by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Why does your app use Payforit who charge illegally for taking top-up payments?

How can the EE app still use Payforit as its payment collection service when Payforit is well known to be one of the 'premium services' operating outside the regulations? My son topped up his data allowance on Friday and since then has received messages 'confirming' his 'subscription' to more than one service.  He has now called customer service (which took half an hour to answer) and blocked all premium service calls from his phone but why does EE even have a link to Payforit?

10 REPLIES 10
by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the user

How can the EE app still use Payforit as its payment collection service when Payforit is well known to be one of the 'premium services' operating outside the regulations? My son topped up his data allowance on Friday and since then has received messages 'confirming' his 'subscription' to more than one service.  He has now called customer service (which took half an hour to answer) and blocked all premium service calls from his phone but why does EE even have a link to Payforit?

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

Hi,

 

Payforit it a legitimate company used by most carriers, online advertisers, games manufactures etc....

 

That's why.

 

Thanks,




To contact EE Customer Services dial 150 From your EE mobile or 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

EE standard opening hours are 8am to 9pm weekday, 8am to 8pm on weekends.
by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

Hi @morley1

 

Thanks for posting in community 🙂


All our information on Payforit - A secure way to pay via your EE account is available on our help and support pages.

 

Payforit is a quick, safe and secure way to pay for lower priced digital goods  (normally under £10) via your EE account

 

Payforit is not a company.  Payforit is simply a way of paying for goods just like using a credit card or PayPal.

 

More information on Payforit can be found on www.payforit.org

 

Thanks

 

Richard

 

🙂

by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

It may be quick but it is certainly not safe and secure. My son was at no stage alerted to the fact that this was a premium payment service, meaning that they could charge him a premium (automatically, via his mobile phone bill) simply for taking payment for topping up his data.  If we hadn't put an immediate stop to it, he would have been charged more for using Payforit than the amount by which he was topping up.  There are plenty of support groups on the web denouncing their activities, which are borderline illegal.  My son also immediately started receiving unsolicited text messages from an online streaming service which was about to start charging him another £2.99 per week for receiving access to movies he had not requested.  None of this is made clear on the EE web site or app and everything I have read about Payforit since implies that mobile phone companies are taking no responsibility for their activities, so you are implicitly condoning them.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

Hi @morley1

 

Please see the Payforit - A secure way to pay via your EE account help and support pages.

 

Queries on goods or service bought via Payforit

 

Items bought using Payforit are not provided by EE.

 

If you have a query regarding items purchased, please contact the merchant directly.

 

Details for how to contact the Merchant will have been provided in the ‘Receipt’ text message or email you were sent straight after your purchase.

 

Thank you

 

Richard

by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

It may be a legitimate company but it is not legitimate practice to take payment without advising the customer that there will be an additional charge for doing so that will be added (automatically) to their next mobile phone bill.  It is also not legitimate practice to pass that customer's details on to other premium payment services such as online streaming without asking their permission first.  Dodgy practice at best, illegal at worst, and implicity condoned by the mobile phone companies who allow these unsolicited charges to be added to the monthly phone bills.

by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

The only 'Receipt' text message my son received was not immediately after purchasing his additional data - it was 24 hours later and turned out to be for an online streaming service he had not requested. So an unsolicited charge was about to be added to his mobile phone bill, which would have increased his payments by £12 per month, without any warning and without any permission being given.  There are numerous reports about this on consumer web sites such as Which? so you cannot pretend Payforit are not taking advantage of innocent customers and that mobile phone companies are condoning this practice

 


@Richard_C wrote:

Hi @morley1

 

Please see the Payforit - A secure way to pay via your EE account help and support pages.

 

Queries on goods or service bought via Payforit

 

Items bought using Payforit are not provided by EE.

 

If you have a query regarding items purchased, please contact the merchant directly.

 

Details for how to contact the Merchant will have been provided in the ‘Receipt’ text message or email you were sent straight after your purchase.

 

Thank you

 

Richard


 

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

Hi @morley1

 

Who is responsible for what?

 

EE, as your network provider, is responsible for two things: explaining what the charges on your bill are for, and providing you with the contact information of the Service Provider. EE is simply acting as collection agent (and sometimes service carrier) for the Service Provider but is not responsible for the content or services that the Service Provider has provided you.

