Deco – Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor announced today that it has reported to ANACOM that consumers at NOS Comunicações stores have been charged an amount of 80 cents for paying bills in person.
Deco considers this to be an “illegitimate” practice.
NOS: Customers also cannot choose the payment method
In a period of complete digitization, "strange" things happen. According to Deco, consumers, in addition to having to pay an additional 80 cents for their telecommunications service (in person mode), also see their right to free choice as to the mode of payment limited, according to the association.
This fee seriously infringes the rights of consumers and their customers and constitutes a violation of the principles of universality and equality which flow from the public nature of the telecommunications service.
The association also considers that it is "an abusive practice", forcing consumers to "opt against their free will for another method of payment".
According to the association...
As is already the case in this sector and others, consumers may be incentivized, including by the offer of advantages or discounts, to use certain means of payment (such as bank debit), but the right of free choice must always belong to the consumer, who should not be penalized for having opted for a certain method of payment
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".