Operating since 2001, the Malta Communications Authority, also known as the MCA, is responsible for regulating electronic communications services, that is, fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and television distribution services. It is also responsible for supervising the Maltese eCommerce sector, that is, generally goods and services sold online, as well as the postal sector. Essentially, this means that the bulk of our work is focused on monitoring these sectors to ensure that they are functioning efficiently and that they are effectively competitive, so that you, as the end-user, can benefit from a variety of affordable product and service packages.
In this respect, one of our main objectives is to promote the interests of end-users. We do this by working closely with service providers to address issues concerning end-users and ensuring that service providers continue to comply with their legal obligations. We also collaborate with other entities that have a direct interest in consumer affairs, such as the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA). This Authority is responsible for overseeing the conduct of service providers to make sure that they are operating in line with consumer protection laws. Whilst monitoring the service providers directly, we also undertake regular awareness raising initiatives on issues that have a direct bearing on consumers.
Our most direct intervention with consumers is the investigation of complaints. The extent of the action that we can take in relation to consumer complaints depends on the particular nature of the complaint and on the powers we have at law.
In instances where a complaint falls outside of our remit, we initially seek to mediate between the complainant and the service provider. Failing that, we recommend alternative courses of action by referring the complainant to the appropriate forum where the matter can be addressed.
Whilst our ultimate aim is to find an agreeable solution to both parties, the Authority may only require a service provider to give compensation to a customer, in line with the service provider’s compensation schemes, if the quality of service levels agreed upon in the contract for the provision of your service, are not met. The above is not applicable in cases of force majeure. Service providers may, of course, voluntarily agree to offer compensation. However, this is at their discretion.
Meanwhile, consumers may seek compensation before the competent adjudicative fora, such as the Consumer Claims Tribunal. Call on 2122 7070 for more information about this form of redress.