Phone-paid Services Authority consultation on subscription services

The PSA are currently consulting on subscription services. Although the PSA have shown themselves to be ineffective as regulators and usually support the scammers at the expense of consumers, this represents an opportunity to do something to stop these scams.

Please respond to this consultation as a concerned consumer. This represents an opportunity to voice your disgust at the ‘Payforit’ system. Feel free to copy my own response (below), make up your own or to modify mine in any way you wish.

My response is currently a draft. If you have ideas for improving it or adding to it, please add a comment to the post and I’ll try to take it into account.

The closing date for responses is 15 October 2018.
Comments need to be sent , by email to consultations@psauthority.org.uk
or by post to:
Ms Emma Bailey
Phone-paid Services Authority
25th Floor,
40 Bank Street
Canary Wharf
London
E14 5NR

If enough consumers make representations concerning the poor regulation of these services, it might be possible to force changes.

The consultation document is here. Note the following important details:

  • Representations are more likely to be taken seriously if they conform to the specification provided in the document. Include supporting evidence from your own case and from similar cases found online.
  • PSA plan to publish all responses received, If you want all, or part, of your submission to remain confidential, please clearly identify where this applies along with your reasons for doing so.  You could for example, ask that your personal details are removed from anything they publish.

The questions as specified are:

Q1: What are your views on the review objectives set out on page 4? Has the PSA got the right scope or are there areas the PSA should include or exclude?

The objectives as stated are:

– consumers having the confidence to use the phone-paid subscriptions that they want
– the market is thriving and innovative – consumer interests are furthered through encouraging competition and innovation – there is the ability for existing services to operate effectively as well as for new services to enter the market
– there is compliance with the regulatory framework for subscriptions. This means that consumers are protected from harm in the market.

Your response could point out that in this ‘thriving market’, companies like SB7 Mobile and Lasevia Ltd are managing to acquire very negative reviews, with no consumers reporting a positive experience!

There is therefore ample evidence either that compliance with the regulatory framework is failing to protect consumers from harm or that compliance is not being properly monitored or enforced.

A reference to the Trustpilot reviews of these companies might be appropriate.

It is also worth pointing out that consumers have confidence in payment mechanisms which have clear disputes and refunds procedures.  Payforit has neither! Consumers also have more confidence, when they feel that they will be treated fairly in the event of a problem. By continually failing consumers, ‘Payforit’ has obtained a bad reputation in this respect.

Q2: Some subscriptions generate high levels of complaints, whereas others with similar numbers of subscribers generate very few. Do you have any views on the regulatory measures that would better support growth and innovation across the subscriptions, whilst ensuring consumers are protected from harm?

You could suggest various measures here.

i) That all subscriptions require two factor authentication.

ii) That phone numbers are not passed to third parties for charging purposes without explicit consent. Removing this ‘feature’ from internet access via mobile data would remove the root cause of many of those problem. ‘Payforit’ transactions would then always follow the WiFi processing paths.

iii) That all networks are required to provide a facility to opt out of ‘charge to bill’ services, and that all new contracts should require customers to opt in to these services if they wish to be able to use them.

Q3: Do you agree that different subscription services may require different regulatory responses? Do you have any thoughts on what this variation could look like?

I see no reason for services to be treated differently, but they should ALL provide an independent disputes procedure or ombudsman service. If this procedure was funded by a charge on each case referred, this would provide an incentive for services to treat consumers fairly and punish those services which fail to do so.

Q4: Is there any other information or evidence that you would like to provide to PSA to assist it to undertake more detailed analysis of the existing framework, including around where you see subscriptions heading?

A reference to what has happened in the USA and in Australia might be worth making. In the USA, networks have been fined heavily for ‘cramming’ scams. In Australia, the networks have been forced to abandon ‘charge to bill’ for subscription services after the threat of legal action and a great deal of public concern.

My draft response

Q1: What are your views on the review objectives set out on page 4? Has the PSA got the right scope or are there areas the PSA should include or exclude?

Unfortunately, current consumer experience with Phone-paid subscription services is overwhelmingly negative. It is hard to find any positive reviews of these services online. A look at the Trustpilot reviews of SB7 Mobile Ltd and Lasevia Ltd will show numerous negative reviews from consumers who believe themselves to be defrauded and not a single positive review (at the time of writing). Indeed, SB7 Mobile Ltd have sought to suppress valid criticism, rather than answer it.

This suggests that compliance with the regulatory framework is failing to protect consumers from harm or that compliance is not being properly monitored or enforced.

 

Q2: Some subscriptions generate high levels of complaints, whereas others with similar numbers of subscribers generate very few. Do you have any views on the regulatory measures that would better support growth and innovation across the subscriptions, whilst ensuring consumers are protected from harm?

Whilst being aware that there are other subscription methods (which generate few complaints), the main source of consumer harm appears to be subscriptions collected via ‘Payforit’ .

Payforit is an archaic and inherently insecure payment mechanism. It has not adapted to reduce the incidence of fraud as other payment mechanisms have. It doesn’t have a centralised service for complaints and disputes. It doesn’t have a refund mechanism. PSA are well aware of these shortcomings, but do nothing to encourage reform. They know that malicious code in a web page, or in a downloaded App can sign users up to these services, without the consumer being aware that it has happened. They have been aware of the use of these exploits for several years, but nothing has been done to prevent them. They sit on their hands instead of being proactive in bringing these frauds to a halt.

Consumers will compare the consumer protection offered by phone paid services with those of other payment methods (Paypal, Contactless Payments, Direct Debits, Credit Cards, Debit Cards etc). The providers of all these payment methods provide clear mechanisms for the resolution of disputed transactions. Payforit and other direct operator billing methods offer no clearly defined or published mechanism for the resolution of disputes.

If I dispute a direct debit with my bank, the burden of proof will rest on the payee to prove that the debit was authorised and not with the payer to prove that it wasn’t! If I report fraudulent transactions to my bank, they will take the matter seriously and put a stop on any further fraudulent payments. The MNOs don’t even offer this minimal level of support. Instead, they ask the consumer to send a message to the fraudster asking them to STOP. To add insult to injury, they are charged for sending this message!

Alternative payment mechanisms also offer a simple refund mechanism.   The  Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contracts Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 both insist that refunds should be made to the account from which the money was originally taken, unless the consumer agrees otherwise. These laws are disregarded by ‘Payforit’ and PSA have indicated that they don’t consider compliance with these laws to be within their remit!

