Price change? Meo, NOS, Vodafone and Nowo fined (at 15 million)

 Price change?  Meo, NOS, Vodafone and Nowo fined (at 15 million)

THE Anacom decided to impose fines totaling more than EUR 15 million on the four main electronic communications operators, Meo, NOS, Vodafone and Nowo, for price change without proper communication?? Meo and Vodafone have already responded and will challenge the decision with the competent authorities.

“Anacom decided to impose fines with a global value of more than 15 million euros to the four main providers of electronic communications, Meo, NOS, Vodafone and Nowofor conduct likely to violate the legal rules applicable to the notification of changes in contract prices with respect to a large number of subscribers, resulting in the practice of serious violations, and for failure to provide information to Anacom”, says the regulator in a statement.

Meo, which has already said it will “challenge” the decision, was the operator to whom the highest fine, of 6.677 million euros, followed by NOS (5.2 million euros) and Vodafone Portugal (3.082 million euros). Nowo, the fine imposed was 664 thousand euros.

Vodafone Portugal also responded, saying it was “convinced of the legality of its action” following the fine of €3 million imposed by Anacom and will challenge the decision “in the appropriate judicial bodies,” an official source told Lusa .

“The behavior of these operators is particularly related to the lack of information, within the contractually foreseen period, about the right of subscribers to be able to terminate their contract free of charge if they do not agree with the price proposed by operators,” explains Anacom out.

Furthermore, “there is also a lack of adequate communication of the price increase proposal, as in some cases the actual value of the increase was only made known to subscribers long after they were informed that prices would increase and in other cases, because the concrete value of the proposed increase was not made available in the form and place indicated in the contract amendment notice,” he continues.

At the NOS, he adds, “it is still a point of discussion that subscribers have not been informed at least 30 days in advance of the proposed price increase”.

The fines relate to 2017.

This “illegal operator conduct has led Anacom to determine,” by decision dated July 13, 2017, “that companies shall, within a maximum period of 30 business days, advertise sending written communications to subscribers affected by contractual amendments made by 15/2016, of June 17, who, on the date of notification of the aforementioned changes, were bound by a contract with a fidelity period or other commitment to remain and that this contract would remain in force, with the same loyalty or commitment to remain (still in force), on the date this Decision was implemented”.

For the regulator, these “standardized behaviors are particularly burdensome, taking into account that the obligations of information on the right of subscribers to terminate their contract without any penalty within the period specified in the contract, and of communication, in an appropriate way , of the contractual changes” that the operator wants to introduce, “ensuring that end-users can make a free and informed decision about the continuity of the respective contract and the possibility of contracting the provision of the service with another operator” that better contract terms, or at least the same as before the contract amendment.

“The guarantee of protection of subscribers’ legal certainty under the conditions originally agreed is also at stake, because by allowing subscribers to cancel their contract free of charge if they do not accept the proposed changes, the protection of the weakest part of the contractual relationship and prevents subscribers from being subject to obligations they have not entered into and with which they do not agree,” he says.

Anacom emphasizes that the application of these sanctions comes at a time when “given the increase in inflationary pressures in Portugal and the consequent increase in the cost of living, the company has issued several recommendations to operators to mitigate the impact of price falls.” revisions of families and improvement of the terms of offers, ensuring effective service access by end users to these services”.

The regulator points out that the issue of price changes/increases is one of the most complained issues in the industry and that “Anacom deserves very close supervision to ensure compliance with contractual rules associated with existing commercial relationships between businesses and consumers”. .

[Notícia atualizada às 14h14]

Read also: 5G: Number of base stations in Portugal increases by 48% in the 3rd quarter

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