ICP decides to suspend use of an audiotext access code

/ Updated on 24.01.2008

The Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP) has decided that the audiotext service provider, OURIVESARIA E RELOJOARIA ANO 2000, LDA. is to be prohibited from using the 601 access code during a 12 month period, due to failure to respect legally protected consumer rights. The service provider provided a service of an erotic nature through an access code reserved for general Audiotext services, thus misleading consumers. The said service did not yet include the obligatory message explaining the nature and cost of the service, nor a dialling tone.

The Institute believes that this situation harms legitimate consumer interests, and consumer rights to information and freedom of choice. For this reason, and following an extraordinary inspection, a countermanding procedure was commenced against the said service provider. In accordance with the terms of the law, the infringer is liable to pay a fine between PTE 1,000,000 and PTE 9,000,000.

The inspection was carried out on 11.15 on August 25, 2000, when it was confirmed that the service provider failed to comply with any of three user information obligations required by decree law nr. 177/99 of May 21: conformity of the access code with the nature of the service; a 10 second informative message concerning the nature and respective charge of the service; and a minute-to-minute sound signal indicating the dialling tone.

Access codes are an important instrument of consumer information. In the case of Audiotext services, the following access codes exist: 601 - General Audiotext Services; 607 - Televoting services; 608 - Tele-sales services; 646 - Competition and Leisure Time Services; and 648 - Erotic services.


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