Colombia updates telecoms consumer protection code

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As of January 1, Colombia has updated its consumer protection law with regard to users of telephony, internet and pay TV.

According to telecoms regulator CRC, the new norms aim to guarantee more detailed information is provided to users about plans, billing and media consumption in order to expedite customer service channels and to better inform consumers about service options before choosing to contract one.

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The amendments to the regulations come as the result of a survey of ICT consumer preferences in Colombia carried out by CRC with the help of the OECD.

Among the amendments are:

  • A recognition of the trend towards the convergence of telecommunications, internet and TV services. Indeed, the government began debating in congress in October plans to merge CRC with pay-TV regulator ANTV.
  • From January 1, 2019, a new simpler process of contracting fixed line services will come into effect.
  • Operators will no longer be able to charge customers for any service related paperwork, including filing complaints.
  • CRC reduces to 2.5 hours the amount of time telecoms services can be down before the consumer has the right to file for compensation.
  • When a service is suspended for no payment, operators will only be able to charge the real cost of reconnection and not an inflated cost.
  • Bills must be more visual, with graphs clearly illustrating consumption over the past six months.