ANACOM orders Vodafone to immediately suspend requirement for 2nd balance for calls starting with 760

ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações has ordered Vodafone, by urgent measure, to take immediate steps to suspended the restriction of access to the "760" numbering range as unilaterally imposed by the operator on subscribers with prepaid tariffs, requiring them to maintain a second balance, without complying with the required statutory notice period of one month.

According to information conveyed by the company, as from 22 October, the operator's prepaid customers were required to maintain a second balance to be able to make calls to numbers beginning with 760. Following this measure ANACOM received a series of complaints challenging this requirement and questioning its legality.

Using "760" numbering, consumers can participate in contests or claim prizes in competitions run by television, radio and newspapers; the numbering is also used to promote fund-raising. The calls have a fixed price of 60 cents plus VAT, irrespective of their duration or of the time of day at which they are made.

In accordance with ANACOM's decision, Vodafone is to make available and highlight information on its website about the suspension of this measure and communicate it to subscribers affected, also informing them about how any second balance, credited in the meantime, can be used.

Given its urgent nature, the determination was issued without conducting a hearing of the company, which has now been notified to state its position.

This determination is without prejudice to any instigation of breach proceedings.