Ofcom Call for Input on telecoms ADR scheme providers
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an important part of the protection available to consumers with complaints about their communications provider (CP). All communications providers are required to be members of an Ofcom-approved ADR scheme. Consumers can take their complaint to ADR eight weeks after they have complained to their telecom providers or, before that, if their complaint has reached deadlock.
The two approved ADR schemes: Ombudsman Services: Communications (“OS”) and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (“CISAS”) are positioned effectively for communications issues, but are not able to provide ADR for users of premium rate services.
Under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015, premium rate merchants have to refer consumers to ADR in a deadlocked situation. Due to the telecoms linkage they must refer to the only two companies approved by Ofcom. These companies do not provide the correct support for either side of the dispute and in AIME’s view it creates impasse.
AIME has encouraged Ofcom to review this situation as part of its review of the two ADR providers.
Date Opened: 31st March 2017
Deadline: 12th May 2017
Consultation URL: Ofcom Call for Input on telecoms ADR scheme providers
Response Document: Ofcom Call for Input on telecoms ADR scheme providers
PSA Consultation on proposals to enhance effectiveness of sanctions
The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) launched a consultation on proposals to enhance effectiveness of sanctions imposed by PSA Tribunals on non-compliant providers.
They have been reviewing the effectiveness of their approach to sanctioning and whether their current approach effectively achieves the goal of preventing consumer harm, protecting the reputation of the market and creating a level playing field for industry.
PSA are consulting on amendments to the sections of Supporting Procedures which set out the procedures adopted by the Tribunal when imposing sanctions. The proposed changes are to sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Supporting Procedures.
Date Opened: 23 March 2017
Deadline: 18 May 2017
Consultation URL: PSA Consultation on proposals to enhance effectiveness of sanctions
Response Document: PSA Consultation on proposals to enhance effectiveness of sanctions
FCA Consultation on the Implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are consulting on two documents and the Payment Services Regulator (PSR) – a subsidiary of FCA – is consulting on their own Approach Document for the implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Collectively the three documents constitute 522 pages.
- FCA Consultation Paper: Implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2): draft Approach Document and draft Handbook changes. Link
- FCA Approach document: Payment Services and Electric [sic] Money – Our Approach. Link
- Payment Services Regulator (PSR) Approach Document: The PSR’s proposed approach to monitoring and enforcing the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Link
The FCA consultation acknowledges its release in advance of any direction from HM Treasury related to issues stemming from responses to Treasury’s consultation.
AIME’s response to the HM Treasury consultation formalised our previously identified and discussed issues relating to interpretation, cascade of exclusion and the financial impact of strict adherence. Read our response here: We are waiting for Treasury to respond to AIME.
Inside the FCA consultation, two significant issues have been immediately identified
1. The description of “individual subscriber” which remains undefined in PSD2 and is a contradiction of defined terms elsewhere, is interpreted by FCA as the bill payer, not the user.
2. The FCA have for many years considered the intermediary role to be akin to Merchant Acquiring. The new term in PSD2 is Payment Acquiring. While AIME are negotiating a cascade of the telecom operators exclusion to Intermediaries, FCA are suggesting that the intermediary role requires registration.
Our immediate response is to be aware of these potential issues but wait for Treasury to provide their formal position on these matters.
We are also considering an escalation to Government ministers (Treasury and DCMS) and have asked Ofcom to become involved as both these issues create a serious threat to premium rate revenues and regulation.
Date Opened: 13th April 2017
Deadline: 8th June 2017
Consultation URL: FCA Consultation on the Implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
Response Document: FCA Consultation on the Implementation of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
Consultation Response: Implementation of the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSDII)
HM Treasury are seeking views on legislative changes proposed to meet the requirements of the revised Payments Services Directive II (2015/2366/EU) (PSDII).
The area that AIME is concentrating on is the “telecom exclusion” detailed in Article 3(l) of PSD, which assumes that a telecom provider, taking a payment for a third party service and adding that payment to the consumer telecoms bill is acting as a Payment Service Provider (PSP). PSP’s have to register and be authorised by the FCA. The exclusion from registration covers a limited range of products and services that can be purchased with a maximum value and a maximum monthly spend.
The other area of concern for AIME is that Networks Intermediaries, all the way to the merchant are potentially captured as “Payment Acquirers” requiring FCA registration.
AIMEs response to Treasury answered the questions being posed and covered in detail, the operational environment of telecoms based payments to ensure Treasury could brief ministers correctly if required.
Date Opened: 2nd February 2017
Deadline: 16th March 2017
Consultation URL: Consultation Response: Implementation of the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSDII)
Response Document: Consultation Response: Implementation of the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSDII)
Consultation response: PSA Budget 2017
The Phone-paid Services Authority today publishes for consultation its Business Plan and Budget 2017/18. The consultation sets out how we seek to meet our strategic priorities and ensure consumer protection in the phone-paid services market.
AIME’s response to this consultation is attached.
Date Opened: 14th December 2016
Deadline: 27th Jan 2017
Consultation URL: Consultation response: PSA Budget 2017
Response Document: Consultation response: PSA Budget 2017