Reprimand for X Factor vote error


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Jul 11, 2001
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ITV's X Factor has escaped a fine for overcharging viewers by £200,000 for votes cast in its most recent series.

A total of 1.3 million red button votes throughout the series were mistakenly charged at 50p instead of 35p.

Premium phone line watchdog Icstis has reprimanded ITV for the error, but will not impose a fine because the show's producers apologised and gave refunds.

Icstis is currently investigating several other programmes after a string of allegations about TV phone votes.

It can impose a maximum fine of £250,000 on firms who abuse premium rate phone lines.

The body said that one of the reasons ITV would not be charged was because it had approached Icstis of its own accord to admit the error.

Under scrutiny

But the investigating panel said their decision was conditional on ITV keeping its promises to refund customers and donate any excess revenues to charity.

It also noted that ITV had pledged not to recoup money lost in a separate X Factor error, when viewers were charged 35p instead of £1 to enter a competition for a luxury holiday.

Phone-ins have come under scrutiny since the start of the year, when it was revealed that callers to Channel 4's Richard & Judy show were told a competition was still open when a winner had already been picked.

Icstis has been called in to investigate a number of similar problems with high-profiles shows such as the BBC's Saturday Kitchen and ITV's Soapstar Superstar.

Earlier this week, it was asked to investigate ITV's Gameshow Marathon after 10,000 text messages were excluded from a prize draw.

ITV apologised and said those affected would be entered into another prize draw. Icstis said no emergency action was necessary.
oh well i guess the quiz shows will get away with using ther staff as callers with ripping us off too