Consumer-oriented policy is one of the most important pillars in the Strategy of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications. In the first half of 2015 subscribers of telecommunications services filed 2,884 requests for intervention, 2,078 (83.81%) of which have been resolved in favour of consumers.
The number and type of telecommunications services available in the Polish market is gradually increasing, and complex provisions of the rules and regulations, tariffs and promotions applied by many operators, may be related to the problems faced by consumers. These problems to a high extent result from irregularities attributable to some of the telecommunications operators, unfair practices of commercial agents and lack of both caution and limited trust on the consumer's part. The scale of these phenomena is still high, which is confirmed by the number of requests for intervention with service providers submitted by the affected consumers to the President of UKE.
In the first half of 2015 subscribers of telecommunications services filed 2,884 requests for intervention, 2,078 (83.81%) of which have been resolved in favour of consumers. Each request required a number of activities, which comprised i.a. obtaining clarifications from the telecommunications services provider, examination of legal and factual situation, and intervening or providing clarifications to the requesting party. Each time the experts of UKE had consumer interests in mind and were striving to solve the problem in favour of consumer.
The number of requests for intervention should be supplemented with 1,378 requests for mediation, 759 (66.41%) of which have been resolved in favour of consumers. In addition, in the first half of 2015 1,076 enquiries were submitted to the Office of Electronic Communications. Individual enquiries concerned the functioning of telecommunications services market, binding legal rules and other issues and problems that consumers face on a daily basis, while using fixed and mobile telephony and the Internet.
The most frequent problems that subscribers faced on the telecommunications market included:
- being misled by commercial agents when concluding a contract, suspicion of forgery - forged signatures on contracts;
- failure to meet, by telecommunications undertakings, the terms and conditions for the provision of a service in the case of extended contracts;
- quality of the provided services - data transmission speed lower than declared, lack of coverage, failures of telecommunications networks;
- difficulties to get in touch with customer service departments.
An important element of the Office activity is also running the Consumer Information Centre (CIK) and helpline for consumers, operating at 801 900 853. The helpline employees answer numerous questions from the consumers as regards telecommunications services, provide advice and resolve any doubts concerning consumer rights. In the first half of 2015 the Office’s employees answered 4,358 calls.
Any irregularities occurring on the part of telecommunications services providers are examined in detail by the President of UKE, not only as regards compliance with binding provisions of the law, but also from the point of view of providing consumers with services of the best quality.