Subtel prepares to introduce new consumer protection legislation

12 Feb 2014

Telecoms watchdog Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has announced that new regulations to improve transparency in the market and protect the rights of subscribers will be published shortly and will be implemented 120 days after its publication. Under the new regulations providers will be required to maintain websites that allow users to clearly compare plans and will be obliged to offer equal facilities for signing up as for cancelling their subscription, so that existing customers can terminate their contracts as easily as new users can purchase services.

In the mobile market, the legislation guarantees that operators must grant customers a 180-day period without recharging before the cellco can deactivate the line as inactive. For post-paid users, operators will not be allowed to reallocate a subscriber’s number for at least two years after that customer has cancelled their service, with the exception that if the provider shuts down the connection due to non-payment of bills, the cellco can redistribute the number within 180 days. Elsewhere, international roaming services should be locked by default and only accessible by request, to prevent customers from unwittingly incurring substantial bills.