Decoration – The Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor (Portuguese Association for the Protection of Consumers) announced on Tuesday that it had denounced ANACOM that consumers in NOS Comunicações stores were charged an amount of 80 cents for payment bills in person.
In a statement, the association says it has received complaints from consumers who have been charged an additional 80 cents in the stores of the telecommunications company NOS for paying their bills in person, a practice that the association considers “illegitimate “.
Consumers, in addition to having to pay an additional 80 cents for their telecommunications service, are also limited in their right to choose the method of payment, according to the association.
“This fee seriously undermines the rights of its customers and consumers and constitutes a violation of the principles of universality and equality which result from the public nature of the telecommunications service”, declares DECO.
The association also considers that it is “an abusive practice”, forcing consumers to “opt against their free will, for another method of payment”.
“As is already happening in this sector and others, consumers may be incentivized, including by the offer of benefits or discounts, to use certain means of payment (such as direct debit), but the right to free choice must always belong to the consumer, who must not be penalized for having opted for a certain method of payment”, emphasizes Deco.
The association draws attention to the fact that it is “particularly burdensome for the most vulnerable consumers, namely elderly people with low incomes or low literacy who prefer to pay their telecommunications bills in store”.
Equally worrying, according to Deco, is the way in which NOS introduced this additional cost, “without consumers being properly informed of this contractual amendment”.