Donegal Senator Brian O’Domhnaill has welcomed the introduction of legislation to regulate operators who offer premium rate services such as ring tones, competition text lines and sports results.
A Bill to regulate the premium rate telecommunications sector in Ireland was introduced by the Government this week.
“The Bill being introduced by the Government will put a strong consumer protection regime into place in relation to premium rate services such as ring tones for phones, text messages for sports results or traffic news, competitions, and chat lines,” Senator O’Domhnaill said.
“The area has been self regulated to date, but that has not proved satisfactory. Too many people have found themselves out of pocket because they did not realise charges involved with such services.”
“Now premium rate service providers will require a licence to operate and they will be required to abide by conditions of that service.”
“The legislation being introduced is focused on protecingt the consumer, particularly children and the elderly, who can be subject to misleading information and exploitation.”
“It will be an offence to overcharge for a premium rate service and anyone operating without a licence will be open to fines of up to €250,000.”
“This is an important step for consumer protection and I want to welcome the introduction of this important legislation,” concluded Senator Brian O’Domhnaill.