The fact that the ‘Payforit’ mechanism appears to be unable to provide refunds to consumers’ phone accounts makes the receipt of refunds difficult for consumers. I am aware of two methods currently being used for the majority of refunds:

  1. Post Office text based postal order. This has the advantage that the refunding company does not need any additional personal information from the consumer. It is the nearest thing they seem to be able to do to refunding to the consumer’s phone account. However, bearing in mind that the refunds are often for amounts less than £10, the method is disproportionately inconvenient for the consumer. I suspect that a large number of these refunds are never cashed! My wife received  refund by this method and she almost lost the will to live while waiting in the Post Office queue, for a £4.50 refund!
  2. A bank transfer. At the stage at which a refund is agreed, the only piece of personal information the company making the refund has is the phone number involved. Unless it has been willingly given, it doesn’t have any other personal data relating to the person claiming to own the phone number. In order to establish that the phone number which is the subject of the refund actually belongs to the consumer claiming it, it needs to ask for further personal information. Usually a phone bill or some similar document is requested. Some companies omit this step. This omission could be a breach of data protection legislation, as they have no way of being sure that the person they are refunding is the owner of the phone number from which the charges were original taken.

To obtain a refund, the consumer then has to provide bank details to a company which, as they see it, has already defrauded them. Some consumers are dissuaded from claiming a refund because of the amount of (unnecessary) personal data they are asked to supply. If it were possible to simply reverse the original charges, there would be no need for any additional personal information to be supplied.

To illustrate my concerns, I have reproduced below a few recent Social Media comments regarding the refunds issue:

the word stop is the only fix for this and costs 10p as for phoning waste of time and they could ask him for his bank details to give the credit back would you give them your bank details as I wouldn’t.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Lastly, I have just received a text from this scam company saying “We tried to call you back (I did get a missed call). the service has been STOPPED and a Goodwill refund to be issued. ” It goes on to say a refund will be received by SMS within 5 days and I should take it to the Post office who will give me a cash refund. Is this for real?
________________________________________________________________________________
They have now sent me a email agreeing to refund me via a text message that I would have to take into the Post Office to get a refund, they added it can take 10 – 7 days for this to happen, at the moment I have not replied this is clearly not satisfactory in my way thinking, they should return the money direct to my phone balance, I’m in a dilemma do I have to accept a refund this way or not, has anyone else got a refund direct to their phone balance.
________________________________________________________________________________
If someone else was also scammed: I just called the number 02071369911 and then pressed 3 and was connected to a lady that said she is in Belgrade, Serbia. She said she would cancel my subscription. I also gave her my email address, and then I received an email from info (at) jamster (dot) co (dot) uk saying that if I want a refund of my £4.50 I have to write back providing them with:
– Full name of the bank account holder
– Bank name
– IBAN (International Bank Account Number). UK IBANs start with GB and are 22 characters long.
– SWIFT-BIC (Branch Identifier Code) – The SWIFT-BIC code is either 8 or 11 characters long.
Do you think it is safe to give them this information?
______________________________________________________________________________
It is totally illogical that they are able to take money from my giffgaff account, but cannot put it back there, the same place they took it from, and then need my bank details. I decided to take a risk and gave them the information they asked for, since I heard that banks are required by law to refund customers, if unauthorized withdraws are made.
Jamster sent me an email, saying I should see the £4.50 refund on my bank account in 20 days. Let’s see.
_______________________________________________________________________________
They said
“Nevertheless, as the entry was cancelled so soon after being confirmed, as a gesture of goodwill we will refund you £4.50. Your refund will be sent to you in the form of a text message from the Post Office on Friday 15th June 2018 and it will clearly state the Post Office as the sender. Once you receive your text message you can take this to any Post Office branch at your convenience. There’s a unique barcode, which is valid for 30 days, within the message and all you have to do is to present the message over the counter and they will give you your funds there and then in cash.”
Are they serious?
______________________________________________________________________________
I would just like to give an update regarding the scam text I received. Following advice given on here I replied STOP to the short number and called the help number. Left a message stating that the subscription was unsolicited and requested a refund. I also lodged a complaint with the PSA. I received a text today giving a bar code number to be shown at any Post Office to claim back the £3 that was taken from my airtime. I did this and the Post Office gave me my £3 back. Thanks again for your help
______________________________________________________________________________
We did eventually get a refund, it took about six weeks to arrive, and came in the form of a text message which had to be taken to the post office! Unbelievable!

To obtain a refund, ‘Payforit’ requires the consumer to negotiate directly with the originator of the charge. What is worse is that, if the recipient of the payment fails to respond, there is no process to follow to resolve the issue. In the absence of a defined process, these uncooperative companies continue to trade for months, until the volume of complaints is such that PSA cannot ignore them.

It is not the role of PSA to adjudicate on individual disputes. However, it could insist on the introduction of a mechanism by which consumers can receive swift refunds when they are defrauded by rogue companies. Much of this could be automated, as it is with other payment mechanisms.

The problem is not that fraud happens. It will happen to some extent with any payment system regardless of the security and authentication measures put in place. Fraudsters are continually refining their methods and finding new ones. Most payment systems respond to attempted fraud by putting effort in to fraud prevention, but this has not happened with ‘Payforit’.

The problem is the lack of any defined process for the consumer to resolve their complaint (within a reasonable timescale) and obtain a refund if one is adjudged to be appropriate. Current arrangements would appear to be in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as it applies to digital services, in terms of methods and timescales for dealing with consumer complaints, and in terms of the refund process.

Large numbers of consumers have experienced unexpected charges as a result of these ‘Payforit’ subscription services. Although the amounts involved are usually small (£4.50 per week or less), the companies take advantage of the fact that many consumers do not check their bills, and many consumers lose significant amounts.  This ‘cramming’ fraud has been a persistent problem, not just in the UK but in many other countries. In the USA and Australia, there have been a number of high profile cases where MNO’s have been held accountable for fraudulent subscriptions.

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/telstra-hauled-before-court-over-premium-mobile-billing-487699

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/verizon-sprint-to-pay-158-million-for-illegal-cramming-of-customers-mobile-phones-051215.html

Many consumers have experienced great difficulty in getting fraudulent subscriptions stopped. The ‘Payforit’ system can be very confusing, particularly for consumers who do not receive an itemised bill. The text containing the subscription is often deleted as spam. The ‘payforit’ receipt text does not say which service it relates to. The number to which STOP is to be sent is often different to the number from which the subscription text was sent. The problem is often made worse for PAYG customers who do not receive an itemised bill.

