The three operators informed their customers of the increase, either on their website, by email, SMS or invoice, but none of them actually communicated the value of this increase and the future price to be paid by each customer. According to DECO, “this attitude raises serious doubts about the regularity and legality of these procedures”.
According to the law, internet providers must notify their customers of any change in contractual conditions in a clear and understandable way at least one month before. In addition, companies are obliged to inform consumers in the same notice of their right to withdraw from the contract free of charge if they do not accept the new conditions.
DECO considers that the communications published by operators on their websites, e-mails or even on their invoices do not comply with this rule because they never mention the amount of the increase and the price to be paid in the future. Therefore, this information has not been clarified as required by law. In fact, customers of these operators will only be able to know how much they will pay if and when they go to their operator's website.
"Internet and TV providers will certainly try to justify themselves by saying that they do not have to formally notify their customers of this increase, as well as the customer's right to cancel the contract in case of disagreement with this new value, as they are entitled to update prices annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI)," DECO said.
For consumers affected by these increases, the Association suggests reading the contract carefully and checking whether it includes a clause that allows an update of the price indexed to the CPI and, at the same time, demanding that the operator informs clearly and in writing about the new price in order to verify that the increase is not higher than the index.
DECO will continue to monitor this situation and requests all consumers who have doubts about their specific case to contact their Consumer Support Office.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252