Peruvian telecoms watchdog the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Organismo Supervisor de Inversion Privada en Telecommuniciones, Osiptel) has adopted temporary measures to prevent its complaint resolution structures from being overloaded with illegitimate claims. The watchdog reports that there has been an excessive increase in complaints and appeals to the authority and its Administrative Tribunal for Settlement of Claims (Tribunal Administrativo de Solucion de Reclamos, TRASU) over the last two years. Osiptel said it received 2.728 million claims in that period, half of which related to mobile services, whilst TRASU received 233,342 cases, exceeding its capacity for resolution and forcing Osiptel to extend the deadline for resolution to 139 days. Analysing its recent activity, TRASU noted that nearly 90% of its cases revolved around mobile services, and that roughly two thirds of cases were handled over the phone, and a similar percentage were declared as inadmissible or unfounded.
Osiptel believes that the increase in complaints is due primarily to ‘an improper use of the regulatory framework’ for the purpose of avoiding paying for services. Under the current rules, operators must suspend collection of fees until a claim is resolved – a process which is now taking more than three months due to the court’s backlog. ‘The claims system is collapsing not because of legitimate claims made by users for problems with the service provided by the operating companies, but because of the improper use of mechanisms that facilitate the filing of claims and appeals and that allow them to evade the payment of the corresponding receipts,’ TRASU Technical Secretary Ana Rosa Martinelli explained.
To tackle the issue, Osiptel has implemented several temporary measures, including: suspension of mechanism for filing appeals and complaints by telephone; introduce a separate category for billing claims, to differentiate from cases of application of incorrect rates and incorrect calculation of billable items; suspension of direct interposition of the user before Osiptel’s appeal upon the filing of a written claim.