Mobile operator Tele2 fined EUR 20,000 for unfair commercial practices

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The Consumer Rights Protection Bureau (PTAC) said December 10 it was imposing a fine of 20,000 euros on mobile operator Tele2 for unfair commercial practices.

According to PTAC, the company sent text messages to a large number of consumers on April 29 and 30, 2020, as well as announced in other ways that consumers, regardless of their chosen tariff plan, will be provided with a new service “Unlimited Internet” from June 1, 2020 until the end of the year "for an additional fee of 2.50 EUR per month". 

The decision finds that the company automatically connected the service to a large part of its customers without receiving the consumer's active expression of consent - thus violating an essential principle of consumer protection, which prohibits the interpretation of consumer silence as consent to order a product or service. 

PTAC said the company must obtain "active and unambiguous consent from consumers" when providing a service and demanding payment with the price unilaterally set by the company and imposed a fine of EUR 20,000.

"[PTAC] calls on all electronic communications merchants, when making offers to consumers, to respect the freedom and will of consumers and to promote a market environment that meets the rights and interests of consumers," the regulator said.

The full decision is available here.

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