PhonepayPlus is now Phone-paid Services Authority: what it means for you?

Mobile payments regulator PhonepayPlus is now Phone-paid Services Authority, a move which the regulator says will make clear its objectives and what it stands for.

The change in the watchdog's name is only to clarify its objectives to people but its purpose and role remains the same.

Sensing that the term 'PhonepayPlus' may not mean much to those who haven't heard about it, the authority today changed its name to 'Phone-paid Services Authority', which, while not perfectly clear, at least clarifies that it is an authority dealing with phone payments. The authority is a subsidiary of Ofcom and looks into the market for content goods and services charged to a phone bill.

‘Our new name makes it clearer to consumers our role as the regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill. We have worked closely with industry stakeholders, consumers and our staff, listening to them on how we can explain our role clearly. As the Phone-paid Services Authority, we will continue to put consumers and the industry at the heart of our work in supporting a healthy and innovative market,’ said David Edmonds, Chairman of the (now) Phone-paid Services Authority.

This isn't the first time that the authority has undergone a change in its name. In the last ten years, it's name has been changed three times, all to clarify its role in the present context. However, in terms of stamping its authority over mobile networks, it hasn't been so much of a success. Over the last twelve months, the amount of fines handed out by the regulator reduced by 22% even though mobile operator billing complaints rose by 10% in the same period.

The Phone-paid Services Authority offers help and tips to consumers on what to do when they spot unexpected charges on their phone bills and keeps tabs on whether operators are compliant with existing rules and laws. As a subsidiary of Ofcom, its is empowered not only to solve complaints from consumers, but also to take measures against erring operators.

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