Close [x]
By using the site you express your consent to the use of cookie files, some of which may be already saved in the browser folder.
For more information, please follow the Privacy and using cookie files policy for the service

Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

Increase font sizeDecrease font sizeHigh-contrast versionText versionText versionRSS ChannelGet QR codeWersja polska

You're here: Home > About us > About us > News

Prepaid phone card practices investigated by Poland's consumer protection authority

< previous | next > 26.09.2016

Prepaid phone card practices investigated by Poland's consumer protection authority

UOKiK proceedings will determine whether telecom providers broke the law by preventing customers from using unused funds purchased on phone cards.

Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has initiated proceedings against Orange Polska, P4, Polkomtel and T-Mobile Polska, the four largest telecommunications service providers in Poland.

UOKiK will challenge the companies’ practice of not returing unused funds to consumers when their prepaid cards have expired. By way of example, consumers who buy 25 PLN of phone credit are given a certain number of days to use the credit. If they then fail to purchase a top-up, the unused funds are forfeited the day after the card’s validity period has expired. This may discourage consumers from exercising their right to change service providers. That risk is compounded by the fact that the pre-paid card market changes rapidly, with the operators constantly introducing promotions aimed at consumers not tied to a monthly plan.

UOKiK President Marek Niechciał said of the practice, „money from unused credit is not being returned to customers’ wallets. This practice may make it difficult for consumers to change their telecom services provider. Customers may forego a better offer if they are concerned about forfeiting the unused funds.”

With operators in countries including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Spain returning unused funds, the failure to do so by companies in Poland stands out all the more.

Proceedings may conclude with a decision forbidding the use of a practice determined to infringe consumer rights and a fine of up to 10 percent of a company’s revenue in the year preceding the infringement. UOKiK may also impose a course of action for the company to follow to undo the lasting effects of the illegal practice.

Additional information for the media

Press Office, UOKiK
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw
Phone.: +48 22 827 28 92, +48 22 55 60 314, +48 22 55 60 430
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

Read also

ICT system failures in brokerage houses under scrutiny of the President of UOKiK
ICT system failures in brokerage houses under scrutiny of the President of UOKiK

The customers of brokerage houses may be affected by trading system failures that prevent them from placing orders at currently applicable prices.  ...>

Collusion between animal feed manufacturers - decision of the President of UOKiK
Collusion between animal feed manufacturers - decision of the President of UOKiK

President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny proclaimed market allocation by animal feed producers - collusion limited the freedom of product choice for farmers and sellers of milk replacers.  ...>

The President of UOKiK has initiated proceedings against other retail chains suspected of applying unfair retrospective discounts
The President of UOKiK has initiated proceedings against other retail chains suspected of applying unfair retrospective discounts

President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny initiated investigation procedures towards Kaufland Polska Markety, Eurocash and SCA PR Polska (Intermarche). ...>

PZU Życie SA changes the definition of chemotherapy after the intervention of the President of UOKiK
PZU Życie SA changes the definition of chemotherapy after the intervention of the President of UOKiK

PZU Życie SA introduces a new definition of chemotherapy in its general terms and conditions of insurance (GTCI) - this is the result of the actions taken by the President of Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. ...>

First penalty imposed for soliciting into so-called pyramid-type schemes
First penalty imposed for soliciting into so-called pyramid-type schemes

Almost the maximum penalty for each of the three identified practices - in total nearly PLN 450 thousand - was imposed by the President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny on Damian Żukiewicz (INVESTPROVIDER) for promoting pyramid-type incentive schemes. ...>

Over PLN 4 million fine for Profi Credit Polska - decision of the President of UOKiK
Over PLN 4 million fine for Profi Credit Polska - decision of the President of UOKiK

President of UOKIK Tomasz Chróstny imposed a fine on Profi Credit Polska in the amount of over PLN 4 million for practices that violate collective consumer interests. ...>

Top