One of the most frequent annoyances reported by users on social networks is related to the unilateral increase in the rates of their mobile phone or internet services, without their respective authorization. This surprising and unpleasant situation generates many doubts in citizens regarding whether it has legal validity and they look for channels to report this practice of companies.
To address this situation, it is important to understand that operating companies in our country are governed by free market conditions, since there is competition between service providers. In this regard, Osiptel, the entity in charge of regulating and supervising the telecommunications market, establishes a series of recommendations for users to defend their rights as consumers.
Can companies increase their rates without my consent?
According to the Osiptel website, telephone operating companies can modify their rates, but with prior communication to the service owner. In that sense, the regulatory body cannot prevent increases in rates made by these companies, since they are free to set their prices, with the exception of Telefónica’s landline telephone service.
Only in this particular case, Osiptel issued a regulatory framework to guarantee that users are informed with sufficient time in advance, so that they make the decisions that best suit them, such as changing plans, canceling the service or hiring another operator.
A few months ago, Osiptel issued a resolution stating that the public telecommunications service operating companies cannot apply rates or reduce plan attributes to users who have an additional contract that provides for a permanence period for the acquisition or financing of equipment, until the stipulated period expires.
Osiptel: what happens if the company did not inform me about the rate increase?
If the operator does not send prior communication regarding the rate increase, the user has the possibility of starting a claim for the billing of this increase, in accordance with the respective standard. In this sense, the company must modify the first receipt which shows that the increase was not reported in advance.
It is worth remembering that after two months have elapsed since the expiration of the first receipt in which the rate increase was applied, it will be understood that the subscriber is informed of the new rate and it is applied automatically.
What should I do if the rate is increased without my authorization?
If a user received a text message or other communication from their supplier company informing them about the rate increase and they do not agree, they have the possibility of choosing the service they prefer with a rate adjusted to their needs, either with the current or another operator. In that sense, there are the following options that Osiptel recommends:
- Request cancellation of the service.
- Request migration to a lower income plan.
- Contract a new service or change operating company through number portability.
- Request the temporary suspension of the service (between 15 to 60 calendar days per year).
In all these cases, it is relevant to request the request code for attention to these procedures that must be carried out without conditions or explanations from the company. Along these lines, Osiptel monitors compliance with the requests and claims that arise from them.
Rate increases: what other ways to protect user rights are there?
If there is a violation of rights, users can contact Osiptel through the FonoAyuda line 1844 or email [email protected]. In addition, to ensure that citizens are informed in advance about rate increases, there are a series of tools in this regard to compare plans for various telecommunications services and know their coverage locations. These are:
- Check your plan
- Check your signal
Alia is a professional author and journalist, working at 247 news agency. She writes on various topics from economy news to general interest pieces, providing readers with relevant and informative content. With years of experience, she brings a unique perspective and in-depth analysis to her work.