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In full: Channel 4 responds to Eckoh fine

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Responding to the decision by Icstis to fine telephone service provider Eckoh £150,000 for failing to ensure the 'You Say We Pay' competition was operated in compliance with the regulator’s code of practice, a Channel 4 spokesman said:

"As the service provider Eckoh is regulated by ICSTIS and its contract with Channel 4 set out clearly Eckoh’s duty to ensure the competition was run in compliance with ICSTIS’ code of practice and a clear obligation to alert us to any breaches or potential breaches of the code. We engaged Eckoh in good faith as a reputable and experienced service provider and we are very disappointed by their failure to ensure that all calls to the competition were handled properly."

"At no stage did Eckoh raise concerns with Channel 4 about the way 'You Say We Pay' was run, so we are shocked to learn that management at Eckoh were aware the competition was not being operated properly at least six months before the problems were made public. Eckoh’s failure to alert Channel 4 as soon as they were aware a problem existed meant that thousands of viewers continued to be charged for improperly entered calls long after the problem should have been resolved."

"As soon as Channel 4 became aware of problems with the way 'You Say We Pay' was being operated we immediately suspended the competition and made a refund offer as well as making a commitment to donate any profit we had made from improperly entered calls to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Since then we have introduced a new monitoring regime to audit the performance of service providers on our remaining phone-in competitions on a live and ongoing basis, have worked with our telephony suppliers to improve procedures and have co-operated fully with ICSTIS in an attempt to introduce new industry-wide safeguards."

"Channel 4 is giving priority to completing its investigation into when and why the problems with 'You Say We Pay' first arose."

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