FACUA reports 14 telecom companies for having high cost customer service lines

This numbers are offered to raise queries, incidents or claims in certain services, when they experience failures, the service is cut or when travelling abroad.

FACUA reports 14 telecom companies for having high cost customer service lines
To the consumer authorities of Madrid, Basque Country and Andalusia

FACUA-Consumers in Action has reported 14 telecommunications operators for breaking the law by forcing consumers to call high customer service lines to raise queries, incidents or claims in certain services, when they experience failures, the service is cut or when travelling abroad. Although the sector legislation imposes free lines for customer service, telecom companies offer 902, 901 lines, mobile phones or landline numbers with geographical prefix.

FACUA has found irregularities three out of four of the 19 telecom companies analyzed.
FACUA has filed complaints with the consumer protection authorities of the corresponding autonomous communities where the offices of the company are registered. Almost all the offices are in Madrid, except for Euskaltel (Basque Country) and Lycamobile (Andalusia).

FACUA appeals to Article 26.2 of Royal Decree 899/2009, of 22 of May, approving the Bill of Rights of Users of Electronic Communication Services, which stipulates that "the operator's customer service should be free of charge".

902 for Movistar Plus

Thus, users of Movistar Plus -Telefónica's satellite television- have to call a 902 line, even though it is a telecommunications service which means a free number should be provided.

According to the association's analysis, twelve companies force consumers to call to numbers that charge when they experience a breakdown, a problem with the telephone line or if the customer has already left the company but still has a pending claim. Of these, three provide lines 902 (Llamaya mobile, Tuenti and Pepephone, which also offers a landline number and a 900 prefix number, but only advertises this on its website if the user is logged in), a 901 prefix line (Lebara), four landline numbers with geographical prefix Happymóvil, Lycamobile, Suop and MásMóvil) and four mobile numbers (Jazztel, Vodafone Ono, Yoigo and Lycamobile).

After FACUA publicly complaint, Pepephone has modified the section of its website in which it informs its customer service telephones to clarify it has a free line with a 900 prefix number. Users can call this when they experience frequent breakdowns.

From abroad

When consumers travel outside of Spain, 7 of the 19 telecom companies analyzed by FACUA offer payment lines for queries, incidents and claims. Movistar, Euskaltel, Lycamobile, MoreMobile and Pepephone urge customers to call mobile numbers -the latter also allows calls to 1212, but charges the same rate as if the customer were calling to a landline phone in Spain-, while Jazztel and Lebara provide landlines with geographical prefixes.

FACUA has also recently reported 20 airlines for using 902 prefix lines and other high-cost lines for customer service, as well as eight energy suppliers that offer payment lines despite the fact that the sector's legislation requires them to be free. In the coming days, the association will submit new complaints for similar irregularities against companies in the banking, insurance and retail sectors.

The association have created the campaign #Stop902 to call on consumers to fight this type of abuse on costumer services. Consumers can join in on the website FACUA.org/Stop902.