In the area of telecommunications, Anacom was responsible for the application of legislative measures to protect consumers and now indicates that, according to data provided by operators, 4,196 communications service customers who invoked the application of mechanisms to adapt to the crisis caused by the epidemic .
“ANACOM has carried out, since the declaration of the State of Emergency, a proximity monitoring to verify the response capacity of the communications sector in the face of the increased use resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the problems affecting customers of This work resulted in the presentation of legislative proposals with measures to reinforce the protection of telecommunications consumers “, says the market regulator in a statement.
Of the 4,196 requests to use measures to adapt to the pandemic crisis of COVID-19, 89% were accepted, at a rate that varied between 77 and 100%, depending on the provider.
The largest number of orders was for the unilateral termination of the contract, requested by customers who saw their purchasing power reduced due to the pandemic effect or COVID disease19. According to Anacom, the main providers received a total of 1,296 requests for unilateral termination of contract under Law No. 7/2020. Of these, 1,202, or 92.7%, were accepted by providers. The percentage of acceptance of requests for termination of the contract varied between 89% and 100%, depending on the provider.
There were also requests for temporary suspension of contracts by 304 customers. Of these, 217 or 71% were accepted by providers. In this case, the percentage of acceptance of requests for suspension of the contract varied between 53 and 100%, depending on the provider.
Anacom also indicates that, on October 31, 2,596 customers with outstanding amounts due to the non-suspension of the service requested agreements in the payment plans. “According to the information available, the average value per customer of payment plans varied between 215 and 426 euros (including VAT), depending on the provider, which represents between 34% and 67% of the monthly minimum wage, representing a significant effort for consumers “, he says.
On the providers side, the information available indicates that the amounts involved in the payment plans amount to a maximum of 0.14% and to a minimum of 0.01% of each provider’s quarterly revenues. “It should be noted, however, that these values do not exhaust the total financial impact of these measures on providers, since, for example, they do not take into account the current value of future payments for terminated contracts. On the other hand, no charges are recorded not resulting from the legal provision under analysis “, further indicates Anacom.
The regulator also points out that, as of January 1, 2021, and during the first semester, a set of measures identical to those in force between March and September 2020 will be in force. For this reason, the suspension of supply to consumers will not be allowed who are unemployed, or whose household has suffered an income drop of 20% or more, or are infected with COVID-19.
Consumers who are unemployed or whose household has suffered a 20% or greater drop in income have the right to unilaterally terminate their contracts or suspend them until 1 January 2022.