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Ferris slams mobile phone regulation farce

5 March, 2007

North Kerry Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has claimed that the regulation of mobile phone text messaging is a farce. Deputy Ferris was commenting on continuing representations from people who have been repeatedly targeted by the operators of premium rate reversed charged texts.

Deputy Ferris said, "Last week in the Dáil my colleague Arthur Morgan raised this issue in the context of legislation dealing with COMREG. Minister Frank Fahey was dismissive of the concerns expressed and gave the impression that there is no problem with the current situation in which a body funded by the mobile phone companies, REGTEL, is the allegedly independent regulatory authority.

"Since then I have been informed by people who have made previous complaints over reverse charged premium rate texts, that they have again been sent messages by the same companies. This despite the fact that they complained to REGTEL and were told that they would no longer receive these unsolicited texts. This proves two things; firstly, that REGTEL is completely ineffective, and secondly, and more seriously, that the companies do in fact retain mobile phone numbers even after being asked to remove them from their lists, and after having undertaken to do so.

"This once again highlights the need for a statutory body to be established completely independent from the operators of these so-called 'services', and that this body be given real powers to punish those operators who are continuing to target unsuspecting members of the public."


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