New regulations for mobile communications will stop the arbitrariness of providers

Under the new law (ΚΓΑ), which will enter into force in the near future, debtors will not be blocked from incoming calls, will be prohibited from disconnecting the Internet, will simplify the termination of the contract and will provide some other important changes.

The aim of the new law is to significantly strengthen consumer protection and create a more functional framework for the provision of electronic communications services.

The National Telecommunications and Post Office Commission (EETT) limits the ability of telephone providers to block incoming calls due to debt. ISPs must also continue to provide Internet access at a slower speed under the new General Licensing Regulations.

The new regulation, aimed at protecting the rights of subscribers to telephone and Internet communications, changes the contracts of service providers with consumers and imposes on suppliers, in particular, the following obligations:

Provide the subscriber with a minimum level of service in the event of a temporary or permanent interruption of service due to debts, such as receiving incoming calls, making outgoing calls that do not charge the subscriber, Internet access at a speed of at least 256 Kbps, or minimal access to government .gr websites, Civil Protection and Independent State Revenue Service. Notify the subscriber about the impending expiration of his contract no later than two months before its expiration. They must also notify the subscriber 15 days before the prepaid service expires. Do not increase the fixed amount under a fixed-term contract with the only exception – technological changes in the network. In this case, the subscriber reserves the right to terminate the contract without compensation in connection with a specific increase. The subscriber does not have the right to terminate the contract if the proposed changes to his contract do not adversely affect him. According to the provision that was valid until now, the consumer with the contract could only change the service in which the problem arose. Another change concerns the automatic conversion of a time-limited contract (for example, 12-month or 24-month) to a telephone service to an unlimited one at no cost to the consumer.
Under the existing law, the provider has the right, after the expiration of the contract, to restore the original nominal payments, that is, to return the discounts that he provided 12 or 24 months ago when he wanted to seduce the consumer. Provide advice (but not coerce) to the subscriber on more effective current tariffs for the services provided, at least one month before the end of the contract. Inform the subscriber about fixed and mobile services when they reach 80% of use and if the consumption of his program exceeds 100%. Include in the contract summary information on key products and services for users with disabilities.

It’s easier to “break” the contract

Under the new regulation on licenses for mobile operators:

The early termination fee calculation process is simplified if the subscriber terminates his contract before its expiration date. The minimum limit is increased, so the provider is obliged, by order of the subscriber, to stop providing services if it detects that the subscription fee exceeds this limit. The new limit for automatic termination of the contract due to debts has been increased to 150 euros (from the current 100 euros) or 300 euros in a two-month cycle. If a subscriber receives a package of services from a provider and wants to terminate one of his services before the expiration of the contract due to inability to fulfill it or inability to provide the service, then he can terminate all services of this provider without paying a fine (penalty in Greek).

Finally, it is worth noting that another change under the new telecommunications regulation concerns the ecology of the industry. From June, telecommunications service providers are required to send invoices to their customers electronically. An envelope with a paper version of the invoice can be sent at will to anyone who requests it or who has a problem with the provision of a digital service.

The aim of the EETT with these changes is to determine the level of nominal and real telecommunications charges, since Greece is one of the most expensive countries in the EU. At the same time, telecommunications service providers complain that they offer their services at lower prices.

The provisions of the new law will come into full force gradually, within nine months after the publication of the regulation in the Government Gazette.

Editorial note:

Some points of the regulations are still unclear, for example, what will be the new term of the “life” of the telephone card in case of non-payment, as well as other issues. We hope that in the near future we will find out them and publish the answers on the pages of our publication.

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