Spanish Ministry of Industry removes Vueling's illegal 807 premium rate number and the company changes it for a similar one

FACUA criticizes Setsi's delay in taking action after it took them almost two years to ban a premium rate number while failing to prevent the perpetuation of the illegality.

Spanish Ministry of Industry removes Vueling's illegal 807 premium rate number and the company changes it for a similar one
Screenshot showing the 807 premium rate number used for the management of bookings.

FACUA-Consumers in Action criticizes the Department of Telecommunications (Setsi, according to its initials in Spanish) for their late response in taking measures following the association's complaint about Vueling’s use of a premium rate number -which starts with a  807 code- for its booking system, something banned by Spanish legislation. It took Setsi almost two years to consider the complaint, but the body only resolved to remove the infamous number without taking further actions to prevent these unlawful practices from happening again.

FACUA Córdoba reported the 807 200 100 number, registered by the company Eagertech 21, and used to provide Vueling's booking system in 2012. The association argued that such use is expressly prohibited by the Code of Practice for the Provision of Premium Rate Numbers. In a resolution dated October the 7th 2014, Setsi vindicated FACUA's concerns and stated that the operator must proceed "with immediate effect to withdraw the telephone number supplied by the premium rate number provider".

The association complains that Setsi has taken two years to resolve an issue which has been repeatedly denounced by FACUA. The lack of determination in decision making means ​​that airlines such as Vueling continue breaking the law. The company, despite no longer uses the reported number, has in fact switched to an identical premium rate number 807 300 720, run by the same company (Eagertech 21).

FACUA urges Setsi to stop delaying its actions and effectively start protecting the interests of consumers and implementing exemplary penalties for the companies that commit such abuses. The association also calls for the Government to strengthen legislation to include sanctions against practices which although illegal are still carried out by numerous companies.

Premium numbers incur an additional costs compared to conventional calls and have a specific use, regulated by the Code of Conduct for the Provision of Premium Rate Services. Call charges to these numbers vary depending on the company and whether the call comes from a landline or mobile, with rates between 0.41 and 1.51 Euros per minute.

Premium rate numbers can only be used to provide "professional services". The Code of Practice for the Provision of Premium Rate Services clearly states that "premium rate numbers cannot be used for the provision of customer care services or after sales assistance associated with the acquisition of goods or the provision of a service". This prohibition was incorporated in 2009 and published in Section 5.2.3 of the Annex.