Direct relationship with the public

Processing of requests with respect to the market

Public attendance service

Centre for Documentation and Information (CDI)

  • Processing of requests with respect to the market

Within the scope of the Image and Communication Directorate, in 2007 the Divisão de Apoio aos Utilizadores (Division for end-users support) was set up. The mission of this unit is to provide support to users of communications and information society services as well as to the general public. This division is responsible for dealing with complaints and requests for information on the market, providing information and providing clarification to stakeholders. In terms of the workload involved, the entry into force of the complaint book system, established by Decree no. 156/2005 of 15 September, as amended by Decree-Law no. 371/2007 of 6 November, continues to have a strong impact.

In the handling of complaints, regular and informal contacts were maintained with the Directorate General for the Consumer in order to coordinate and maximize the work undertaken by each entity in terms of the respective areas of sectoral competence.

Contacts were also initiated with the Bar Association and Universidade Nova de Lisbon with a view to signing memoranda of cooperation in this area.

In particular with regard to complaints entered in complaint books, the Directorate General for the Consumer, in partnership with the National Mint is developing a tool, called SER - Sistema Estatístico de Reclamações (Statistical System of Complaints), to allow the management and processing of complaints and facilitate the communication of resulting statistical data. In this context, all entities with responsibility for implementing the law were contacted, with a view to promoting the formalization of a cooperation protocol.

In 2008, ICP-ANACOM received 33,814 complaints of which 75 percent were entered in complaint books (pursuant to Decree-Law no. 156/2005 of 15 September, as amended by Decree-Law no. 371 / 2007 of 6 November), 18 percent were received in electronic format (Online Services or e-mail) and the remaining 7 percent by letter or fax.

This number was in addition to 421 requests for information, 123 petitions, 34 suggestions and 287 communications of other types.

Compared with 2007, the overall volume of complaints received in 2008, grew by around 36 percent. The main reason for this trend is the growth in the volume of complaints entered into complaint books, received under the cited Decree-Law no. 156/2005 of 15 September.

Also of note is the growing use of electronic means for addressing complaints to ICP-ANACOM, particularly through the Online Services available on this Authority's website, whose rate of use increased by approximately 99 percent (from 1,870 complaints registered in 2007 to 3,715 complaints registered in 2008).

In terms of the areas giving rise to most complaints, 74 percent of complaints related to the electronic communications sector and 20 percent to the postal sector, whereas, in the postal sector, almost all of the complaints (97 percent) were entered in complaint books.

In the electronic communications sector, the Internet access service was behind the largest number of complaints, followed closely by the telephone service at a fixed location and the cable television service.

Regarding the issues underlying the complaints, in line with recent years, most complaints relate to issues of technical assistance/equipment, customer service and billing.

Under ICP-ANACOM's powers regarding the protection of consumer interests, and in compliance with the Strategic Plan for 2008-2010, a study was conducted evaluating extrajudicial means of dispute resolution and possible extension of such means to the electronic communications sector, whereby, based on a national and international benchmarking effort, it was concluded that there were serious deficiencies in access to these mechanisms by end-users of electronic communications services. Based on the results of this study and under national and EU law in this area, approval was given in June to the launch of a project to create a national arbitration centre specializing in the electronic communications sector. Subsequently the process was begun of evaluating the feasibility of this project, with completion due in 2009.

In November 2008, with a view to strengthening the protection of consumer interests, a study was begun to assess the possible revision of the conditions currently imposed on providers of electronic communications in the processing of complaints. This study is due to be concluded in the first quarter of 2009.

  • Public attendance service

ICP-ANACOM's direct relationship with the public-consumer, in line with previous years, was handled in the most part by the Public Attendance Service, located in the Authority's headquarters, in Lisbon, and regional offices (Porto, Azores and Madeira).

In 2008, the preferred means of communication for contacting this Authority, through the Public Attendance Service, was the telephone (21,158 contacts) followed by post and fax (15,783 contacts), electronic (4,313 contacts) and personal visit (4,224 visits).

In total, the PAS received a total of 45,478 requests.

Directly through the PAS, ICP-ANACOM provides a range of services, including: (i) registration of ITED installers and project managers, including all related amendments, the reception, processing and preparation of lists and filing of ITED terms of responsibility and certificates of conformity; (ii) registration, and all subsequent changes with respect to CB (citizen's band) customers; (iii) the scheduling and conduct of amateur exams and issue of the respective certificates; (iv) registration of intermediary providers of network services.

In Table 13 the distribution by service is detailed in respect of requests received by the PAS during 2008:

Table 13 - Distribution of the number of requests by type of service

Requests segmented by ICP-ANACOM services



(of total)




CB - Personal Radio Service



Amateur Service



LMS - Private Networks



Non-discriminated Services



Non sectoral



Television Broadcasting Service



Electronic Communications Networks and Services



Mobile telephone service



Telephone Service at a fixed location



Radio Broadcasting Service



Other Radio Services



Internet Access Service



Postal Services



Audiotext services



Digital Television DVB-T Service






Cable Television Distribution Service 



Satellite Services



Virtual Phone Cards Services



Public payphone service



Intermediary network service providers






Requests received by mail and by phone or person, with respect to ''ANACOM services'' saw an average answer time of 8 minutes, while 25 percent of requests were answered in under 3 minutes, 50 percent in less than 5 minutes and just 25 percent of requests were answered following a delay of over 11 minutes.

For requests received by electronic means, also with respect to ''ANACOM services'', the average response time was 109 hours, with 25 percent answered in less than 9 hours, 50 percent in less than 33 hours and only a quarter of the requests had a response delay of more than 106 hours. The latter, involved requests for technical advice to the competent area depending on the issue. It should be noted that, as channel that is open 24 hours a day, response times are calculated including nights, weekends and holidays.

  • Centre for Documentation and Information (CDI)

Although its primary objective is to support ICP-ANACOM, concentrating all types of publications which are essential to its staff in a single location, the CDI is open to the general public, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Visitors can consult documentation and access the bibliographic catalogue, as well as other databases and online services. 

In 2008, in terms of external users, the CDI received 144 telephone requests, 41 requests in person, 1 written request and 47 requests by email, making a total of 233 requests.

Meanwhile, the CDI promoted the services which it provides to the various segments of the public at which it is aimed, culminating in the release of the ANACOM Library, launched in 2008 on the website of ICP-ANACOM.