THE Anatel approved the text of the new General Consumer Rights Regulation (RGC), which proposes to change the way operators sell their products. The main change is to establish a minimum duration period for bonuses or promotions, which often end up confusing the consumer because they have different characteristics from the contracted plan.
The text was approved by the Directing Council on Thursday (26), but is still under public consultation for 90 days.
Telephony offers should last at least one year
An important change in the RGC is regarding the form of charges in the telephone sector: it is quite common for operators to include an internet franchise with a bonus valid for a few months, and it is this situation that Anatel intends to change. The text proposes the minimum period of one year for duration of offers.
In a report, counselor Emmanoel Campelo says that operators maintain a multiplicity of offers, and consumers are faced with a service plan, promotions and bonuses “without being able to perceive or distinguish (…) each one of them and what the real implication of the service plans is. ”.
Campelo says that “the overlapping of service offerings (…) ends up making it difficult for consumers to understand services and contracted conditions”, and that this induces consumers “to consider that there were errors in the contracting or that the charges made (…) are in disagreement with the contracted terms ”. He mentions the complaints data at Anatel, whose item most claimed in 2018 and 2019 is “collection in disagreement with the contractor”.
The report also highlights that adherence to this model does not harm the ‘creativity’ of the market and does not discourage innovations in the sector. Anatel will not establish a limitation on the number of existing offers, and operators could create new promotions whenever they want.
Claro, Oi, TIM and Vivo have conditions for a limited time
Currently, all major telcos have bonuses, promotions or conditions that last less than a year. Here are some examples:
- THE Live charges R $ 129.99 per month on Vivo Selfie Disney +, but the amount is only valid for the first three months. After the period, the monthly fee changes to R $ 159.99;
- THE sure you usually have offers on NET residential services with different prices in the first three or six months, depending on the chosen combo. In the mobile service, the company sells a prepaid with 12 GB per month, but later explains that 6 GB are bonuses valid only for six months;
- THE TIM it also adds bonuses that last a short time: the control plans have only three months of free access to social networks;
- THE Hi sells 500 Mb / s optical fiber broadband with streaming services, but HBO Go is only included in the first six months. Before Black Friday, the company had a 16 GB control plan, with 4 GB being a six-month bonus.
Here I highlight a honorable mention for TIM: practically all the plans of this company have “benefits” with short term in the regulations. In practice, the operator continues to renew the “promotions” monthly, but this type of contract allows sudden changes and leaves the consumer in the dark as to the validity of the offer, as occurred with the removal of unlimited voice and video connections on WhatsApp.
This contract mode mainly achieves the benefits of unlimited social networks. I took TIM Controle as an example: the current regulation released by the operator provides for unlimited WhatsApp only until November 20 (ops, it’s over!). The situation extends to unlimited calls: contractually, the plan provides only 500 minutes of calls, with free use in a “promotional” way.