There is no disputes mechanism. Many consumers have been successful in getting a resolution using the UK Small Claims procedure, but this is not available for companies based outside the UK. Currently the EU Small Claims procedure is an option for companies based in EU countries, but this may not be available after March next year. It is not acceptable that defrauded consumers are unable to seek redress because of the high costs of taking proceedings in a foreign court.

There needs to be an independent ombudsman to consider all cases where consumers claim to have been fraudulently charged. Given the ease with which these frauds can be perpetrated, and the inability of the regulator to recognise them, a refund should be given unless there is clear evidence that the consumer knowingly and intentionally entered into a contract.

Direct carrier billing currently enjoys a limited exemption from the requirements of the Payment Services Directive v2 (PSD2).

In fairness, direct carrier billing services should be subject to the same regulations as the payment services they are competing with. The directive provides additional safeguards to consumers. It reduces their potential losses from fraud, and requires the Service Providers to provide robust, two factor, authentication. The directive also forces Payment Service Providers to provide a proper dispute mechanism. Consumers using ‘Payforit’ are denied the additional protection these safeguards would have afforded them.

In February this year, EE , to their credit, introduced a system requiring a two factor authorisation with PIN for all subscription services. (PSA currently only require this for services charging more than £4.50 per week). There has been a dramatic reduction in complaints of fraudulent subscriptions from EE customers. This suggests that EE’s approach has worked. As a minimum, PSA should introduce a Special Condition requiring this for all networks.

It is notable, that although PSA currently recommend the use of two factor authorisation with PIN for services costing £4.50 or less per week, this is ignored by most, if not all, providers. I do not believe this to be accidental, as two factor authorisation with PIN will defeat most of the exploits currently used to implement fraudulent subscriptions.

 

Q3: Do you agree that different subscription services may require different regulatory responses? Do you have any thoughts on what this variation could look like?

Unfortunately, Phone-paid Services subscriptions have had a high level of fraud complaints for many years. The move from PSMS to ‘Payforit’ resulted in a temporary drop in these complaints, but these have since increased again. It is probably true to say that as soon as one door is closed, the fraudsters will find another. This means that it is likely that, given time, the fraudsters will find a way of circumventing any protection put in place.

There are two possible solutions:

  • More speedy and robust application and adaptation of the code of practice to protect consumers as soon as a problem is identified. Currently, one service has been causing  a high volume of complaints since the beginning of May. At the beginning of October, it is still operating and generating the same high level of complaints while PSA conduct a lengthy ‘investigation’! A speedy and robust response to problems like this would help protect consumers by removing the fraudulent service before significant damage is done.

or

  • A speedy, impartial and simple method of resolving disputes and providing  refunds to consumers for charges where consent cannot be indisputably proven. This could be funded by a charge to the service for each case referred, so encouraging these companies to behave responsibly. It would not be fair for these costs to be shared evenly between services since, as you have stated, some services generate much larger levels of complaints (and currently lack any concern about this!)

In view of the current inability of the PSA to protect consumers from scam subscriptions, and their failure to robustly apply the code of practice, my preference would be for all services to be required to be members of an independent ADR scheme. Funding for this scheme could be obtained by a charge to the service provider for each case referred to the scheme.

An alternative approach might be to raise the bar for entry in to this ‘industry’.

Where a subscription service carefully monitors usage of the service, and offers speedy refunds  when the service has not been used (or has been used only once at the time of subscription), then the current levels of regulation might be appropriate. If service providers have a reputation to protect, they are unlikely to indulge in the practices that are currently bringing phone-paid services into disrepute.

In Australia, where most third party subscriptions can no longer use direct carrier billing, some services, such as Google Play and Netflix, have been allowed to continue. By only allowing authorised, reputable companies to access the payment mechanism, the risk of consumer harm is much reduced.

 

Q4: Is there any other information or evidence that you would like to provide to PSA to assist it to undertake more detailed analysis of the existing framework, including around where you see subscriptions heading?

It is clear from the numbers of recent cases that the current ‘Payforit’ system is highly vulnerable to fraud. Furthermore, PSA are, on their own admission,  unable to tell the difference between a legitimate signup and one caused by malicious code.

OFCOM, in 2012, wrote:

Internet diallers

6.77 During 2004 PP+ received 57,743 complaints about services using internet dialler software. These included consumers being misled into clicking on an icon or banner, or accessing a website, which, without their knowledge, would trigger the download of software to their PC. That software then used their internet dial-up account to call premium rate numbers operated by the dialler software’s owner.

6.78 This scam demonstrates how a fragmented supply chain, with separation between the service provider and the billing party, can be exploited in an (unlawfully) opportunistic way. The greater transparency of PFI services would not prevent this harm. Rogue software can be embedded in such a way as to circumvent any verifiable method of consumer consent to charges (like a PFI checkout).

It follows that any supposed ‘consent’ from a consumer has to be viewed with suspicion, especially when that consumer is adamant that they did not consent. PSA seem too willing to accept such ‘proof’ of consent unquestioningly, and place the burden of proof on the defrauded consumer rather than the service provider. The system needs to be reformed so that automatic refunds are provided unless the service provider can prove consent indisputably. (currently not possible for the reasons above).

Some ‘services’ for example those operated by SB7 Mobile Ltd and Lasevia Ltd appear to have been created solely to exploit this vulnerability. Trustpilot reviews of these service are enlightening.

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/sb7mobile.com

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/lasevia.com

There is no evidence that these services have any genuine subscribers, and a great deal of evidence that they are causing consumer harm (despite the efforts of SB7 Mobile Ltd to suppress valid criticism on Trustpilot). Services like these damage the reputation of the entire industry.

The vulnerability of ‘Payforit’ makes it a target for fraudsters. A look at some of the services will show that many of them are ridiculously poor value for money.

Take Lasevia’s Books4You service. You can read 50 ‘Classic books’ (for Classic read out of copyright) for £4.50 per week (equivalent to nearly £20 per calendar month) They don’t even tell you what the books are before you sign up! Compare this with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offering at £7.99 per month,

‘Services’ like this are not set up to provide a ‘service’ to consumers. They are set up to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Payforit system. I’m sure there are a few legitimate services which consumers find useful, but I can’t find them, nor any consumers extolling their virtues.

