Minimal elements on invoice: operators mourn "missed opportunity"

The association of telecoms operators (Apritel) regretted on Tuesday that a "possibility to follow developments in the sector" was missed in the field of environmental practices regarding the decision of Anacom on the minimum elements of the invoice.

On 13 September, the National Communications Authority (Anacom) approved the final decision requiring electronic communications companies to include the date and costs for the purpose of maintaining the contract.

After deciding on the minimum elements of the invoice, Apritel said in a statement that "it is unfortunate that it has lost an opportunity to follow the evolution of the sector towards better environmental practices, through the promotion and incentive to provide invoices in printed form. (recommended, in addition, by government initiatives such as the Simplex + 2018 program). "

In the decision, the regulator wanted to ensure that "invoices are issued and sent to subscribers free of charge, regardless of the medium and medium they use for that purpose", taking into account that widespread adhesion to the electronic medium, although advantageous, is possible. to exclude subscribers "who are not yet able to control them, making them more vulnerable to the isolation of vulnerable groups such as citizens without internet access or with few skills in the use of this network, for citizens with a lower level of education and / or lower income".

However, "with the implementation of this decision, physical support will be made available to customers who wish their detailed invoices, details of the applicable contracts (with the certainty that some of this information is already available, nowadays , offered and made available through other media), Apritel intends to be definitively obsolete of the alleged / possible lack of transparency of the operators with regard to their customers, in particular with regard to loyalty periods and paying amounts in case of termination of contracts during the fidelity period ", concludes the association.

Anacom's decision was aimed at defining "the minimum level of detail and the information to be included in the invoices that electronic communication operators must make available free of charge to subscribers requesting detailed invoicing, irrespective of the aid and mine."

It is mandatory to include, among other things, the date on which the loyalty period ends and the costs are for the account of the customer if you wish to terminate the contract on the date of issuance of the invoice.

Anacom also said that "operators should also include billing information on the possibility of consumers disputing the invoiced amounts, stating the deadline and the resources they can use to do this, to make it clear to customers that the service will not be suspended in the future cases where the amounts are subject to a written complaint, based on the non-existence or non-enforceability of the debt. "

The entity also stated that it is mandatory for the invoice to indicate that the customer can use the "complaints book" and that the companies in the invoice must state the website where it is available. [na sua versão eletrónica]".

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