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Premium Rate Service
Premium Rate Services
Code of Practice
Customer enquiries and Complaints
1. INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW
2. STATUS OF CODE
3. CUSTOMER INFORMATION & ADVICE
4. PROCESSES & PROCEDURES
1. INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
The key objective of this Code of Practice is to ensure that WightFibre provides its domestic and small business customers with readily accessible and accurate information relating to Premium Rate Service (“PRS”) calls.
1.2 Good Practice
The Code of Practice seeks to ensure that there is a clear framework within which WightFibre is working, hence providing reassurance to customers and consumer representatives as to what constitutes good practice in the provision of information to customers in relation to complaints and enquiries about PRS calls.
2. STATUS OF CODE
All Originating Communications Providers, including WightFibre, who provide PRS are required under Ofcom General Condition 14.2 to establish a Code of Practice for PRS Calls for their domestic and small business customers (the “Code”), which conforms with Guidelines established by Ofcom, and to comply with the provisions of the Code.
Compliance with the Code does not guarantee compliance with any other legal requirements.
Non-compliance with the Code does not affect the validity of any contract between the company and the consumer, unless otherwise provided by law.
3. CUSTOMER INFORMATION AND ADVICE
3.1 Premium Rate Services
Premium Rate Services (PRS) offerings include information, entertainment and TV Games. Access to PRS can be by phone, fax, PC (email, Internet, bulletin board), mobile (SMS/WAP) or interactive TV.
PRS are normally significantly more expensive that local or national calls. The cost of a PRS call covers conveyance across WightFibre and other networks to access the service, plus a charge for the service provided. The conveyance charge is normally trivial in comparison with the charge for the service itself.
There have been a number of PRS problems including excessive charges and misleading offerings. The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) is responsible for regulating PRS.
3.2 Role of ICSTIS
4th Floor, Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, London SE1 2NQ
Phone 020 7940 7474
ICSTIS regulates – content, promotion, and operation – by means of its Code of Practice. The Code applies to:
- PRS numbers, these begin with 090 or 091;
- Directly Enquiry numbers, these begin with 118.
In cases where ICSTIC Code is breached ICSTIS can:
- bar access to the service;
- bar the people behind a company from running any other PRS under any company name or any telephone network for defined period of time
Importantly ICSTIS provides an on-line PRS number database where you can check on any PRS number to find out the details of the service provider and the network that hosts the service.
3.3 Complain to ICSTIS
Customers who have a problem can raise a complaint with ICSTIS. It is important to collate as much supporting evidence as possible, for example copies of a relevant promotion. Complaints can be raised:
- in writing;
- online at www.icstis.org.uk ;
- by calling free helpline 0800 500 212.
Refunds many be possible.
- ICSTIS may order a PRS service provider to pay a refund following an investigation;
- Where your phone has been used without your permission to call certain types of PRS.
3.5 Complain to WightFibre
If WightFibre cannot resolve a PRS complaint the problem can be investigated by OTELO Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman.
PO Box 730, Warrington.
Phone 08450 501614
Fax 08450 501615
3.6 WightFibre Tariffs
The tariffs for PRS and DQ services are available from WightFibre on request, and on its web site www.WightFibre.com. All PRS and DQ calls from WightFibre customers are passed to other operators and WightFibre retains only a minimal payment. The tariff information provided includes:
- the prefix to the number (this determines the charge);
- the charge code (based on a UK convention);
- the prices (these can include fixed fee, connection or minimum charges, and a duration charge.
3.7 Barring Access to PRS
WightFibre can provide a call-barring facility to prevent access to PRS numbers.
3.8 Barring Incoming Unsolicited Calls
Issues relating to PRS are similar to unsolicited calls from:
- Telemarketing – to prevent these register at www.tpsonline.org.uk or call 020 7766 4420;
- Fax – to prevent these register at www.fpsonline.org.uk or call 020 7766 4422.
3.9 Internet Diallers
Dial up access to the Internet normally uses a telephone number with an 08 prefix, and charged at a rate similar to a local call. Web sites with expensive content such as music or films may insist that a more expensive PRS number is used. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the PRS number is not then used for normal Internet access. There have been cases of users unknowingly having their local rate Internet access number changed to a PRS number.
To help minimise this problem users should ensure that their software has the latest upgrades, and that anti-virus and firewall protection is in use. If in any doubt seek professional advice.
4. PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
4.1 Customer Services
WightFibre has procedures in place to ensure that enquiry and helpdesk staff to know of the existence and content of this Code in order for them to be able respond to complaints and enquiries about PRS calls, and to monitor WightFibre compliance with this Code.
4.2 Customer Awareness
WightFibre has procedures in place to make customers and advice agencies aware of the existence and content of the Code, for example by referring to the Code in sales and marketing literature.
The Code is available free of charge on request and web site www.WightFibre.com .
To ensure accountability WightFibre has allocated responsibility for compliance to:
Sales and Operations Manager
56 Love Lane