Companies that genuinely wish to provide a service to consumers should be putting pressure on the PSA to put an end to the fraud and clean up the industry.

The Phone-paid Services industry needs to modernise and provide the levels of consumer support and fraud prevention that are expected of modern payment mechanisms. Consumers should be able to report problems with these subscriptions to their networks and have them dealt with in one phone call, not be passed from pillar to post in an effort to get a resolution. The fact that the networks process these, often fraudulent, transactions and then claim to be unable to refund or even stop them does not sit well with consumers.

Consumers should be able to opt out of the ‘Payforit’ system and not have their numbers passed automatically to third parties when they click a link on a website. The only way this can be achieved currently is by the consumer using a VPN or by restricting internet access to WiFi connections. There is no need for consumers numbers to passed to third parties in this way. It is quite possible to sign up to a phone-paid subscription on a wifi connection, but because the process is more transparent fewof the complaints I receive relate to signups over WiFi. Some may wish to avail themselves of the ability to sign up for subscription services without ‘friction’. Those people should have to opt in.

Consumer should also be able to opt out of third party charges to their account. Currently this is not offered by all UK networks, but is a legal requirement in many other juristictions such as Germany. MNO’s should not be allowed to offer access to these subscription services without also offering an ability to bar access to them. Charge caps on mobile phone contracts should also be required to apply to these charges.

I would go a stage further and suggest that consumers should have to opt in to the ability to subscribe to these third party services (in the same way as currently happens for adult services). There would be two major advantages to this:

  1. By having to opt in, consumers would be made more aware of the fact that clicking links on websites could result in unwanted subscriptions.
  2. Children and other vulnerable groups could be protected from harm. Many complaints relate to children or vulnerable adults becoming subscribed to Phone-paid services. Parents want to be able to give their children a phone without the worry of them running up unexpected bills. Many consumers believe that by blocking premium calls/texts, or by putting a spending limit on an account they can protect themselves but, as PSA are well aware, that  is not the case.

In Australia, where there have been ongoing problems with ‘charge to bill’ or ‘cramming’ fraud, the networks were eventually forced by public opinion (and potentially expensive law suits) to limit the use of ‘charge to bill’ to large companies with good customer service.

https://yescrowd.optus.com.au/t5/Blog/Third-Party-content-closure-for-Optus-Postpaid-and-Prepaid/ba-p/447448

https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/moreonyourmobile/premium-direct-billing-exit

The same could happen here if the industry does not put its house in order! There are many other, more secure, payment methods which could be used to pay for such services. There is no evidence that the benefits of the simplicity of ‘Payforit’ justify the high levels of consumer harm caused by the exploitation of its vulnerabilities.

If consumers are not to be properly protected, I would prefer to see legitimate services moving to these other payment mechanisms, and Phone-paid subscriptions abandoned as they have been in Australia.

 

 

 

Recent Nuyoo Complaints

 

SB7 Threatened Legal Action

I learnt today that SB7 Mobile have reported several of my tweets to Twitter as being illegal.

Hello:

We are writing to inform you that Twitter has received official correspondence regarding your Twitter account, @Payforit_Sucks.

The correspondence claims that the following Tweets are illegal:

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1001810694164099077

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1001886151228182528

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1001887291378368514

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1004075931277889536

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1007288491015901185

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1008430324613877760

https://twitter.com/Payforit_Sucks/status/1009167746813382657

Twitter has not taken any action on the reported content at this time. We are only writing to inform you of content posted to your account which has been mentioned in a complaint.

We may be obligated to take action regarding the content identified in the complaint in the future. Please let us know by replying to this email as soon as possible if you decide to voluntarily remove the content identified on your account.

If you believe we have contacted you in error, please let us know by replying to this email.

This notice is not legal advice. You may wish to consult legal counsel about this matter.

For more general information on legal requests, please refer to the following Help Center article: https://t.co/lrfaq.

Sincerely,

Twitter

I have now responded to Twitter, as follows:

Hi

Thank you for informing me about this complaint. I have reviewed the tweets in question and cannot see that they break any UK or EU laws. They do serve to highlight widespread legitimate complaints about the company (SB7 Mobile) which I assume made the complaint. This company has been seeking to stifle valid and justified criticism both on Twitter and on Trustpilot. It is the nature of a platform like Twitter that such criticism will be made, and the normal response is for the company to answer the criticism, not to try to get the criticism removed by claiming it is illegal. I would be interested to know the reasons supplied by the complainant for these tweets being illegal.

I therefore do not propose to voluntarily remove these tweets, or to desist from posting further tweets of a similar nature.

However, I have no wish to cause problems for Twitter or to be in any way unreasonable. I understand that you have to protect Twitter’s interests, and if, after review, you hold these tweets to be illegal I will voluntarily remove these and a number of similar tweets which have not yet been reported.

Best regards

Paul

Update 6th October 2018

Tonight I received a solicitors letter from SB7 Mobile Ltd. I think they took exception to me identifying that the home addresses of the directors could be found on a document at Companies House.

Let me clear, I would not condone harassing the directors, but consumers may wish to send them copies of correspondence  sent to the company, in particular, letters before action in the Small Claims court.

There is much legitimate criticism, and I would much prefer SB7 Mobile Ltd to answer these criticisms rather that try to stifle them.

My problem is not just with the industry-mandated payment mechanic. It is to do with the way that certain companies are exploiting the vulnerabilities of this mechanic to take money from vulnerable consumers.

SB7 Limited and Trustpilot

SB7 Limited (the company behind the Nuyoo ‘Payforit’ scam) are currently trying to get negative reviews removed by Trustpilot, for breaching Truspilot’s guidelines.
To be fair to Trustpilot, some of these reviews, posted by angry consumers in the heat of the moment did use bad language and terminology which might be hard to justify legally. I can understand consumers calling SB7 mobile thieves, but it is probably better to say that they took money without consent!

One reviewer whose review is reproduced below has repeatedly amended his review, to comply with Trustpilot’s guidelines, only to have it objected to again. This is now getting ridiculous.

The post, produced below, is a potentially valuable resource for consumers, which Trustpilot are now denying access to.

