Friday, January 8, 2010

Telephony Providers Observe ANCOM Decision on Informing End-Users in More than 90% of the Locations Inspected

In the last quarter of 2009, the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) conducted 1,110 inspections at the working points of 28 providers of telephony services or their dealers, in order to verify compliance with the obligations of informing the end-users imposed by ANCOM by Decision no.77/2009 on the obligations of the providers of publicly available electronic communications services to inform the end-users, which entered into force as from 14 May 2009. More than 90% of the inspected shops had implemented the requirements of the ANCOM decision.

This campaign took place between 26 October and 13 November 2009 in the whole country, according to county plans based on the number of each operator’s own and partner working points. ANCOM conducted 343 inspections at a national level, at the working points of Orange Romania and its dealers, 282 at those of Vodafone Romania, 249 at Cosmote Romanian Mobile Telecommunications, 82 at Romtelecom, 46 at Telemobil, 40 at RCS&RDS, 32 at UPC Romania, 8 at New Com Telecomunicatii, 5 at Atlas Telecom Network Romania, 3 at Euroweb and – respectively - at The National Radiocommunications Company and one at each of the following providers: Advanced Business Solutions International, Canal S, Combridge, Connet Ro, Datek Telecom, Dial Telecom, Digicom Systems, Idilis, Intersat, Media Sat, Net-Connect Internet, Nevi Telecom, Nextgen Communication, Telcor Communications, Thomas Hook Communications Romania, Trans Tel Services and Voxility.

During these inspections, ANCOM assessed 178 instances of breach of the obligations imposed on the telephony providers in 88 shops. In most cases, the breaches consisted of the following infringements: the poster by which the operators must make publicly available information on the conditions for connecting to and using the services did not correspond to the required characteristics (or was missing), the obligation of providing, prior to concluding a contract, information materials in printed or electronic format regarding the chosen tariff plan, the applicable tariffs for access and for national calls, as well as the minimum contract duration, minimum contract duration and the charges incurred in case of early contract termination and the applicable penalties was not observed or the customers were not handed out a copy of the Framework-Contract and of the General Terms for service provision or of the Complaints Handling Procedure.

Following these assessments and in accordance with the legislation in the field of electronic communications, ANCOM sent 88 notifications on the intention to apply sanctions to the 20 operators who did not comply with the provisions of Decision no.77/2009. The Authority started sending the notifications on 21 December 2009, the operators having the obligation to solve the assessed problems within 30 days from the date of sending the notification. Otherwise, the applicable fines range from 10,000 RON to 100,000 RON, for the providers with a turnover of up to 5,000,000 RON or amount to up to 2% of the turnover, or, in case of repeated breach, to up to 5% of the turnover, for the providers with a turnover of more than 5,000,000 RON.

Of the 178 breaches assessed during the ANCOM inspections, 54 were found at Orange working points or dealerships, 30 at Cosmote, 11 at RCS&RDS, 9 at Romtelecom, 8 at Vodafone, 7 at Telemobil and Combridge, 6 at Digicom Systems, Idilis, New Com Telecomunicatii and UPC, 5 at Atlas Telecom Network Romania, 4 at Nextgen Communication, Thomas Hook Communications Romania and Trans Tel Services, 3 at Canal S and Datek Telecom, 2 at Intersat and Net-Connect Internet and one at Euroweb Romania.

"ANCOM's Decision aims to allow end-users to make well-informed choices, to be aware of the conditions for service provision before they sign the contract. The inspections conducted at the end of 2009 reveal that, in more than 90% of the situations, the operators complied with their obligations. Most of the breaches were assessed during inspections at the providers’ dealers and we will verify whether these have been remedied within the term established by ANCOM" declared Catalin Marinescu, the President of ANCOM. 2TK4HVARDE9X

In 2009, ANCOM adopted a decision establishing the minimum information set the telephony users should receive. Moreover, based on this decision, ANCOM will elaborate and make publicly available to the end-users an online tariff comparison tool for telephone services. The provisions of Decision no.77/2009 are available here, on the ANCOM website.

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