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Anatel’s new General Regulation defends telecommunications consumer rights

By Dane Avanzi

Leaders of complaints at Procon, the mobile operators from north to south of Brazil, are a headache for consumers of the service. Among the main causes is the improper collection of values.

In an attempt to protect the Brazilian telecommunications consumer, the General Telecommunications Consumer Rights Regulation, the RGC, becomes effective on March 10, 2015.

The regulation comes at a good time, given that Brazil registered last January the mark of 281.70 million active lines in mobile telephony, and the teledensity of 138.34 accesses per 100 inhabitants. In January, prepaid accesses totaled 213.40 million and postpaid accesses 68.30 million.

The RGC also provides that all calls made are recorded and, if requested, provided within ten days. Detailed, objective and clear billing information, with data on the value of each service, promotions and discounts applied, is another requirement of Anatel.

Among the measures, companies of fixed and mobile, pay TV and broadband will have to offer on their web pages a space reserved for the consumer where, with a password, it will be possible to access various services, such as detailed account data, documents billing and analysis of your consumption profile. The most controversial is the cancellation of accounts that can be done via the internet instantly.

The obligation of the provider to record all the calls made between it and the consumer, regardless of the originator of the interaction, also becomes effective. If the consumer requests a copy of the recording made, the provider must make it available within 10 days. This request can be made through any of the service channels of the provider, including through the Consumer Reserved Space on the website. The obligation to return a discontinued connection becomes valid.

Regarding the offer of service plans, operators will now have to present alternatives in a clear and orderly manner, aiming at greater clarity to the consumer. This will have various information from your profile to decide which is the most economical hiring alternative. Regarding improper charges, the consumer may dispute amounts, and the carrier is required to issue new payment slip while evaluating the claim. If the claim proves to be well founded, the amount should be refunded twice, which was already foreseen in old diplomas.

However, the crux of the matter for Brazil to solve or mitigate the problem of telephone operators’ misconduct is not the lack of laws, but the state’s laxity through its institutions in enforcing the law. Lack of effectiveness. The ideal recipe would be less law and more will from the general government. While this does not change, Brazil, unfortunately, will remain the paradise of telephone operators.

Dane Avanzi is a businessman, lawyer and vice president of Aerbras – Association of Radiocommunication Companies of Brazil.

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