Whilst the accusation that a phone number was obtained ‘illicitly’ might be regarded as a serious accusation, it is substantiated by the fact that the company paid the full amount taken plus court fees in order to avoid having to defend their position in court. I can see little else in the review that justifies its removal. I certainly don’t see any ‘offensive remarks’. I invite Trustpilot to identify what the problem is, but am beginning to wonder how much they have been paid by SB7 Mobile to silence justified criticism.

An Update I hope this post helps someone regarding SB7.
I have suffered the shock of this company debiting my account to the tune of £300. I did manage to fix it though, here’s how.
Bit of history.
I first noticed this company had been debiting my bank account in March 2018, on closer inspection of my O2 invoices it became clear that this company had been debiting my account since 2016.
I had given my wife my old iPhone 4 after an upgrade to the then newer iPhone 7 sometime around 2015-16. My wife only wanted the phone for emergencies as she is a technophobe. I purchased her a simple sim with free text small amount data etc. she was very happy with it. Being a technophobe, I always advised my wife to simply delete any messages or text she didn’t recognize for security. I never felt the need to check my account with O2 as she rarely used it to phone many friends, it was only my phone I kept an eye on online. Until by chance I viewed my account for her number in March 2018. Ouch.
On viewing invoice history, it became apparent SB7 mobile Ltd had been debiting for texts sent to her number since 2016 @£4.50 per text? Sometimes 5 texts a month. Grrr. I was very angry.
The Fix (Tip: stay calm stay civil)
I composed a letter to this company demanding a refund for the monies debited from my account. I complained that they had obtained her mobile number illicitly and underhandedly.
I advised that if I had no reply within 7 days to my complaint I would pursue a claim through county courts. I had no reply from this company to the request sent.
I made a claim to the county court regarding this matter around 16th March 2018. On the 23rd March 2018, I received via post confirmation of my claim through the post from the County court.
The same day I also received the first answer from SB7 regarding my complaint with an offer of £180 as compensation without excepting responsibility. I refused stating that I had already started a court summons and that it was my intention to pursue full settlement of my account debits plus the expense of the court £325.27.
SB7 subsequently revised their offer to compensate for the full amount £325.27 to be paid via the post office message system. I agreed to this on the proviso that I would only close my claim with the courts on receipt of cash owed.
So, I now await the post office text message from SB7 mobile Ltd for a full refund.
Advice for you if you want to recover monies owed by unscrupulous companies.
Be polite but firm, state your complaint by e-mail, request a resolution, give 7 days’ notice. If you get no answer take out a court summons, you can do this online (£25).
Do a search google (for company info Directors etc) Glean a home address for a director or Directors and include this address within your county court claim.
Hope this info helps someone, if I can do it so can you!

in an ideal world I would we would all be checking our accounts regularly.
Unfortunately, most of us live in the real world where we are just trying to earn a living and get on with our daily lives. I, for example, have a joint account with my wife? There is no way I’m going to start challenging her for any expenses she makes? Lol
This isn’t about debiting large amounts of cash from individuals although this can happen as I have proved!
This is about understanding modern lifestyle and Volume? By these companies.
How they glean our phone numbers is irrelevant, but they have them? They have probably purchased them via a data exchange. Who knows.
I am betting nobody here with a complaint will bother to peruse a claim if it is of small amount let’s say £10 or even £20? Most people will text STOP to the relevant number and that will be that. A few of us will contact the company directly to complain and may receive compensation. But not many? These companies know that.
It’s the sheer volume of customers who have had this type of attack that matters? You can prove this searching google for company information and viewing the turnover? Unbelievable!
What’s needed is proper regulation by government and accountability by this type of company.
Update 22nd June 2018
I have today received an email from customer support at Trustpilot after a complaint from SB7 mobile regarding specific wording within my post. I have edited my post to comply with Trustpilot’s terms and conditions as requested.
Thank you Trustpilot your service is excellent I can’t praise you enough.
I can also advise that SB7 Mobile (or associated companies) Paid the debt in full after my complaint. Thank You.
Update
7th July 2018
Received another email from the Trustpilot compliance team advising my post contained offensive remarks?. Begining to see a trend here where these companies take offense at our postings and complain? they then raise a compliance issue in the hope Trustpilot remove the post?

I shall try to retrieve other reviews when they are posted and will repost them on here when they are removed from Trustpilot, so that readers can decide for themselves whether the removal was justified.

If your review is one of those that has been removed, please amend and resubmit it. Don’t use bad language and avoid calling the company thieves or crooks. Just state the facts and let them speak for themselves.

Bodyin8 scam June 2018

In June 2018 there have been a large number of reports about Bodyin8.

They operate through a Level 1 provider called Tap2Bill who are responsible for the 83463 shortcode which is associated with quite a few of these scams.

At the time of writing they are not showing on the PSA Number checker. However the customer service number given in the sign up text is 03300538661. This number appears to belong to a company to which Bodyin8 have contracted out their customer service.

The company behind Bodyin8 is Well Fitness Ltd (Company number 09994445). The registered address is : Onega House, 112 Main Road, Sidcup, Kent, United Kingdom, DA14 6NE.

I am not currently aware of any email address which can be used for Bodyin8, so it may be necessary to send correspondence by post to their registered address.

Advice if you’ve been affected by the Bodyin8 scam.

Unfortunately, the way that this works is that you have to contact Bodyin8 and get them to stop the subscription. You should also ask for a full refund of any money they have taken. You are entitled, under Section 45(3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to insist that this refund is made back to the account from which it was taken. Under section 45(4) of the same act, any refund needs to be made within 14 days of it being offered and accepted.

If Bodyin8 do not co-operate or do not refund in full, you can then revert to your own network, and ask them to take action under the Mobile Operators Code Of Practice for the management and operation of PFI (Payforit).  O2, EE, Three and Vodafone also have their own procedures for handling ‘Payforit’  and these are linked on this page which gives more detailed advice on how to proceed if you are refused a full refund.

Ultimately if a full refund is refused I have evidence that these companies will pay out when faced with the possibility of a claim in the small claims court.  Legal action, through the small claims court, is likely to be the fastest and most successful approach to resolving a dispute with Bodyin8. They don’t dispute that they have taken your money. Ultimately they have to prove that you knowingly consented to the payments or make a full refund.

You should also complain to the Phone-paid Services Authority  (PSA) about the unauthorised charges. The regulator will not handle individual cases, but will take action if specific companies generate a disproportionate number of complaints. PSA have informed us that they are already investigating this company.

