PhonepayPlus, formerly ICSTIS are the regulator of Expensive Premium Rate Phone Lines.
Expensive Premium Rate phone numbers which are charged 60p per minute through to £1.50 per minute and usually start with 0909, 0905, 0906 and 0982 etc. There are strick rules which govern how they are allowed to be used, and the governing body for this is PhonepayPlus.
The rules in principle are a follows:
– Premium Rate phone numbers must be properly described
– The rates charged must be clearly shown – for example “all calls cost £1.50 per min”
– A note about the age of the phone user – for example “You must be over 18 to use these services”
– A note about obtaining the bill payers permission to use the phone
If you see a Premium Rate Number being mis-advertised you can put a complaint to PhonepayPlus, as they will be keen to hear from you! You can of course telephone them too o a free phone number from the UK 0800 500 212.
Crime and detection in the Premium Rate phone business is relatively easy as PhonepayPlus will already know the phone number and the company behind the numbers being advertised so they will be able to follow-up your complaint quickly and easily. PhonepayPlus are very much overworked and understaffed, but are still very keen hear from you and to punish any company that is not following the rules by using misleading advertising of a premium rate number.
Some examples of the adjudications can be found here and when found guilty details of the company will be published on the PhonepayPlus site and they will usually be fined for mis-using Premium Rate Numbers.