UK premium content regulator PhonepayPlus has released new rules for the mobile content industry following a 108 percent increase in mobile-related complaints from 2006/07 to 2007/08. The most significant point is that anyone signing up to a subscription service which charges more than £4.50 ($6.25) in any given week (including joining costs) must first receive a free confirmation message detailing the cost and conditions of the service, and reply to it. Moreover, any company wishing to offer mobile subscription services for more than £4.50 a week or wanting to apply pay-per-page charges must first apply for permission from PhonepayPlus. Release.
The “final statement on mobile phone-paid services and their marketing” also includes requirements that prices be clearly displayed in advertising, and a product or service cannot be labeled free unless there truly is no cost involved. Some other stipulations:
— Providers sending free promotional messages must inform recipients that the message is free and make clear how to opt out of receiving similar messages in the future
— All subscription and promotional messaging services must respond to the “stop” command
— Companies cannot sell or trade third party marketing lists without evidence the recipients have agreed to receive promotional messages
— Text-based chat services must not imply that users are exchanging messages with other individuals nor that customers will be able to meet people by using the service unless this is the case.