Feeds

Number of premium rate complaints dip

Still work to do to combat scammers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

There's been a "significant fall" in the number of people complaining about being ripped off by dodgy premium rate services, according to the latest figures from industry-funded regulator ICSTIS.

ICSTIS received almost 27,000 complaints about premium rate services in 2005 - down 66 per cent compared to 2004. Much of this has been due to a drop in rogue dialler fraud as well as new safeguards that prevent cash being handed over to service providers for 30 days.

This delay in handing over revenues gives ICSTIS time to investigate any complaints and means that scammers are unable to get their hands on cash before making a run for it.

Giving a self-congratulatory pat on the back, ICSTIS boss George Kidd said: "As a result of the preventative action we've been taking, we've been able to deliver a much higher quality public service in our Contact Centre, divert some resources to proactive monitoring and enforcement work, and achieve significant cost savings.

"We know there's still work to be done to tackle those who deliberately set out to rip off the public. However, we're confident that our continued robust enforcement action, together with our greater collaboration with industry players and fellow regulators, will allow us to prevent consumer harm more effectively, better educate and inform the public, and enable market growth and diversity."

It's a far cry from a couple of years ago when MPs warned that unless the premium rate industry cleaned up its act it faced the threat of being put out of business. Unable to handle thousands of complaints from punters ripped off by fraudsters, Conservative MP Sir George Young described the regulator as being in "meltdown".

Speaking in 2004 he said: "On the current scam involving rogue diallers, the regulatory system seems to be in meltdown. Many have tried to complain to ICSTIS, but the line has been constantly engaged. The helpdesk is in meltdown because of a record volume of complaints."

According to the latest estimates, spending on premium rate services in the UK is now more than £1.5bn. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.