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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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"Twoja Telekomunikacja" telecommunications company fined for pln 1.5 million

< previous | next > 16.04.2018

"Twoja Telekomunikacja" telecommunications company fined for pln 1.5 million
  • Twoja Telekomunikacja is a company which would pose as the existing service provider in order to induce consumers to sign a contract.
  • The company also made it difficult for consumers to cancel existing contracts.
  • The President of UOKiK imposed a penalty in the amount of PLN 1.5 million on the telecommunications service provider.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection received 600 complaints from consumers, consumer ombudsmen and landline service providers concerning the activities of the company known as Twoja Telekomunikacja (TT).

Employees of the company would visit consumers at their homes, under the pretext of presenting new offers, lower subscription fees or changing existing devices to new, digital ones.”We have received numerous complaints from elderly people and their families. The representatives of TT did not inform their consumers that signing the documents provided was tantamount to changing their telecommunications service provider. They also failed to notify the clients that the lower subscription fees would only be applicable for a period of two months. Doing so, they were guilty of non-performance of the most basic information duties” – says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK.

“Twoja Telekomunikacja is a company which employs aggressive tactics to gain new customers. These are the type of activities that I have to condemn. The employees of TT tell their customers that they are carrying out a “nationwide digitalisation campaign”, which requires the existing analogue telephones to be replaced with digital ones. Placing one’s signature on the receipt of the new phone, however, is tantamount to the change of service provider. Despite numerous consumer complaints, the company refused to change its practices. I have been unable to identify any extenuating circumstances in the present case” – Mr Niechciał adds.

The Competition Authority called the following practices into question:

  1. Posing as existing telecommunications service provider. The company’s phone consultants would mostly call elderly landline phone owners, misleading them into thinking that they were, in fact, talking to representatives of their existing service provider.

An example of a consumer complaint: Most importantly, he did not give me the contract at all. The courier said that I didn’t need any, because it was all about reducing my subscription fee. I was unaware of the fact that I was signing a deal with some completely different company. It was only when I received my new phone that I understood what happened, that I was deceived. What makes it even worse is that right now I have no phone service, there is no signal anymore. I am 85, I live alone, all I have is a modest pension, I cannot afford to buy all the recommended medications and I need to be in touch with my doctors all the time.

  1. Failure to provide information that the new, lower subscription fee would only apply for a two-month period. Once that period has elapsed, the fees went up from PLN 25 to PLN 41.

An example of a consumer complaint: I get my invoices every month, with the subscription amount being 2.5 times higher than TT originally promised.

  1. Lack of information and documents: Consumers would not receive information on how to cancel the contract, the contract cancellation form, the price list or even the contract itself.

An example of a consumer complaint: The whole visit went like that: he asked me if my name was [***] and then he said he was working for Orange and that he brought an annex to reduce my subscription fee and increasing my free call limits to 100 minutes. He asked me for my ID and showed me where to sign. When I asked him about a copy of the document, he replied that I would receive it all after the deal was signed.

  1. Demanding payment for additional services which the consumers did not order. The employees of the company never asked their consumers if they were interested in additional services (such as online billing); instead, they would check the appropriate boxes and ordered those services without asking, resulting in higher monthly fees.

An example of a consumer complaint: In my contract, they checked all the possible packages which the company has on offer. I dare not think how much I would have to pay for those services right now.

The Competition Authority imposed a penalty in the amount of PLN 1.5 million on the Twoja Telekomunikacja company. The amount of the fine was influenced by the fact that he company failed to change is practices despite numerous complaints. The decision is not final and the company may appeal against it to a court of law.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw
Phone: 695 902 088
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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