 

The Service Provider is responsible for explaining the service you have used, the associated charges and providing proof of you having purchased the service. Who regulates Charge to Mobile? Charge To Mobile services in the UK are regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority (“PSA”), previously known as PhonepayPlus.

 

The PSA oversees the market for premium rate services in the UK and protects customers from harm by using their code of practice, a set of rules about the content of the services and how they operate.

 

The PSA also deals with complaints about:

 

The way Service Providers promote Charge To Mobile services. For example, if the charges are not clear, missing or if you feel you have been misled about the costs.

 

The content of Charge To Mobile Services.

 

Further information can be found on the PSA website: phone paid services authority

 

Please note that the PSA will need Service Provider information to deal with your enquiry.

 

The PSA and EE are unable to provide any refunds for any Service Charges.

 

Refunds can only be issued by the Service Provider responsible for the service.

 

More information can be found in the charge to mobile - consumer code of practice pages.

 

Thanks

 

Richard

 

 

by morley1 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

And here is the PSA's statement on The Regulation of Payforit. My highlights in bold:

 

Role of the Payforit Management Group


The Payforit Management Group (PFI MG) consists of the UK Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who control the Payforit scheme rules and representatives of Accredited Payment Intermediaries (Level 1 providers) and merchants (Level 2 providers) who actively influence the development of the Payforit scheme rules. The PFI MG’s goal is to ensure that the best possible consumer experience is maintained to deliver a secure and trusted payment experience and that any improvement of the Payforit systems and rules is harmonised across all UK Mobile Networks. PhonepayPlus attends PMG meetings and offers comment and advice in relation to improvements in order to ensure consumer confidence through compliance with the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.


Use of Payforit in premium rate services


Where used correctly, Payforit ensures that consumers are clearly presented with the price of a product or service prior to purchase, and that a robust consent to charge is obtained for every transaction, which the L1 Provider (i.e. the Accredited Payment Intermediary in Payforit terms) can independently verify. Providers of Payforit services are obligated to follow the Payforit Scheme Rules, in addition to the PhonepayPlus Code.
For avoidance of doubt, the use of Payforit is not in itself a guarantee of compliance with any Code outcomes. Where the Payforit scheme rules are not used correctly then it will not serve as a mitigating factor in any case of consumer harm.

 

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
Overcharging – i.e. where a consumer has consented to a charge but is then charged more than they consented, or further charges are made without consent
Poor pricing transparency on a Payforit payment screen – e.g. where a price is listed as “2x£4” rather than “£8”
Misleading promotions other than price – e.g. where the Payforit screen is correct, but the consumer has previously been misled to think they will receive a free gift or vouchers with their purchase when this is not the case.
Techniques such as i-Framing, used to hide pricing or other parts of a Payforit payment screen.

 

Where Payforit can provide assistance in complying with the PhonepayPlus Code


Where used correctly, the use of Payforit systems and payment screen technology should allow an L1 or L2 Provider to meet its obligations in relation to the following sections of the 12th edition of the PhonepayPlus Code:
Section 2.2 Transparency and pricing
Pricing transparency where relevant to rules 2.3.1 and 2.3.21
Rules 2.3.4 and 2.3.11 related to Fairness
Section 2.4 Privacy2
Given that it is the L1 provider that is responsible for the Payforit systems and payment screens it is their responsibility to ensure all sections of the Payforit scheme rules are followed and thereby enable the above requirements to be met.

by Captain-Boufles Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: Why does your app use Payforit for payments? they illegally 'subscribe' the

@morley1, EE and the other Mobile networks opperate Payforit, and they also collect between 15 and 40% of each Payforit charge for themselves as their cut.

 

The "secrurity" of Payforit is well know to be very poor and easy to circumvent (https://payforitscam.wordpress.com/what-is-payforit-and-is-it-really-a-scam/)

 

Studies in the US have shown that 60% of charges applied to users mobile bills were unauthorsied and I suspect its similar in the UK (http://ago.vermont.gov/focus/news/documents-and-resources19/mobile-phone-third-party-charge-authoriz...)

 

In short - EE are making a lot of money on a huge amount of these unwanted charges, so have very little incentive to improve the security of payments.

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