ANACOM has approved a draft decision on the minimum level of detail and information to be included in invoices which electronic communication operators should provide free of charge to subscribers who request a detailed invoice.
In order to allow consumers to check the instalment payments they are required to pay and make informed decisions regarding the defence of their rights and interests, ANACOM has defined the level of detail and information to be included in the invoices which subscribers, upon requesting a detailed invoice, will receive free of charge. Thus, it determined that among the information to be included in the invoice provided free of charge should be the date on which the binding contract period terminates and any charges to be borne by customers should they wish to terminate the contract on the date of the issuing of the invoice. The defined level of detail also makes it easier to follow an itemized and transparent listing of the costs associated with bundled services, especially when there has been additional consumption.
According to ANACOM’s draft decision, telecommunications operators may not charge customers for the issuing and sending of invoices with the minimum details as now defined, nor for invoices without details or with details less than that defined, irrespective of the format and means used.
The level of information and detail which should be included in the invoices provided free of charge to customers which request these does not prevent operators, on their own initiative or at the express request of customers, from issuing or sending invoices with greater detail and information than that defined by ANACOM, under the terms agreed with customers.
The information and detail that must be followed in the invoices to be made available free of charge to customers who request detailed invoicing are included in 4 informative groups:
- the group of items which identify the subscriber to whom the invoice is addressed and the period to which it relates;
- the group of items which enable subscribers to check and control costs incurred with the communications services they have contracted, furthermore knowing for how long they will bear these costs, if there is an associated legally binding contract period;
- the group of items which enable subscribers to monitor their consumption and corresponding expenses, so as to be able to control expenses they incur, which is particularly important in the present context, where most bundled contracts allow the addition of a growing number of additional services, apps or communications;
- the group of items which enable subscribers to know under what terms and how long they have to pay the invoice and, in the event of doubt or disagreement as to the amount to pay, how to contact the service provider, exercise their right of complaint and, if they wish, use the resources available for the out-of-court settlement of conflicts.
ANACOM's draft decision is now subject to a preliminary hearing and public consultation period of 20 working days, until 3 July 2018. Contributions should be sent, in writing and in the Portuguese language, to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com, with ANACOM appealing for widespread intervention by the various interested parties and stakeholders in the market.
Items to be provided by the operator in the invoices to be issued and sent free of charge to customers who request detailed invoicing:
- Customer number or equivalent identifier;
- Commercial description of the service(s) invoiced;
- Invoicing period;
- Total amount of the invoice;
- Cost of installation and activation of the service(s);
- Cost of purchase or hire of equipment requested when contracting or after starting the provision of the service(s), with an indication of the corresponding invoiced unit(s);
- Cost regarding the monthly payment or the reference period that services as the basis for invoicing, with an indication of the service(s) covered;
- The amount referring to the service(s) and other additional charge(s) not included in the monthly price or in the reference period which serves as the basis for invoicing, identifying the corresponding category/ies and amount(s) invoiced;
- The amount referring to additional communications (calls and messages, including those to non-geographic numbers, Internet traffic, among others) not included in the monthly fee or in the reference period which serves as the basis for invoicing, identifying the corresponding category/ies and amount(s) invoiced;
- The value of discounts applied;
- Adjustments in the invoicing;
- Costs for subscriber topping up and consumption, balances carried forward from previous invoicing periods and existing balances at the end of the invoicing period, which may also be carried forward to the following period;
- Customer service contact numbers;
- The termination date for the legally binding contract period;
- The charges due on the date of the issuing of the invoice due to termination of the contract on the part of the subscriber before the termination of the legally binding contract period;
- Payment deadline;
- Forms of payment accepted;
- Subscriber credits and debits, suitably itemized and justified;
- Mention of the possibility of subscribers contesting the invoiced amounts, the period available for this, as well as the means through which they can do this through the company which provides such service(s);
- Reference to the possibility of exercising the right of complaint through the complaints book, including the electronic complaints book;
- Reference to the possibility of recourse to mechanisms involving out-of-court settlement of conflicts, in particular, in the case of consumers, legally authorized consumer dispute arbitration centres.
1 Each email may contain one or more files as long as the total size does not exceed 10 megabytes. Comments can be split into two or more emails, if necessary.
- Definition of the minimum level of detail and information on invoices to be guaranteed to subscribers free of charge https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1454461
- Consultation regarding the definition of the minimum level of information on invoices to be guaranteed to subscribers free of charge https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1454462