Of all organisations, ICSTIS (which oversees premium rate telecoms services complaints in the UK) should have known that a non-geographical number - in this case an 0871 number - incurs a premium rate fee.
The INQ checked with ICSTIS and it is the case that the body gives out no other number besides the 0871 number for complaints against the content provider in this particular case.
When the INQ pointed out that calling an 0871 number from a mobile phone normally costs around 50 pence per minute, ICSTIS helpfully suggested trying a land line where the normal charge drops to around ten pence per minute.
In this instance the competition appears to be run by Mobizar, which recently changed its name to Tanla Mobile. The helpdesk operator confirmed that the competiton invite was sent out arbitrarily to selected UK mobile phone numbers.
Our reader is adamant that his son did not enter the competition but was still charged for 15 premium rate text messages - taking the total bill to £22.50.
There also appears to be no means of barring premium rate texts from being sent to a specific mobile phone number.
Our reader is considering swapping his son over to prepay from contract to prevent any repeats of this kind of incident. µ
L'INQ Tanla Mobile
The mighty fall in the Fog of War
Will enable dedicated data rates at more than 10,000 megabits-per-second
Delta Airlines and GE have an app for that
The PC equivalent of Slow TV