The main telecoms have a few days, until the end of the month, to inform their clients of the changes introduced by the new General Telecommunications Law published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on June 28 and which brings, as the main novelty for our contracts, setting the permanence in a maximum of 24 months (two years). In addition to reinforcing aspects such as information obligations, free portability (changes of operator) and user rights such as receiving an easy-to-read summary of the contract. ABC has been able to confirm through various sources that customers of the main telecoms in Spain (Telefónica, Orange, Vodafone, Másmovil) are already being notified of these changes.
Regarding permanence, both the YSI recommender and the Kelisto comparator and the OCU see the change as very positive, taking into account the competition and the level of existing low-cost offers.. «The indefinite contracts, which were more beneficial for the companies, are over than for consumers. Now there is a maximum limit of 24 months, which can then be extended”, they point out from this last organization that also show their disagreement that the period of notice before changes in the rate is just one month. They also show their skepticism about other novelties of the new Law such as the obligation to contribute to the user an understandable summary of your contract.
However, the limit of 24-month contracts is already forcing companies that maintain this type of permanence to renew contracts once the term is over. From YSI, the head of operational research, Álvaro García, has admitted that “12 months would have been preferable and that this change responds to what the operators did a couple of years ago«.
The acquisition of terminals and permanence
In this sense, he has pointed towards some practices such as the inclusion of terminals within what is offered by the operator and that, in the end, may mean a greater permanence in the company as it is an installment purchase contract. «If you buy a terminal in 36 or 48 monthly installments, despite the fact that your maximum stay is 24 months, if you unsubscribe before you will have to pay what you have left to pay of the device or return it according to the conditions established by your contract«, recalls the Kelisto Communications spokesperson, Sara Perales. Something similar, she has added, happens when the access to a streaming platform and what is lost if we unsubscribe.
YSI’s Garcia believes that sometimes switching companies can pay off despite the potential “cancellation costs” and, in the end, suppose a “sufficient saving” for the consumer with the change. In any case, he has recommended fleeing from the so-called ‘inverse stays’, which are no longer so present in the Spanish market. “They totally tie you down, they go from less to more and cancellations involve a small cost that then increases,” he concluded.
Advice if I want to change the rate
In any case, Perales (Kelisto) has advised that the consumer who is thinking of changing the rate should take into account two details: discounts they do not always last as long as the permanence and you can end up paying “a very high fee before you can leave”. And above all, if there are price increases or changes “That negatively affect users, they may unsubscribe without penalty, even if the permanence has not ended.”
Objective: to make the customer happy
In any case, the head of operational research at YSI has recalled that operators always want to keep customers happy and that “the operator always gives you facilities, reasons to keep you and that maybe in the last 6 months of the permanence they can offer you a change within the same block or company«. In these cases, it has always been worth studying it.