More than 12,000 customers have been refunded a total of €390,000 after the communications regulator ruled the Dragonfly Mobile was not in compliance with various provisions of the Premium Rate Service Code of Practice and was in breach of its licence.

The users had been subscribed to a premium rate mobile quiz service, which charged consumers up to €12.50 a week.

ComReg says it has secured the refunds for 12,000 Irish users who had complained about the service, operated by Dragonfly.

The refund comes almost a year after a ComReg investigation discovered Dragonfly had sent unsolicited and misleading text messages to consumers which resulted in them inadvertently subscribing to Prize Club. 

The Prize Club was a subscription service that allowed users to access mobile content and enter competitions. 

ComReg said consumers did not receive notification that they had subscribed to the service or details of the cost. 

It also said subscribers were charged for a service that was not provided and received blank billing and content messages, and were therefore not able to avail of the service they had already paid for. 

Following the ComReg investigation, Dragonfly was ordered to make a commitment to refund customers. 

When it did not do so, ComReg said it had revoked the firm's licences and withdrew the allocated short codes.

Jeremy Godfrey, the Commissioner for Communications Regulation said that in this case ComReg worked with the industry to ensure the interests of consumers were protected. 

He said: "Due to the significant efforts of the mobile operators and other intermediaries money was refunded to consumers. 

“ComReg has a statutory role to protect consumers and we will continue to ensure that all licensed PRS operators comply with the PRS Code of Conduct."