Legal proceedings ongoing against Indotel, telcos for breaching consumer rights

21 Nov 2013

The Dominican Republic’s Supreme Administrative Court (Second Chamber) has held the third hearing of the appeal brought by the Fundacion Prensa y Derecho (FPD – Press and Law Foundation) against the country’s telecoms watchdog the Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones (Indotel) and a number of telecoms companies – Claro Dominicana (Codetel), Tricom, Trilogy Dominicana (Viva), Wind Telecom and Orange Dominicana – to revise the clauses in current contracts that reportedly violate consumer rights, local news agency Noticias SIN reports.

Previously, the court had postponed the hearing twice, due to requests by lawyers representing the telcos. According to the article, the FPD’s representative Namphi Rodriguez pointed out that a study of telecoms contracts revealed that more than 30 clauses are in breach of consumers’ rights. Rodriguez warned that current contracts constitute a serious violation of Article 53 of the Constitution and Article 2 of the General Protection Law of the Rights of Consumers 358-05, and the clauses also limit the telcos’ liability for damages. Further, the FDP has accused Indotel of an attempt to compel the telecoms companies to provide investigative agencies with unlimited access to subscriber files, without prior judicial review. The organisation pointed out that the General Law on Telecommunications, No. 153-98 and No. 158-05, contains an obligation for Indotel to ensure the rights of consumers and users are not violated.