The President of UOKiK informs about making a decision on harmful practices of UPC Polska. After signals from consumers who reported irregularities in the procedures for concluding contracts for the provision of telecommunications services at a distance, the Office initiated appropriate proceedings. It is about situations where the operator activated the “UPC Security Package” service (additional anti-virus program) without obtaining the prior consent of the users. After the free trial period, this package became payable and cost PLN 9 per month, if consumers did not give up in the meantime.
And this generated problems – users were not aware of the additional costs until they received their first invoices with an additional charge. The majority of consumers deactivated the service during the free trial period or in the first months of its provision, but not all of them decided to file a complaint, which the company most often considered.
See also: The end of UPC’s misleading practices. “Contracts” by phone to be improved
The company did not ask consumers for consent to activate an additional paid antivirus program. During the sales talks, consultants only informed about the activation of the trial package, indicating its free period and informing that if the customer does not deactivate within the specified time, he will be obliged to pay an additional fee. However, consumers were not asked for their consent to activate the UPC Safety Package service not only during telephone sales, but also when concluding a contract via the website or in the entrepreneur’s stationary stores.
– explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
UPC must reimburse money for not agreeing to additional services
Below we present details of the commitment and decision of the President of UOKiK:
- UPC Polska will modify the contract conclusion procedure, which includes an anti-virus program. By proposing the “UPC Safety Package”, the company will ask the consumer a clear question whether he agrees to pay for the additional service “Safety Package”. The above changes will apply to each of the methods of concluding the contract (using the telephone, website and in a stationary store). The entrepreneur will implement these rules within 2 months of the decision becoming final.
- Consumers who resigned from the “UPC Safety Package” between the receipt of the first or second or third invoice and the issuance of another invoice by UPC Polska containing a charge for using the “Safety Package” service will be able to receive a refund of these payments (if they have not previously received such a refund). The company will reimburse them from PLN 9 to PLN 27 (depending on when the consumer resigned).
- The entrepreneur will positively consider complaints regarding the payment of fees for the “UPC Safety Package”, which were reported by consumers within 12 months from the date of their conclusion of the contract for the provision of telecommunications services and which were received or will be received by the company in the period from December 29, 2020 to 30 days after introduction of new procedures by UPC Polska. These complaints will be considered up to the first 6 payments for the antivirus service. In addition, the company will reconsider rejected consumer complaints charged with a fee for the “UPC Safety Package” that have been received by it since mid-May 2016. This will include complaints filed by consumers within 2 years of the conclusion of the contract, and which were negatively or partially considered positively.
Compensation from UPC Polska – decision of the President of UOKiK. How to avoid problems
The entrepreneur who offers additional paid services to the contract – must obtain the consumer’s explicit consent to activate them. More in the press release on the commitment decision @UPC Polska: https://t.co/7cMS2Qwjhc pic.twitter.com/QC3dtL28KK
– UOKiK (@UOKiKgovPL) February 12, 2021
At the same time, UOKIK reminds you of the obligations of the company when its representatives call with a proposal to conclude a contract by phone. Consultants are required to provide the necessary information on all services offered, including how to activate them, trial periods, methods and time of cancellation or prices after the end of the trial period. If they do not do it, it is worth asking about it on your own – it will save you from unnecessary costs. Charging additional fees requires consent to them. Consultants are obliged to ask about it, and the interlocutor has the option of confirming or resigning from such services. It is also worth remembering that in the case of concluding contracts over the phone or the Internet, you have the option to withdraw from it within 14 days.
Source: AntyWeb by antyweb.pl.
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