Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160-163)|
4 MARCH 2008
Q160 Chairman: But it is not just
a question of putting it up on a website and hoping somebody is
going to come and look at it: you do actually need to do a bit
more to promote it.
Ms Kramer: Yes and we do that
where we can.
Q161 Mr Sanders: Would it be possible
at the point of the bill to produce with the bill each month the
websites that were visited by the child? I am sure in most cases,
if it is the parent that is paying the bill, that the parent could
then see at the end of the month which websites had been visited.
Ms Church: On the PC, yes, is
the answer to that one. If you have the parental controls installed
then you can see what sites any particular account has accessed.
Q162 Mr Sanders: But you cannot do
it through the mobile.
Ms Church: I am not aware of it
on the mobile.
Mr MacLeod: Within the device
there is a history thing, but the vast majority of mobile customers
of course are on the pre-pay tariffs and they do not tend to get
Q163 Philip Davies: The Chairman
asked earlier if you were working together or doing your own thing
and you said a bit of both and most people will probably say that
you should do more of this, working together on this kind of thing.
Can I argue the exact opposite of that? Can I argue that you do
not work together on these things in the sense that you should
be in competition with each other; you should not be working with
each other. Working together on these things will mean that you
will go at the pace of the slowest and that you will all be quite
comfortable with that because nobody will be doing anything more
than you are doing. Can I urge you not to work together and actually
compete with each other? That will drive up standards a lot faster
by competing with each other than it will by some sort of cosy
relationship where "We will not do this, if you do not do
that", which will actually hold things back.
Mr Bartholomew: That is probably
why we said we are doing a bit of both because there are certain
things that we do collaborate on, they do take time, they are
worth doing, but we are seeing choices and decisions by different
companies to approach the issue in different ways. Believe me,
we can compete vigorously on the high street for each other's
customers but we try to set aside some of those differences in
this area because it is such an important area of public interest.
Ultimately we will do our own thing where it is right for our
own individual base of customers.
Mr MacLeod: It is a fair point
you make, but there are certainly disadvantages to everybody just
doing it themselves. For one thing, we could not have established
the Independent Mobile Classification Body unless there had been
some sort of pan-industry agreement to do something like that.
The other thing is that the more you multiply the messages and
make them subtly different, the risk is that the consumer just
gets more and more confused. If we can have simple, clear messages
and not too many of them hammering through loud and clear, that
does serve the consumer a lot better and the European Schools
Net thing is a pan-European initiative because this is obviously
not just a problem that manifests itself in the UK.
Chairman: We have no more questions.