ITV has been formally reprimanded by premium rate phone regulator Icstis following a voting blunder on talent search programme The X Factor, which saw the broadcaster collect £200,000 of incorrect payments.
However, the regulator did not impose a fine – which could have reached £250,000 – because of several “mitigating factors”.
Problems with The X Factor’s red button voting on the Sky platform came to light following an internal financial audit.
It showed that between October 14 and December 16 last year, some viewers were charged 50p a vote instead of 35p.
In another incident, some users were undercharged by 65p when they entered a prize competition. ITV reported the findings to Icstis, blaming “human error”.
It said the excess revenue generated would be donated to charity and added it would refund users who were over-charged.
Although Icstis said consumers had been misled, it did not impose a fine because it felt “immediate steps” were taken to remedy the problem.