PhonepayPlus is the organisation that regulates phone-paid services in the UK.
Although you haven't had to register with PhonepayPlus, you are providing a premium rate service by using JustTextGiving, so you must comply with their regulations. This means that your use of a text code must follow their code of practice, otherwise it may be suspended.
You can read the full code of practice on the PhonepayPlus website, but to save you time, here's a top-level overview of your obligations.
- include the name of the beneficiary charity in all advertising of your code, so that donors know where their money is going.
You must not:
- use your code in conjunction with any illegal or unlawful activity, or in any way which breaks the law (e.g. by encouraging people to permit Gift Aid where they do not pay sufficient tax)
- promote your code in an inappropriate, offensive or harmful way (e.g. you must not link donating to your code to entry into a competition, or use donating as payment for products or services)
- provide misleading information (e.g. by claiming that money goes somewhere where it does not, or that donors will be charged for donating, other than the actual donation itself)
- encourage anyone other than the bill payer to donate (e.g. encouraging someone to donate via their friend’s phone when the friend is not looking)
- appeal directly to children, or seek to take advantage of any vulnerable group
- promote or incite or be likely to promote or incite hatred in respect of any group or individual identified by age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status.
Who's responsible for complying with these rules?
You are responsible for your use of your code, including the conduct of any employees, partners or third parties which use the code on your behalf. So if you partner with a newspaper to promote your code for example, the newspaper must comply with the premium rate service regulatory regime. If it doesn't, we may suspend your code until any problems are fixed.
What happens if we don't comply with the rules?
If you don't follow the rules set out above, your code may be suspended without notice. This means that any donations made to your code will be rejected for the period of the suspension.
We may withhold payment of any amounts which have been donated, where we consider that the donors may have been misled into donating.
If we do suspend your code, we'll let you know the reason for the suspension so that you can fix the problem. Your code will remain suspended until you have fixed the problem to our satisfaction.
We take inappropriate use of the service very seriously. If we suspend your code for the third time in any six month period, your code will be suspended permanently.