The period for the operation of exceptional consumer protection measures is over! As of June 30, the ban on telecommunications operators to suspend the provision of services for non-payment ends.
ANACOM warns that the general rules foreseen for the disconnection of electronic communications services will return.
If the internet is missing… it could be a payment problem!
Exceptional consumer protection measures end on 30 June. This means that operators will simply be able to cut off communications services, such as internet access or voice communications.
It will no longer be possible, from the same date, for customers to request the suspension or cancellation of contracts without penalty for unemployment or loss of income household equal to or greater than 20% compared to the previous month's income.
ANACOM believes that electronic communications companies are aware of the importance of these services for all citizens in the period in which we live and that they will find, together with their customers, solutions that avoid the suspension of services and the over-indebtedness of the families they face economic difficulties or restrictions arising from COVID-19 infection.
As of July 1, 2021, the general rules provided for situations of suspension of services due to non-payment and cancellation of services are fully applicable, with the possibility of suspension of contracts on the initiative of consumers not being legally provided for .
If consumers do not pay for electronic communications services from this date, the operator may suspend them, even if they are unemployed, there is a loss of household income or infection by the COVID-19 disease, provided they ensure compliance with the following rules:
- issue written notice to the consumer within 10 days of the invoice due date;
- grant an additional period of 30 days for payment of amounts owed;
- specifically indicate in the notice the consequences of non-payment – suspension or cancellation of the service;
- inform in advance the means that the consumer has at their disposal to avoid the consequences ofthe non-payment.
After 30 days of suspension of the service without the consumer paying all the amounts owed or not entering into any written payment agreement with the provider, the service is canceled and, if a loyalty period is in progress, there may be room for payment of the penalty that is contractually provided for its non-compliance.