ANACOM strengthens consumer protection by requiring more transparency from operators

ANACOM is looking to strengthen protection of consumer interests and has decided to move forward by increasing requirements for transparency of information included in contracts and conditions governing the offers of telecom operators. To ensure that consumers are able to make fitting choices when acquiring products and services, it is essential that the quality of information provided is improved.

With this concern, ANACOM intends to move forward with the creation of a simplified information sheet, similar to the system that has already been implemented in the banking sector; providers will have to give this sheet - a pre-defined form containing simple and standardized information on the essential aspects of the provision of telecommunication services - to consumers before the contract is signed or whenever changes are made to a contract.

ANACOM also believes that to strengthen protection of consumer interests, the information included in contracts, in the terms and conditions governing offers and in the simplified information sheet, needs to be harmonised using common terminology and simple language, making the information easier for all consumers to understand.

To enshrine these changes, ANACOM will need to review its determination on contracts and conditions governing offers and create a simplified information sheet. This process will focus, in particular, on issues related to contract lock-in periods, Internet access speeds, contract alterations and offers advertised as unlimited. It is also recalled that ANACOM recently adopted a draft decision aimed at restricting the circumstances in which operators may advertise their offers as including unlimited traffic or unlimited phone calls and SMS.

Before proceeding with a draft decision on this matter, ANACOM will sound out the market through a public consultation, which closes on 30 April, seeking to compile the opinions of the various market agents, including telecom operators, service users, consumer protection associations and other authorities with responsibilities in this area.