Icstis looks at telephone competitions

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Icstis is dealing with the issue of the legality of premium rate competitions, contrary to what Philip Circus claims in “Phone watchdog faces criticism” (MW August 16).

Through the Icstis consultation document, Premium Rate Telephone Competitions in the UK, the views of the premium rate industry and others are being canvassed – one future option is Icstis’ acting, under its Code, against competitions it is advised are illegal.

Any immediate, unilateral action regarding such competitions would be premature, – the issues are simply not that clear cut. Regulation, even of the independent Icstis type, can only work if it has the broad support of the majority of the industry it is seeking to regulate. An open consultation process is one way of ensuring this.

The consultation period on the future of premium rate competitions has now closed and Icstis is closely studying the responses. By the autumn the report of the Committee’s work, which takes into account the consultation responses, will be published and the industry and consumers will know where they stand and why.

Sarah Harrison

Director

Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services,

London WC1

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