Complaints about the communications sector declined 11% in the first half of the year

In the first half of 2019, users of communications services submitted around 43 thousand complaints. This figure is 11% less than the same period of the previous year, when the number of complaints had increased by around 25%. Complaints concerning the electronic communications sector totalled 32 thousand, down 13%, while those concerning the postal sector fell by 5% to around 11 thousand.

These figures combine the complaints recorded in complaints book, both physical and electronic, as well as those sent directly to ANACOM. They do not cover situations in which users, by choice or by recommendation of the operators, have contacted the operators by e-mail, letter, call centre or in person. ANACOM considers the registered decrease to be very significant and expects that the downward trajectory will continue in the future, in line with the initiatives it has developed to ensure maximum protection of the rights of communications users throughout the country and, in particular, the rights of the most vulnerable populations.

ANACOM's strategic objective has been pursued through regulatory action that prioritises information and transparency and seeks to discourage and penalise bad practices. In this context, we highlight the decisions and measures adopted regarding the scope of the cost and detail of invoices, the quality of the reply to complaints in the complaints book, distance contracting and the quality of the postal service. Also noteworthy is the scope of the proposals contained in the draft amendment to the Electronic Communications Law delivered to the Portuguese Parliament and to the Government, particularly with regard to the rules for early termination of contracts, and the establishment of agreements with seven consumer dispute arbitration centres, in a process aimed at making the settlement of disputes between consumers and operators simpler and quicker.

32 thousand complaints regarding electronic communications

Of the 32 thousand complaints registered in the electronic communications sector in the first half of the year, 37% of the complaints referred to MEO, 34% to NOS, 25% to Vodafone and 4% to NOWO/ONI. MEO was the only operator for which the volume of complaints decreased (-32%) compared to the same period of the previous year, when this operator had recorded an increase of 105%.

The billing of services was the most complained about issue in the electronic communications sector, which was referred to in 31% of the complaints. It is also the issue most frequently referred to in complaints against the four operators recording the most complaints - billing was the object of 33% of the complaints against MEO, 28% against NOS, 30% against Vodafone (the most complained about subject, together with the contracting of services) and 38% of the complaints against NOWO/ONI.

Complaints in the postal sector fall to 10.7 thousand

The postal sector was the object of 10.7 thousand complaints, 86% of which concerned CTT, corresponding to 9.2 thousand complaints. The complaints about CTT registered a reduction of 12% compared to the same period of the previous year, when this operator had registered an increase of 88%. CHRONOPOST was the second most complained about postal operator, accounting for 7% of complaints in the sector.

Complaints about postal services were mainly related to the delivery of postal items at home (24% of complaints) and delays in the delivery of postal items (24%).

Lastly, the physical complaints book was used in 48% of all complaints, followed by the electronic complaints book - the only means that recorded an increase in use (5%) - which accounts for 44% of the complaints received. The means made available by ANACOM for submitting complaints were used in only 7% of the total number of registered complaints.

Consult the statistical report: