Corrective measures regarding contractual amendments

In recent months, ANACOM has received a significant number of complaints about amendments made by four operators to the conditions in contracts governing the provision of electronic communications services following the entry into force of the most recent amendment to LCE - Lei das Comunicações Eletrónicas (Electronic Communications Law)1 in mid-2016; these complaints referred to the form and the terms by which contract amendments, the majority referring to the price of services, were communicated.

As a result of the investigation carried out as a result of these complaints, ANACOM found that, when making these contractual amendments (covering a large number of subscribers), operators failed to inform customers of their right to terminate their contract without penalty where they did not agree to the amendments (even where the customer is subject to a contract lock-in period). Information on this right, as required under paragraph 16 of article 48 of the LCE, has added importance at this time (as results from Law no. 15/2016) in providing subscribers with proper clarification.

In this context, by decisions of 17 March 2017 adopted pursuant to paragraph 3 of article 48-A of the LCE, ANACOM has ordered application of corrective measures, requiring operators to send new notices to subscribers granting a new period during which customers may withdraw without penalty or, alternatively, restore the contractual conditions existing before these amendments; prior hearings of the operators as regards these decisions are ongoing.

1 Law no. 15/2016 of 17 June, amending Law no. 51/2011 of 13 September.