Complaints for activating unauthorized telecommunications services rose in 2022 | Telecommunications

Complaints against telecommunications companies fell in 2022 but, according to Anacom, there are more cases of activation of services without customer authorization, in particular at Nos and Meo.

“In total, in 2022, electronic communications were the subject of 72,500 complaints, 10% less compared to 2021”, revealed Anacom, in a statement, this Wednesday.

“Problems in contracting services dominated the complaints and were the only subject to increase in this period” – they represented 28% of the total number of complaints and a total of 20 thousand complaints, surpassing complaints about billing, which reached around 19 thousand. As for complaints about service failures, there were around 14,000.

The entity led by Cadete de Matos details that the complaints motivated by the activation of services without consent was the reason for the complaint that grew the most in the sector (although it has a relative weight of 6% in the total of complaints, which translates to an increase of two points percentages compared to 2021). This practice was also “the reason for complaints that increased the most against Nos and against Meo”, says Anacom.

The second reason for complaints that increased the most in 2022 in the sector (and in particular “against Vodafone”) was the “impossibility of stopping the automatic activation of mobile data packages”, which represents only three percent of the total number of complaints, but increased by two points compared to 2021.

The main reasons for complaints “show situations of contracting services that are not very transparent and negative contractual practices, which are often encouraged by the possibility of building consumer loyalty”, highlights Anacom.

Exemplifying the “most frequent situations described in complaints about contracting services”, and which occurred “mainly in the celebration of distance contracts”, Anacom mentions the complainants who say they have “been surprised” with the information that their contract was renewed “without being aware of having received any contractual proposal or having consented to the renewal of the contract”.

Others complain that “the service provider activated a new contract without there having been a signature or written confirmation of the proposal presented by the provider” and still others that “they were re-loyal even after expressly refusing to adhere to the contractual proposal presented by the provider ”.

There are also those who have received contacts “for the installation of services that they did not contract”.

“In the opposite direction”, there was less delay in handling complaints and this was the reason for complaints “that most decreased in 2022 in the electronic communications sector”.

The regulator highlights Vodafone as the provider that recorded “the most complaints in absolute terms (36%) and also the only one that saw an increase in the number of complaints compared to 2021 (+12%)”.

In second place, with 31% of the sector’s total complaints, came Nos, followed by Meo, with 29%, and Nowo, with 3%.

If we consider the rate of complaints per thousand customers, Nos was 7.2, followed by Vodafone, with 7.1, and Meo, with 3.7 complaints per thousand customers.

Complaints also fall in the postal sector

In the postal sector, there were 37.2 thousand complaints in 2022, 22% less than in the same period last year. In the case of CTT, which led to 31.8 thousand complaints (86% of the total), there was a reduction of 23%.

DPD is the second postal operator with the most complaints. It recorded 2,500 complaints, but 27% less than in 2021. “The set of other providers with the least complaints (UPS, General Logistics, DHL, CEP, TNT, among others) represents a total of 8% of the complaints registered by Anacom” .

In the postal sector, “lack of attempted delivery at home was the most mentioned reason for complaints”, making up 19% of the total. This reason motivated “17% of complaints against CTT”.

The delay in the delivery of postal objects and poor service coverage were the reasons that increased the most compared to 2021, with “a decrease in complaints about the delay in handling complaints and the customs clearance of postal objects”.

Considering electronic communications and the postal sector, Anacom registered around 109.7 thousand written complaints against providers of communications services last year, 15% less than in 2021.

“Despite the decline, the sector continues to register a number of complaints much higher than what was seen in the pre-pandemic period”, describes the regulatory authority.

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