MBlox fined £40,000 over Crazy Frog ringtone advertising

January 2006


The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (Icstis is the UK regulator for the premium rate telecoms sector) has fined service provider MBlox £40,000 over the Crazy Frog ringtone. Some 338 customers complained to Icstis over the ‘excessive’ bills they received when they signed up for the mad-eyed amphibian’s phone-tone. On securing the tone, they then found themselves signed up to a series of premium-rate reverse charge texts from Jamba that cost them up to £5 a week. Icstis argued that insufficient information was included in the adverts although agreed that there was no malicious or fraudulent intent. The 338 people who formally complained will be refunded and it is expected that thousands of others will follow their lead and seek their money back. The ringtone has generated an estimated £10M for MBlox and Jamba and the single of the tone reached number one in the UK singles charts, stopping Coldplay reaching the top. Britons now send 93 million texts each day according to the Mobile Data Association.


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