The Consumer Knowledge Trade Fair took place on 16 March 2014 in the Wola Park Shopping Centre on the occasion of the Global Consumer Rights Day. During the Fair consumers could obtain specialised assistance and advice from experts in the organizations and institutions responsible for consumer protection, such as the Office of Electronic Communications, the Municipal Consumer Advocate in Warsaw, the European Consumer Centre, the Polish Insurance Ombudsman, the Energy Regulatory Office, the Voivodeship Inspectorate of the Trade Inspection in Warsaw and the Association of Polish Consumers.
Several hundred people visited the stand of the Office of Electronic Communications and obtained advice from the experts of UKE. The advice related to telecommunications services, disputes with service providers, as well as rights and obligations arising from consumer contracts.
As noted by Milena Górecka - Head of the Consumer Policy Unit at UKE - one of the issues most frequently raised by consumers was the conclusion of contracts for the provision of telecommunications services, related to the switch of service providers. The questions asked in that regard perfectly matched the scope of the "Trust but verify" campaign conducted by UKE in order to increase consumer awareness with respect to their rights and obligations and sensitivity to unfair commercial practices applied by certain commercial representatives.
The consumers also raised other issues related to the provision of telecommunications services (first of all, the quality of calls and the coverage of mobile telephony), payments for services, activation of additional services, porting services to a new location and porting the number when switching service providers.
People who visited the UKE stand also received additional advice on how to redress disputes between consumers and telecommunication operators. In the first place consumers should always file a complaint with their telecommunications service provider, and in the case of a negative response, they may as a next step submit a request for mediation or intervention to UKE.
The number of questions asked by consumers and their doubts confirmed that it was a right decision for UKE to participate in the Consumer Knowledge Trade Fair and to support consumers as a weaker party to a legal (contractual) relation in disputes with telecommunications service providers.
Dozens of the most active consumers received prizes prepared by the Office of Electronic Communications and the Fair organizer - the Association of Polish Consumers.