HomeInsightsSMS operator’s technical issue results in listeners being charged but not being entered into radio competition

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Local Kentish radio station KMFM broadcast several invitations to listeners to enter a competition to win £1,000. Listeners could enter either by premium rate text message costing £1.50 plus the user’s standard network rate, or online.

KMFM notified Ofcom on the day of broadcast that, owing to a technical issue, not all entries were registered. It said that the decision to abort the competition was announced on air at 5.35pm and further announcements were made until the end of the programme at 7pm.

Ofcom noted the swift action taken by KMFM to identify the problem including contacting the SMS operator to ascertain whether the unexpectedly low level of response to the competition was due to technical issues. Ofcom also noted that KMFM sent those affected a text explaining the problem along with instructions on how to claim a full refund. Finally, Ofcom noted the proactive manner in which KMFM had brought the issue to its attention.

Taking all the factors surrounding what KMFM called this “highly unfortunate incident”, into account, Ofcom considered the matter resolved. To read Ofcom’s adjudication on Broadcast competition – KMFM published in Issue 333 of Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin (17 July 2017), click here.