s San Diego / High Wycombe offices.
In other fine news, StealthNET were nailed for 35k after the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and consumers took issue with a 1.50/minute mail shot promotion they were running. 63 complaints were received. The service has been barred. Not good. StealthNET should, I suspect, have known better. Mr Richard Howard trading as Pebble Communications / Phonenumbers4u was fined 5 grand after a member of the public complained about his 1.50/min recorded information service. A reprimand was issued and he’s got to remedy breaches by knocking over some suggestions to the PhonePayPlus panel within 14 days. That doesn’t sound like a biggie.
StealthNET got another 25k whopper after three members of the public complained about their Live Tarot Service. That brings StealthNET’s total fines this month to 60,000 pounds. Chaos Live, providers of a subscription chat service (3 quid a week, 50p/text received) got a 10k fine after 15 industry members and the public complained.