 

Sample reports of the Bodyin8 ‘Payforit’ scam

I hate these scams – what can I do to help?

What can I do to help?

So you’ve done all you can to sort out your own case, but feel a sense of burning injustice about the ease with which scam companies can help themselves to consumers money. What else can you do?

Reviews of Companies

These companies are supposedly ‘trusted partners’ of the mobile networks. A read of their reviews on Trustpilot and on Facebook will tell you that these companies are anything other than trustworthy. Adding to these negative reviews can help reinforce this impression. No need to write an essay (unless you want to), just a one star review and a comment that says they tried to took your money without consent.

Reviews of the Regulator

If the regulator has failed to properly investigate your case,  has come to a perverse decision or has just been generally obstrutive or unhelpful, you can add to their reviews on Facebook. The regulator seems to believe it is doing a good job. It plainly isn’t.

Formal Complaints about the Regulator

The regulator enjoys a rather too cosy relationship with many of the companies it is supposed to be regulating. You can’t complain just because you don’t like the outcome of their investigation. You can complain if you don’t believe they have investigated properly, or if after their investigation they come to a conclusion which couldn’t be justified on the basis of the evidence. If they have found that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the service provider has done nothing wrong, then they are saying ‘on the balance of probablities’ you are a liar. Make them justify this view!

Details of the complaints mechanism are here. https://psauthority.org.uk/about-us/complaints-about-us

Complain to your MP

MP’s have so far not shown much interest in this issue, but if there are sufficient complaints they may do so.

Respond to Public Consultations

The regulator regularly consults on it’s priorities and to changes to its Code of Practice. It rarely gets any responses other than those from the ‘industry’. In December 2017 PSA launched a consultation on its priorities for the next financial year and I submitted a response. I believe that it is partly as a result of this response that the are now going to review the rules for subscription services.

It is likely that these changes will go out for public consultation. It would be good for them to receive a large number of public responses demanding radical reform, including making ‘Payforit’ opt-in rather that opt-out. I’ll put an outline response on the website when the consultation is announced.

Help with this website

Running payforitsucks.co.uk is time consuming. Picking up consumer complaints on the forums of the networks and on Twitter and providing responses pointing to relevant help is time consuming, and I have to take holidays sometimes. We could always use additional content on the site. I’m happy to provide access to the site to consumers who wish to contribute their own unique perspective on ‘Payforit’. Please help build public awareness of ‘Payforit’ scams, as this is the best tool we have to get reform.

Legal Action

Tom (mailto:tom@payforitsucks.co.uk ) is keen to see legal action taken to force a judicial review of the law governing ‘Payforit’. Aspects of ‘Payforit’ are clearly dubious, but challenging the legality in court is an expensive and complex process. Decisions made in the Small Claims court do not set a legal precedent, so it is necessary to go to a higher court, where, no doubt, the other side will field a team of skillful barristers to ensure that the current gravy train continues.

Scammers – Nuyoo

In May 2018 there have been a large number of complaints about Nuyoo fitness. This is a service operated by a company called SB7 Mobile, which has has previously been fined for breaking the PSA Code of practice. The previous adjudication can be seen here.

UPDATE: This scam is continuing in to August 2018. Here are a few recent complaints, which could be referred to in a letter before action to show that, in all likelihood, Nuyoo is a signing up consumers without consent,

They operate through a Level 1 provider called Tap2Bill who are responsible for the 83463 shortcode which is associated with quite a few of these scams.

It also seems that a large number of affected consumers are with the Three network, so I wonder whether there may be a network specific problem here.

Please leave a review of SB7 Mobile Ltd on Trustpilot. https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/sb7mobile.com

Advice if you’ve been affected by the Nuyoo scam.

Unfortunately, the way that this works is that you have to contact SB7 and get them to stop the subscription. You should also ask for a full refund of any money they have taken. You are entitled, under Section 45(3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to insist that this refund is made back to the account from which it was taken. Under section 45(4) of the same act, any refund needs to be made within 14 days of it being offered and accepted.

If SB7do not co-operate or do not refund in full, you can then revert to your own network, and ask them to take action under the Mobile Operators Code Of Practice for the management and operation of PFI (Payforit).  O2, EE, Three and Vodafone also have their own procedures for handling ‘Payforit’  and these are linked on this page which gives more detailed advice on how to proceed if you are refused a full refund.

Ultimately if a full refund is refused I have evidence that these companies will pay out when faced with the possibility of a claim in the small claims court. Ultimately they have to prove that you knowingly consented to the payments or make a full refund.

You should also complain to the Phone-paid Services Authority about the unauthorised charges. The regulator will not handle individual cases, but will take action if specific companies generate a disproportionate number of complaints. SB7 have been the subject of a number of other recent complaints.

Sample reports of the Nuyoo ‘Payforit’ scam

On GiffGaff Forum

Nuyoo spam text
by aaronmc97 in Help & Support
‎12-04-2018 00:29
Hi, I’ve been hit with a spam message, said ive apparently joined “Nuyoo.co” and received a text telling me that I’ll pay £3 a week or I can text STOP to a number, I texted STOP and it wouldn’t go…
Show results in replies (3)

oscarmr has a question about Hello I am receiving …
by oscarmr in Help & Support
‎10-04-2018 20:32
…and I don’t even understand how it came to my phone. They are charging every time they send me a message at least 3 pounds. I have cancel premium calls and I am going to try to block the number with…
Show results in replies (5)

drpetermezes has a question about I recieved scam …
by drpetermezes in Help & Support
‎02-04-2018 22:21
I recieved the following text: FreeMsg: U have joined to get fit @ http://nuyoo.co for £3.00 a week. Ur first 24 hours are free. To cancel text stop to 83463. Help? 03300535869″ Please advise

spam text

by pharmaroxxx in Help & Support
‎24-03-2018 02:27
hi, i have received a text message from an online gym company (nuyoo.com) which wants to charge me £3 a week to recieve text messages from them. it says i have already signed up but i haven’t. what…
Hide results in replies

Been charged £3 for unknown text
by missbarron90 in Help & Support
‎12-01-2018 17:48
Hello i received a text message the other day from 3009007 the text said paid for it charge and it took £3 off my credit i have no idea what this is and have blocked the number has anyone else had…
Show results in replies (1)

 

 

O2 evidence to OfCom concerning the management of Payforit in 2012

This document was presented to Ofcom in 2012 as part of a review of ‘Payforit’

The full original document containing this is here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/46513/statement.pdf

Monitoring

Monitoring is undertaken by WMC, a specialist company contracted by O2 to monitor the Payforit service. They carry out their work on a daily basis.
When a violation is identified, it is classified as a red or yellow card offence details are applied and sent to Mike Round (Head of Interactive Messaging Products) weekly.

