Ofcom have announced that they are to investigate “the use of premium rate telecoms services (PRS) in television programmes”. According to their press release “Premium rate calls cost up to £1.50 per minute from the BT network and typical services include TV vote lines, competitions, and interactive TV games”. The inquiry has been launched following heavily publicised problems with programmes including Richard & Judy and even Blue Peter!
Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards said: “Widespread concern about the use of premium rate telephone lines by broadcasters and editorial standards in those programmes has raised serious questions about trust between broadcasters and viewers. It is clear from the number of cases underway that a broader set of issues need to be examined as a matter of priority”.
He goes on to conclude that the inquiry “will seek to establish the root cause of the compliance issues which have emerged over recent weeks, and inform key decisions about protecting consumers.”