Regulating to build trust in phone-paid services

PhonepayPlus regulates premium rate (or phone-paid) services in the UK. These are the premium rate goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill and pre-pay account.

Premium rate numbers generally begin with 09, 118, 0871, 0872 and 0873. Mobile text shortcode numbers - the five- and six-digit numbers that you can use to enter text competitions, give to charity via your mobile, download mobile games, etc. - are also considered premium rate.

We focus on pre-empting and preventing problems – the key, we believe, to effective long-term consumer protection.

We regulate services using our Code of Practice. This sets out the rules with which all providers of premium rate services must comply. Among other things, we require:

As of 1 September 2011, PhonepayPlus’ new (12th edition) Code of Practice and mandatory, industry-wide Registration Scheme are in effect. Any businesses involved in providing premium rate services to consumers - apart from companies that only provide 0871, 0872 and 0873 numbers - must be registered with PhonepayPlus.

We investigate complaints about premium rate services. Where we decide that our rules have been broken, we can fine the company responsible, bar access to its services and even bar the individual behind the company from running other services under a different company name. Our investigations and adjudications service is free to consumers and fully independent.

Under the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has responsibility for the regulation of premium rate services. In December 2007, it was confirmed that PhonepayPlus will act as the agency which carries out the day-to-day regulation of the PRS market on Ofcom's behalf.

We are non-profit making and consist of eight non-executive part-time Board members (with one Chair and one Executive Board member), supported by a full time Executive. We offer free compliance advice to both existing and new providers of premium rate services.

PhonepayPlus Limited is a non-profit-making Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England under Company Number 2398515.