Goodbye ICSTIS, hello PhonePayPlus
Rebrand to beat off premium rate rip-off merchants
The watchdog formerly known as ICSTIS has rebranded itself PhonePayPlus and promised to come down harder on TV shows, after a series of rip-off scandals in the last year garnered it widespread criticism.
Bravely joining the crusade against spaces, and in favour of mid-word capitalisation, PhonePayPlus aims to be a bit more proactive than ICTSIS was during the brouhaha over Richard and Judy, Big Brother, and X Factor, even though at the time chairman Sir Alistair Graham denied it lacked teeth.
Sir Alistair did signal that ICSTIS felt its name had been poisoned by the battering the industry as a whole took last year. He said something better might "stick in the mind of consumers as the place to complain about problems in the premium rate industry".
Parool Patel, head of communications at ICSTIS (not PhonePayPlus yet, apparently) today rattled the newly-forged sabre: "We have the power to shut down businesses, issue sanctions, bar access to services, and impose large financial penalties. Broadcasters, production companies, and telephony service providers are now warned that we are monitoring programming output.
"Premium rate services like phone in competitions and voting should not be used a form of stealth tax for television viewers."
Rebranding buffs will be interested to hear that
ICSTIS' PhonePayPlus' bespoke public frontage paradigm will be defined by Paratus Communications, which won the six month contract by "beating off a short-list of eight other agencies". We'll leave it to you to judge the wisdom of including the phrase "beating off" in an announcement about premium rate phone lines. ®
Won't change the staff though...
Re-branding won't change the staff that actually run ICSTIS, who don't seem to know what they are doing. I complained once about a premium rate scam and a while later got an email back from them asking to call with more details. The email had been openly copied to a number of other people who had apparently also complained about the same scam! A minor breach of the data protection act perhaps, but it simply should not happen with such an agency.
A fraud within a fraud
ICSTIS are useless. “A fraud within a fraud (being the premium rate industry in general. I wrote twice (recorded) tot these guys regarding un-requested SMS reverse billed messages. THEY DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO REPLY! That is why the industry is in the position it is – where fraud is rife. The criminals responsible for ripping off the public should be arrested and put before the court. These companies have conned MILLIONS OF PEOPLE! – yet not one single arrest. What a corrupt country we live in. Its okay to commit fraud if you are *** PLC
I hope the el Reg observers are ready to spot the new logo, which will probably be inspired by the London Olympics logo. Only worse.