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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Price of service only under additional conditions? UOKiK's appeal to telecommunications companies

< previous | next > 09.10.2019

Price of service only under additional conditions? UOKiK's appeal to telecommunications companies
  • Have you thought that you had found an attractive price for a phone or internet service, but it turned out that you’d have to agree to marketing or electronic invoices?
  • Presenting discounted prices as standard prices is misleading consumers.
  • The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) appeals to telecommunications companies to provide reliable information on the actual price of services.

Our choice of telephone, Internet or television services is heavily influenced by their price, and we obtain product knowledge from adverts and the Internet. We also trust in assurances given us by different consultants. That is why they should not be misleading.

TV, Internet and radio advertisements, as well as company websites usually display very attractive service prices. However, after reading the details and small print, it turns out that these are underestimated prices. Consumers can only get them after a discount has been applied when they agree to marketing or choose an electronic invoice. In some cases, e-invoice discounts also depend on timely payments. In television ads, additional conditions are displayed at the bottom of the screen, they are often illegible or only displayed for such a short time that the average consumer is unable to read them. Not all consultants provide reliable information about prices either.

- The consumer should already receive clear and readable price information through marketing messages. They must be aware of the conditions of service without having to search for information, thus telecommunications companies should display basic prices. If they also present the price after a discount, they should clearly state that – says Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK.

Displaying prices after a discount, instead of basic prices, is a very common practice, which is why the President of UOKiK has issued an appeal to 10 telecommunications companies:

  • Cyfrowy Polsat,
  • ITI Neovision,
  • Multimedia Polska,
  • Netia,
  • Orange,
  • P4,
  • Polkomtel,
  • T-Mobile,
  • UPC,
  • Vectra

to change the way prices are presented in advertising materials, on websites and in sales talks. They should first of all present the basic price of the service. When concluding a contract, companies should also inform consumers that non-provision or withdrawal of certain consents will result in higher charges.

- We hope that entrepreneurs will show a positive response to our appeal and change the way their prices are presented. This will benefit consumers, who will be clearly informed from the start when and for what they will be paying. It is important that everyone has reliable information about the terms and conditions of the offer. If the telecommunication companies do not adjust to our expectations within the set time limit, we will make a decision to initiate proceedings. They may result in a fine of up to 10 percent of the annual turnover - says Tomasz Chróstny, Vice-President of UOKiK.

Support for consumers:

Tel. 801 440 220 or 22 290 89 16 - Consumer Helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your city or district
Regional Consumer Centres: 22 299 60 90 - dlakonsumenta.pl

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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