Enforcement

On receipt of the summary from WMC, Telefonica O2 sends a yellow or red card (as appropriate) to the relevant Level 1/Level 2 provider, who is then requested to make the necessary changes, so as to be in line with Telefonica’s audit standards and the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.
The usual Red/Yellow card standards are applied as agreed by all networks in the past (Red for more serious consumer harming behaviour; yellow for less serious violations that have to be remedied within two working days)

Resolution of customer queries and complaints

O2 Prepay or contract customer contacts the relevant care agent.
Care agent undertakes security check on Prepay confirms data for Postpay and then looks up via Your Companion (online tool) to identify the shortcode and the services using that shortcode and the Level1/Level2 contact details.
On discussion with the consumer if they wish to call the Level1/Level 2 themselves the appropriate telephone number is given as displayed on the care form so that the consumer can call direct to query the charges.
If the consumer does not wish to call separately then the care agent would complete the relevant online form on behalf of the customer which is then automatically sent to the Telefonica O2 offshore team that deals with escalations. The consumer is kept up to date via SMS messages.
If the consumer does not get any satisfaction from calling the Level1/Level2 and calls back to us to resolve the issue we would then complete the online form and the details would be sent automatically to our offshore team to deal with.
The offshore team would then contact the appropriate Level 1 provider and request the call logs to confirm what issues the consumer has raised.
The offshore team then return these findings to the relevant care agent who initially dealt with the consumer query and they then contact the consumer to confirm the findings and apply credits if appropriate.

Vodafone evidence to Ofcom on Payforit Scheme Rules 2012

Submission to OfCom on the subject of the Management and Operation of the Payforit Scheme rules.

Introduction

In July 2011 OfCom issued a “Review of Premium Rate Services- An application of the analytical framework” and the Mobile Broadband Group led by Hamish MacLeod facilitated the MCP response to the review.
Following a meeting at OfCom offices on the 2nd November 2011 it was agreed by the MCP attendees to supply OfCom with a document outlining the current management and operation of the Payforit Scheme rules particular to each MCP.
This document is submitted by Vodafone UK to OfCom and should be viewed in conjunction with submissions from the other UK MCPs in support of the principal that the UK MCPs continue to self-regulate the Trusted Mobile Payment Framework and associated Scheme Rules known as ‘Payforit’.
Vodafone Background:
It is important that key elements of the context in which Payforit sits within Vodafone UK is outlined before detailing specific initiatives relating to its management.
1. Customer Focus: Vodafone UK holds to business principles that includes a requirement for each and every employee to place Vodafone UK’s customers’ satisfaction central to each proposition delivered and in support of this and requires aggregator partners to sign contracts that look to protect Vodafone UK’s customers’ best interests in terms of clear and fair pricing and simple methods of redress should the situation arise.
2. Partner Rationalisation: To ensure Vodafone UK only works with trustworthy partners, over the last two years it has been reducing the number of aggregator partners who are allowed to directly connect to the Vodafone UK network to provide content using MPay (Payforit), SMS,MMS or Voice/video services to Vodafone UK’s end customers.
The effect of this rationalisation is that those that remain are highly professional and diligent and effectively manage the risk that some of their end customers may pose to Vodafone UK’s customers
3. Proactive Partner Management: In September 2011 Vodafone UK launched an aggregator partner program. This looks to refine this attitude still further, a number of categories were defined and these are broadly based on products that they have with Vodafone UK, the volume of business transacted and Vodafone UK’s view of the way aggregator partners do business with it.
It is fully Vodafone UK’s intention to have Aggregator Partners categorised based on performance which will act as an incentive for aggregator partners to behave in a trustworthy and customer centric way.

Management and Operation of the Payforit Scheme rules within Vodafone UK.
Payforit Scheme Rules Summary:

• The Payforit Scheme Rules are designed to protect the Consumer and ensure the Merchants and their Payment Intermediaries deliver a great user experience to ensure satisfied customers return to the service.
• The Scheme Rules exist in parallel and are distinct from the other PRS services regulated by the PhonePay Plus 12th Code of Practice (CoP).
• In fast paced environment in which the aggregators and MCPs function, Payforit has adapted and will continue to adapt at a speed unlikely to be achieved by any formal regulation.
Vodafone UK initiatives and Processes to manage Payforit internally:

1. Contracts with Accredited Payment Intermediaries (APIs/Aggregators)

Each Aggregator Partner has signed contracts that stipulate compliance with English Law, Payforit Scheme rules, Vodafone PRS CoP, Vodafone 3rd Party Content Standards and other relevant Advertising CoP and PRS CoP.

2. Vodafone UK monitoring programme

• Vodafone UK’s Fraud, Risk & Security (FRS) teams actively monitor data/voice traffic to identify fraudulent patterns of activity. Product Managers (PM) are required to escalate, block traffic and/or withhold revenues to aggregator partners when requested.
• The Red/Yellow card alerts issued by MCPs are monitored and Vodafone UK would insist that the agreed alteration is carried through for use on the Vodafone network
• Close, effective working relationships with Phonepay Plus established and maintained in other areas of PRS enforcement are considered useful for intelligence on general fraud issues in the industry
• Vodafone UK conducts independent security access audits to ensure secure protocols are used by aggregator partners to access its Age Verification (AV) systems. AV is based on a contractual undertaking between Vodafone UK and the end customer. Customer Services log complaints and approach product managers to resolve issues as required.
• Product Managers conduct audits of aggregator partners and their adherence to Payforit Scheme Rules. Each aggregator partner is subject to spot audits and requests for information to support any investigation.

