The MCA has today published a decision regarding the manner in which any changes to the terms and conditions of subscriber contracts for the provision of internet, TV, mobile and fixed telephony services are to be implemented by service providers and the legal rights of subscribers throughout such a process.
Service providers are required to inform subscribers about any modifications to the terms and conditons of their respective service contract, at least 30 days before such changes take effect. In such cases, subscribers must also be informed of their right to terminate the service without incurring any penalty fees during the 30 day notification period should they disagree with the proposed changes.
This decision specifies that such notifications must be made by means of a letter, with exceptions for pre-paid mobile services and limited to contain only information on the proposed modifications to the conditions of the service. Furthermore, this notification letter must be easily distinguishable from any other communications that may be sent to the subscriber at the same time. This will enable subscribers to properly assess the modifications being proposed by their service provider.
This decision also establishes that in the event that service providers propose changes which are considered to be manifestly positive by the Authority, for example, a reduction in tariffs, such changes may be introduced with immediate effect without the need to apply the 30-day notification period. Service providers are still required to inform subscribers about these changes, however in such instances subscribers will not be given the option to terminate the contract.
Another aspect of this decision relates to the termination of packages, services and/or the closing down of service providers. MCA’s decision requires that in such instances, service providers notify subscribers in writing about the termination of their service, providing them with information on how to switch to an alternative service provider and affording them technical support so as to minimise any disruptions of service.
The MCA notifies all interested parties that this decision shall come into force with immediate effect.
Consultation - Proposed Modifications to the Ts and Cs of Subscriber Contracts