§ Mrs. Beckett
[holding answer 17 July 1998]: Premium rate telephone competitions and games with prizes are regulated by the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS), which is the self-regulatory body for the Premium Rate Services (PRS) industry. ICSTIS supervises the content and promotion of PRS competitions via its Code of Practice to which PRS service providers have to conform. PRS service providers' contracts with telecommunications companies require them to observe the code. This creates an effective enforcement mechanism and ICSTIS has, and frequently uses, powers to fine offenders or order disconnection from their services.
ICSTIS has a good reputation for enforcing its Code of Practice firmly and fairly. Consumers can address complaints to ICSTIS through its Freephone helpline.