Telephony, Agcom tightens on automatic increases linked to inflation

3 min read

Explicit acceptance by the user will be required for telephone tariff increases linked to inflation. And this will apply to the new contracts, from now on, as well as those on which the operators had already warned that they wanted to trigger the adjustments, starting from April 2024.

Giomi: «Unprecedented measure»

The green light from Agcom has arrived on the new Regulation which governs all contractual matters between operators “who provide electronic communications services and end users”. This was communicated by the Authority itself, anticipating the publication, which will take place shortly, of the resolution whose rapporteur was Commissioner Elisa Giomi according to which «this is an unprecedented provision which protects all consumers with respect to the contractual conditions that the operators apply to telephone and internet services, and which will give maximum guarantees starting from clear and exhaustive access to the information useful for stipulating contracts. Users will finally be protected from automatic increases due to inflation and from withdrawal costs when they want to change operator.”

Agcom stakes on “indexed” tariffs

The issue of tariffs indexed to inflation is the key part, or certainly the big news, of this Regulation. The key starting point is the radical, Copernican change that telephone companies have begun to propose to their customers: automatic increases indexed to inflation which, precisely because of this automaticity, according to the telcos involved in the matter would not give rise to a right of withdrawal. It is Tim and Wind Tre who have given the “la” on some offers, between fixed and mobile, and with measures which, as mentioned, will reach practical implementation in 2024. In this context, and with the risk of having a prospect of price increases massive amounts linked to inflation, Agcom has set limits. First of all, the operators, the Authority writes in its note, “must provide end users, together with the contract before signing, even in the case of telephone contact, a concise and easily readable contractual summary which identifies the main elements of the service”.

Two types of price increases

In the event of explicit consent from the customer, two types of price increases are then envisaged: one linked to inflation measured by an official index (the National Consumer Price Index for families of workers and employees without tobacco) and one which includes “correctives” in addition to inflation. In the latter case, with membership, at the time of the increase in the fee linked to the consumer price index, the user has the right of withdrawal without costs. If, however, the contract does not provide for any correction with respect to the Istat index, the user who wishes to withdraw will have to bear the cancellation costs. In this case, however, the operator will be obliged to increase or even decrease depending on the trend of the index. In any case, Agcom writes “the application of the adjustment cannot take place, in the first application, before 12 months from the contractual adhesion”. And if the increase is greater than 5%, the customer can always ask to switch to a non-indexed offer from the same operator, without switching costs.

Exhaustive and transparent information

On the subject of transparency, the Regulation then establishes that «operators will have to adapt their contractual models and adopt all the necessary measures so that end users have, before the conclusion of the contract, the information listed in the provision, which must be reported clearly, detailed and easily understandable and provided on a durable medium”, such as the latest invoice. These include cancellation costs and minimum guaranteed quality levels.

Source link

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours