By Marcus Leach

Complaints about premium rate telephone services (PRS) have declined by 77% over two years, according to recent figures issued by the UK PRS regulator, PhonepayPlus, in its annual report.

Other good news statistics for consumers and industry were a 74% decrease in fines to industry for serious breaches of PhonepayPlus’ Code of Practice in the last financial year, while the market grew from £810 million to £816 million in 2010.

As the UK PRS industry gears up for changes to regulation that come into force on 1 September, the news of growing consumer confidence in PRS was welcomed by the regulator, consumers and industry.

PhonepayPlus’ annual report 2010/11 highlights the effectiveness of the collaborative regulatory model where the regulator works with the PRS industry to pre-empt consumer harm before it happens, allowing innovation that benefits both consumers and the market while acting swiftly and effectively to clamp down on services and providers that cause problems.

"In my experience it is unusual to deal with a regulator who is so effective in carrying out their mandate. If they are going to promote ethical behaviour in this area of the service industry then they are doing an exceptionally important job," a consumer quoted in the annual report said.

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