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mBlox fined over misleading spam

Blames Carphone Warehouse and Stealthnet

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The premium rate phoneline regulator - Icstis - made two separate rulings against mBlox this week and fined the transaction network firm a total of £14,000.

The first judgment involved promoting adult services. Icstis found the material was misleading - especially over its use of the word "FREE".

The second judgement concerned a competition to win a PS2 or an iPod. The regulator found messages were sent unsolicited and it was impossible for punters to unsubscribe. The messages were also criticised for missing pricing information.

Ariela Freed, marketing manager at mBlox, told The Reg: "These relate to two clients, Carphone Warehouse and Stealthnet, and we'll get reimbursed by them."

This week also saw a judgement against a Miss S Neil who was found guilty of using a premium-rate phone number to facilitate prostitution. The 0898 madam gave details of available appointments and mentioned a website.

According to Icstis's statement: "the call gave a detailed description of the area in which the advertiser lived together with a detailed description of her body. The service also advised that a friend of Sophie could join in for an orgy..." BT tipped off the regulator that the phone line was being used to facilitate prostitution, in breach of Icstis rules.

Icstis got in touch with Miss Neil who told them she'd seen lots of adverts for escort agencies and chat lines using the 0905 prefix and thought it would be a good way to raise some extra money.

The statement continues: "She further stated that she ‘foolishly thought that [the whole idea] was acceptable as it seemed a very common way for women in difficulties to provide a service for gentlemen in need of understanding and sexual help. She stated that she had regretted this and was very sorry that she had disobeyed the rules."

Miss Neil was fined £2,500, suspended for a year after appeal.

Icstis were unavailable for comment on this story.®

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