A 'double-edged sword' for telcos, the technological awakening of consumers is proving, as in addition to the explosion of data usage and the rise of fixed fiber optic connections, they are demanding more from companies facing very significant technical challenges as networks show that they cannot handle the huge amount of data.
It is characteristic that the 2022 where internet speeds increased significantly in our country, hundreds of thousands of complaints were recorded from consumers about the quality of connections, while more than 1.000 compensations for speed issues.
There are many consumers who complain about frequent disconnections on fixed connections, and speeds much lower than the nominal ones they pay for, with the providers for their part talking about individual incidents that are resolved quickly, after the report of the problem is recorded.
In particular, according to the data sent by the providers to EETT, for fixed networks by 2022 where their speed also increased significantly, they were submitted as a whole 121.297 complaints about poor quality of internet access, of which 119.593 related to speeds (98,6%).
They were also mentioned 8.442 complaints about specialized services, 2.632 complaints about commercial practices and 56.245 complaints about limitations of terminal devices.
Also for the mobile networks which until now were considered the "strong card" of the providers, in 2022, submitted 32.101 internet quality complaints, of which 31.870 related to speeds (99,3%), while also mentioned 513 complaints about specialized services.
Complaints from subscribers to providers
As the EETT in report Open Internet, compensations for speed issues under the EKAD were given to 1.061 fixed network subscribers, and to 276 mobile network subscribers.
However, the number of complaints submitted to EETT appears to remain stable as they are submitted 29 subscriber complaints about Open Internet issues, the vast majority of which related to general quality of service and included user reports of slow Internet access speed.
It is noted that EETT constitutes the second or third level of complaints, since dissatisfied subscribers first turn to their provider, or secondly to dispute resolution bodies (e.g. Consumer Ombudsman), and only subscribers who are not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint address them to EETT.
Need to improve the quality of telecommunications
For its part, h I'M COOKING in the recent public consultation of EETT on the amendment of the Regulation of General Permits and the introductiontreatment "(price) adjustment clause", he had stated that he had identified in recent years and pointed out, both to EETT and the relevant Ministries, the most important issues and pathologies concerning the electronic communications sector in general, as it is becoming the recipient of an extremely large number of complaints.
At the same time, he pointed out that the sector in question has consistently been in the first positions in complaints after banks and energy in recent years.
The problems concern:
- High charges. For years, our country has been among the countries with the most expensive mobile phone and data tariffs.
- Lack of competition/oligopoly situations. Our country is ranked as the least competitive among its countries EU-27 but also of his countries OECD.
- Lack of comparability and opacity of various packages, resulting in confusion among consumers.
- Account disputes.
- Unfair and Abusive terms in mobile telephony contracts. Obscure, complex and technical terms not at all consumer friendly (fine print).
- Insufficient pre-contractual information.
- Lack of interest from providers for advanced network infrastructures.
- Poor service delivery – slow internet speeds, discrepancies between actual and nominal speed and frequent outages.
- Unfair commercial practices (misleading advertisements) regarding the availability of products, resulting in unclear and correct information to consumers.
- Καθυστέρηση στα requests.
- Constant harassment from collection agencies.
- Arbitrary activation of services.
- Long delay and/or no crash recovery.
EKPOIZO had proposed for the telecommunications sector:
- Substantial supervision by EETT for the benefit of both sides: consumers - telecommunications providers.
- Modernization of the legislation on competition in the field of electronic communications in Greece, which currently belongs to the exclusive competence of EETT, so that the Competition Commission, institutionally assumes the exclusive competence in the field of telecommunications and in particular in the control of mergers.
- Upgrading the services provided through New Generation (FTTH) networks.
- Entry of new telecommunications providers.
- Observance by providers of the basic principles governing the formulation of tariffs, namely cost-orientation, transparency, simplicity and equal treatment.
- Reduction of fixed assets and ΦΠΑ and abolition of the mobile phone fee. Greek subscribers are the only ones in Europe who pay the "mobile phone fee".
Η I'M COOKING emphasizes that communication is of major social importance to consumers and plays an important role in socio-economic development, both globally and nationally. It must also be based on European values — where no one is left behind, everyone enjoys freedom, protection and justice and is in tune with the challenges associated with the digital transformation of EU.