ANACOM wants operators to improve their response to customer complaints

ANACOM is establishing the requirements that operators must comply with in their replies to the complaints that their customers send them via the complaints book (physical or electronic). The aim is to ensure that the quality of the providers’ response to the complainants improves, thereby reinforcing consumer rights. This Authority also wants the operators to send it these complaints by electronic means, via the extranet it provides for this purpose, in order to speed up the complaint handling process.

This draft decision of ANACOM has been prompted by the finding that the way the operators treat customer complaints is not appropriate, and the complainants' right to an answer is not properly assured, and at the same time it hampers the exercise of ANACOM's powers in this matter.

These are, for example, replies from operators who: (a) say that the complaint will be examined, without explaining what steps will be taken or indicating a deadline for response; (b) say that the complaint has been resolved, without giving any information as to when, how and under what terms this resolution was reached; (c) do not address all the problems reported by the claimant; (d) do not clarify the steps taken by the service provider and do not explain the grounds on which the complaint resolution was based.

With this draft decision, ANACOM also wants to dematerialize the relationship with the providers regarding complaints submitted, since they will have to send all complaints in standard digital format, via the platform that this Authority provides. This measure aims to streamline the entire process, while promoting environmental sustainability by eliminating the use of paper. This obligation is addressed to the largest operators: CTT, CTT Expresso, Chronopost, MEO, NOS, NOWO and Vodafone.

Some of these providers have already been submitting complaints from their customers in digital format, but not always processed through the extranet, and now everyone will have to do this otherwise they will incur penalties.

This draft decision is now subject to a prior hearing of interested parties for a period of 10 working days. Once the comments have been analysed, the final decision will be adopted. In the future, this decision will be replaced by a regulation which will lay down the requirements to be met by service providers' procedures for handling end-user complaints. The regulatory procedure has already been initiated.

It may be recalled that according to the law, complainants are entitled to a written response from the communications service providers, which must be sent to ANACOM within 15 working days from the date of the complaint, presented through the complaints book (physical or electronic).

Obligations of providers in their response to the resolution of customer complaints presented through the complaints book

The information must be complete.
The information must be concrete.
The information must be substantiated.

The language used should be clear and accessible.