ANACOM receives an increased number of complaints and strengthens measures to protect users

The number of complaints received by ANACOM in 2013 increased by 12% compared to 2012, with a total of 63,822 complaints received.  The majority of complaints (81%) refer to the electronic communications sector with bundles of services giving rise to the largest number of complaints within this sector.  This trend is equally apparent among the different operators.

The overall rise in complaints in 2013 was driven, above all, by an 85% increase in the number of complaints received about bundles of services. Subscription television services gave rise to the second largest number of complaints per thousand customers (1.54 complaint records per thousand customers), followed by the Internet access service with 1.07 complaint records per thousand customers.

In terms of the causes of complaints received, complaints about contract conditions were the most common (53.8% of the total) and also increased the most during the year (+35%).  Indeed, contract and offer conditions, along with unlimited traffic, are issues where ANACOM has been focusing its efforts, to demand more transparency and to improve the quality of information provided to consumers, in order to safeguard consumer rights.

ANACOM is working to restrict situations in which operators can advertise offers as providing unlimited traffic or unlimited telephone calls or SMS messages, and plans to move ahead with the creation of a simplified information sheet, as already used in the banking sector, to be given to consumers before the conclusion or amendment of contracts.

During 2013, a substantial improvement was reported in the number of complaints about DTT, with a total of 1,400 complaints received (a decline of 83% compared to 2012). 

This reduction was been achieved on the back of measures taken by ANACOM with regard to the operations of PT Comunicações, the operator responsible for broadcasting the digital signal. These measures have led to work being carried out to stabilise the network; the progress also stems from the work done in sending out technical teams to visit the premises of customers who filed complaints.

In the postal sector, there was also a positive trend in the number of complaints received, with the number of complaints received falling by 9% to 8,292.  The largest share of complaints referred to the correspondence service, with a focus on delayed and lost deliveries. 

Complaint books were again the preferred means of submitting complaints (74% of complaints received by ANACOM were submitted using complaint books) and the number of complaints received in this way increased by 26% compared to 2012.