Complaints about the communications sector fall in the 2nd quarter and approach pre-pandemic levels

During 2nd quarter 2021, there were 28.4 thousand complaints made about providers of communications services in Portugal, 8% fewer than during second quarter 2020 and 28% fewer compared to 1st quarter 2021 (about 11 thousand fewer complaints). This is the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that complaints have decreased, approaching pre-pandemic levels.

Out of all the complaints registered, 66% were about electronic communications providers. As such, electronic communications were the object of 18.7 thousand complaints, a decrease of 5% year-on-year and a decrease of 23% from the previous quarter. Delayed or deficient repair of faults and the delayed resolution or non-resolution of complaints were the reasons that most concerned users of electronic communications services, cited in 18% and 17% of sector complaints in 2nd quarter 2021.

As regards electronic communications, NOS was the provider giving rise to the most complaints (6.5 thousand complaints, 35% of complaints in the sector) and was the only operator among those reporting the most complaints that saw an increase in complaints from 2020 (+13%). NOS saw the number of complaints received about the activation of services without consent increase for the second consecutive period (+4 percentage points).

MEO was the provider giving rise to the second highest number of complaints, with 5.9 thousand complaints, 32% of the total, but it was the provider that registered the greatest decrease (-14%). MEO reported an increase in complaints about lack of contractual transparency (+4 percentage points).

Vodafone was the recipient of 30% of the sector's complaints (5.6 thousand complaints - a year-on-year reduction of 12%). Vodafone reported an increase in complaints about the repair of faults (+12 percentage points).

NOWO gave rise to 4% of complaints about electronic communications services in this period (0.7 thousand), a reduction of 4%. Delay in repairing faults was the reason giving rise to the largest number of complaints against NOWO (29%).

Lack of attempted delivery was the main reason for complaints in the postal sector

In terms of postal services, there were 9.7 thousand complaints registered in 2nd quarter 2021, corresponding to 34% of total complaints about the communications sector. This represents a drop of 13% over 2nd quarter 2020 and of 31% over 1st quarter 2021.

Lack of attempted home delivery gave rise to 21% of complaints in the postal sector and was the most frequently mentioned reason for complaints by users of these services.

CTT was the provider most frequently cited in complaints about the postal sector during 2nd quarter 2021, accounting for 86% of sector complaints recorded by ANACOM (8,400 complaints). CTT saw an 11% increase in complaints about its services compared to 2nd quarter 2020, but a 31% decrease compared to 1st quarter 2021 (3.8 thousand fewer complaints). At CTT, problems related to loss of items gave rise to the largest increase (+6 percentage points).

DPD registered 500 complaints, 80% fewer than in the same period of 2020. Delay in deliveries gave rise to more than a third of complaints against DPD (35%).

The other postal providers were cited in a total of 800 complaints. Delayed delivery, especially of international items, was the reason giving rise to the largest number of complaints (20%).

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ANACOM has been particularly attentive to the practices of sector companies and to the needs of users of communication services and reasons for dissatisfaction; ANACOM issued a wide range of recommendations to regulated companies, urging the adoption of different measures with a view to reducing the significant and increasing level of complaints in the sector since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the period being reported, ANACOM also continued with its commitment to its channels of public dissemination, with clear and timely information on the impact of the pandemic in terms of the use of services and the rights of users, with particular focus on exceptional legal regimes and new user protection regulations.

Consult the statistical report: