Insights Phonepaid Services Authority fines company £1,250,000 after it charged consumers without consent

The PSA has fined and banned Taptronic FZC from the market after investigating its “Fitguru” subscription alerts service. The service offered consumers fitness training and nutritional videos, which included exercise plans, training videos and video recipes for healthy eating.

The PSA received a total of 410 complaints from consumers regarding this service. The complainants variously alleged that they had not agreed to be charged by the service and did not know how the Level 2 provider obtained their MSISDNs (essentially, mobile phone numbers).

The Tribunal found that Taptronic FZC committed six breaches of the PSA Code of Practice. The breaches were around fairness, consent to charge, complaint handling, failing to register a service, failing to register a service and providing false information to the PSA.

The Tribunal formally reprimanded Taptronic FZC, fined it £1,250,000 and banned it from the market and stopped access to the Fitguru service for six years. It also ordered Taptronic FZC to refund any consumers who claim a refund. (Taptronic FZC 152741 (8 September 2021) — to read the adjudication in full, click here).