The "ANACOM Alerts" initiative, launched by ANACOM to reinforce the provision of information to consumers on specific subjects of interest in the sector, focuses on the main issues raised in complaints received from consumers. The first alert was published on 16 April (in Correio da Manhã) and on 17 April (in Jornal de Notícias) on the following theme:
Billing and non-payment
- If you think the value of your communications bill is wrong, make a complaint in writing. This ensures that your services won't be suspended.
- You must receive a bill within six months of receiving a service; otherwise, you can refuse to pay on the basis that the debt has expired. In this case contest the payment in writing and keep a record.
- If you receive a summons (injunction) demanding payment of an amount that you do not agree with, respond in writing within the indicated time limit; otherwise, you risk having your assets seized to cover the debt.
Today's "Consumers tips" (18 April), published in the newspaper Jornal de Notícias with ANACOM's collaboration, looks at the issue of non-payment of electronic communications service bills:
To charge for communications services, providers should issue their customers with a bill, on a monthly basis, indicating the services and prices. It is important to know that:
1. Providers have six months to charge customers following provision of a service. If you do not receive a bill within six months of receiving a service, you can refuse to pay on the basis that the debt has expired. Contest the payment in writing and keep a record.
2. If you do not agree with the amounts charged on a bill, make a complaint in writing. If you submit a written complaint, the operator cannot suspend the service until the complaint has been addressed.
3. If you have overdue bills in excess of 106 euros, your data may be included in a list of debtors that is shared among providers participating in the scheme. A provider may refuse to accept a customer whose name is on this list.
4. A service may only be suspended after the provider sends a suspension notice and if the amount due is not then paid within 30 days.
5. If you receive a summons (injunction) demanding payment of an amount that you do not agree with, respond in writing within the indicated time limit. Otherwise, you risk having your assets seized to cover the debt.