Deco calls for new changes in SMS legislation

The new decrees-laws on added-value SMS are not being enough to end consumer complaints, warns Deco, which calls for greater inspection and the default bus for this type of service.

Since the new diplomas came into force in May 2009, Anacom has already received 1,200 complaints and at Deco the number of complaints amounts to 2,494, confirmed the entities, contacted by TeK.

The alert came from the Consumer Protection Association, on the occasion of World Telecommunication Day, which is celebrated today, and just over a year after the entry into force of the new legislation that regulates the actions by the companies that provide these services. subscription to mobile phone messages and the co-responsibility of operators in this matter.

Legal measures arose to deal with several cases of customers who would have been burdened with the SMS subscription of added value without having realized that they had joined them.

According to information provided to Tek by Diogo Nunes, from Deco, in November 2008 the association reported several cases of consumers targeted by the abuses, alleging that they were facing a «manifest violation of information duties», insofar as , many times, users did not know that they were subscribing to a service, what its price or the period for which they were bound to it, and demanded the government to take action – among the proposals was the automatic bus of these services.

The solution was not contemplated by the legal instruments – which came into force on 9 May 2009 – having instead opted to create a list where consumers sign up to reject the reception of advertising messages via cell phone or email, and which January already had more than 11 thousand signatures.

Currently, they already reach 13 thousand, according to data provided by the Secretary of State for Commerce, Services and Consumer Protection to Jornal de Notícias.

According to Diogo Nunes, the measures taken will not be sufficient, with many users still attracted by online advertising to IQ tests, for example, who are included among the subscribers of these value-added SMS, which are sent to them every week. the consequent debit of the amount charged by them.

The official explains that the association asks the competent authorities to ensure an effective monitoring of the application of the diplomas published last year – which will not be properly complied with – and the adoption of the default bus for these services.

In a press release, Deco warns that in recent times, in addition to the dubious form of contracting, these companies have been «using tenders, questionnaires and shopping vouchers advertised on the internet, using improperly, the name and brand of other companies , such as Continente, El Corte Inglés, Ikea, Zara, Mango, EasyJet, Fnac, Worten, etc., thus misleading consumers «.

The association advises consumers who do not want to take these risks to subscribe to the national list for not receiving these services and to send documents to operators requesting their bus.