3. Vodafone UK enforcement process.

• Financial claw-backs. A system of claw-backs exists whereby credits, disputed revenues and costs incurred to Vodafone UK are removed from Out Payments in line with contractual terms.
• Red & Yellow Card System. Vodafone UK has signed up to the Red and Yellow Card scheme and takes the protection of our customers seriously. If Vodafone UK has issued a Red/Yellow card then the aggregator partner is obliged to rectify as specified All Red card issued are to be complied with by the aggregator partners Vodafone UK contracts with. In summary this means; Red card, comply immediately and/or remove the service from network immediately; the yellow card stipulates fix and/or respond within two days. Failure to remedy leads to a Red card. Vodafone UK has not issued any Red and Yellow cards in the last 12 months for 2 principle reasons;
i. Issues that are common to all MCPs tend to be reported quickly via the automated system that O2 has installed.
ii. As the number of Aggregator Partners has been drastically reduced and the BDM management ensures the dialogue between Vodafone UK and its Aggregator Partners manages conflict effectively.
• Aggregator partners that materially fail to comply with their Vodafone UK contract will be terminated and as Information Providers look for the ‘one-stop shop’ loss of access to a single network ensures ever increasing management of risk by Aggregator Partners. [Note: We are unlikely to terminate for minor breaches of contract]

4. Vodafone UK customer resolution process

1. Customer contact to query an item on the bill
2. Agent records the contact and description of enquiry
3. Using their training and a support script the agent identifies the shortcode and provides the merchant’s name and contact number and advises the customer in the first instance to approach the merchant for an explanation and/or refund.
4. If the customer returns to Vodafone UK dissatisfied with the outcome then the Vodafone customer services agent will take responsibility for remedying the situation and crediting the customer directly.
5. The customer care team keep a central log of complaints and issues to help resolve customer experience. If a merchant is flagged as a recurring problem then the product manager is informed and asked to investigate the cause of the customer dissatisfaction.
6. Credit is moved to the Out Payments team who clawback the credits and costs pertaining to the customer.

When the customer does not receive satisfaction, a Case History:

This was brought forward by PP+ on 10th November 2011 to ask what had been done to support this customer)
Mrs GM, 07786 xxx xxx
PP+ quote: “Samsung Galaxy receiving charges for KKO Mobile”. “I’ve had no texts, no nothing, I’ve been charged since May. any apps I get are free, I haven’t clicked on any adverts. I only found out after I checked my banking and noticed that my bill was £70 this month.”

Vodafone UK Outcome.

The customer was directly credited £210 by Vodafone UK on the 31.10.11 when the ‘due process’ had been followed to determine the validity of the claim. The customer logs show that she signed up online for a service on 31/03/11 and has had regular charges of £18 a month £4.50×4.
This case was resolved in a single day by the Vodafone UK Customer Care team in the normal process (with no prompting from external parties) and the customer was satisfied with the prompt resolution that Vodafone UK delivered for her.
This case was not escalated to the product manager as the issue was not deemed to contain fraud and would have been included in the weekly credit report.
Conclusion:
Vodafone UK believes it has the processes in place to fully support customers and the desire to see this sector of the market grow and it believes this can be done with the current self-regulatory frame work in place

EE procedures for ‘Payforit’ complaints as given to Ofcom in 2012

Monitoring

– Any queries/ complaints that come through from front line as an escalation point are investigated on a case by case basis and can result in red/ yellow cards being issued. Any API’s found to be consistently in breach are then taken action against which can again result in red/yellow cards being issued
– In a self-regulated environment, EE are happy to put in place a third party entity to monitor API behaviour to make sure that payment flows, merchant contact details, delivery of digital goods etc are all in compliance with the scheme rules.

Enforcement Process

– If an API has been found to be in breach of the scheme rules, there is a dedicated team that works on issuing a red or yellow card depending on the severity of the breach and the potential for consumer harm. In some cases, if a yellow card is issued and the problem has not been resolved within 48 hours, then a red card may be issued.
– As PhonepayPlus is aware, information on breaches is quickly shared with the rest of the operators for information purposes only. In a similar manner, we appreciate information shared to us by other operators. All red/yellow card decisions are made purely on an individual basis only.

Customer Resolution Process

– If a customer has a query on a Payforit charge which shows on their bill or is deducted from their Pay As You Go allowance and do not have the details of the third party, they would initially turn to their MCP customer service line (by dialling 150 from their handsets) . Our customer service call centre advisers on both T-Mobile and Orange are provided with and trained on systems that can identify Payforit transactions as well as the associated API (on Orange) and API/ merchant (on T-Mobile). Central support systems are also in place within the call centres for both T-Mobile and Orange, and any information the advisor may need on the Payforit service, how it works, who to contact etc is all detailed within these support systems.
– An example Orange Payforit support system for front line customer services:
– If a customer contacts the Orange or T-Mobile customer service call centres about a transaction they didn’t make via Payforit, our frontline agent for Orange would be able to identify the API that billed for the service and would then either pass the customer to the API by providing them with the API’s phone number/ email address or they may just refund the amount if it was a small amount. On T-Mobile, the merchant can be identified using the MT service ID that appears on the customer’s bill and the customer would then be passed to the merchant by means of providing them with a phone number/ email address or a refund may be issued if it is a small amount. The MT service id range on T-Mobile for Payforit is different to that of PSMS so both types of transaction can be identified from their service ids straight away. There is also a different bill description which states “Payforit charge” for Payforit and “Premium Text” for PSMS.
– If the customer does not get any satisfaction from calling the API or merchant and calls back to Everything Everywhere to resolve the issue, Everything Everywhere would then pursue the matter to resolution directly with the API or merchant.
– T-Mobile customers can now use an online tool (https://www.t-mobile.co.uk/pricing-data/sms-code-check/result/) where they can input either a Service ID from the bill (e.g 700030099) or a shortcode to obtain details of the third party. The above URL is also printed on the back of customer bills.
– Any query that cannot be resolved by front line customer service advisors are routed through an escalation process for which we have a designated team:
Orange – Issues are escalated by frontline agents using a tool called ‘Merlin’. These are then managed by a back office team in our Plymouth call centre who contact the API and resolve the issue on the customer’s behalf. If a refund is due then the team will apply this directly to the customer’s bill for contract customers, or provide airtime credit to if PAYG. The refund will be clawed back from the API. The back office team will also include the details of the issue in a report which is sent to the Operation Team on a weekly basis so that they have visibility of the escalations which they can then monitor and review (and where necessary issue warnings and red/yellow cards).
T-Mobile – Escalations are sent to the Operations Team via a follow-up email and these are then dealt with in the same way as Orange escalations above.