Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Complaining works (sometimes) - Phonepay Plus

A few months ago my son was charged for receiving a number of premium rate text messages after installing a mobile phone app that claimed to locate petrol stations. I tracked down the company involved and persevered in pursuing a refund of the £13.50. I also made a complaint to the regulator Phonepay Plus and received an email today telling me the company involved had been fined £40,000 after 200 complaints were received. They are also to issue refunds to anyone who requests one.

This shows that complaining can help other people as well as yourself.


  1. Gordon,
    I like the caveat!
    I would say, however that when I have been in similar situations I have spent much energy, time and money chasing up these sort of things, that I have found it not to be worth the effort?
    Several years ago I spent something like £20 on a premium rate phone call to get a £12 refund!
    Maybe these charlatans rely entirely on peoples apathy?
    As regards the 200 complaints, I wonder how many that number was in relation to the non complainers?
    And are these things as publicised as well as they should be?

  2. Colin, I don't think these things get publicised enough. I understand that this one was covered by the BBC last year. Its a licence to print money. PhonepayPlus said that the number of complaints would only be a fraction of those affected. I got my refund by being very clear with the company that I had a forensic image of the phones memory and log of the processes and calls being made. They backed down very quickly. I was in a position to do that though. At least my complaint may help someone else. I have all my phones blocked from making premium rate texts now.