SOS MaS, z. s. advises: How to change the telecommunications service provider?

Since April of this year, new rules have been in force in the Czech Republic for telecommunications service providers and their users, ie all of us who call, send text or picture messages, or are connected to the Internet. Let’s sum up what are the changes for the consumers.

Change of telecommunications service provider without penalties

To use the above services, we must have a contract with one of the many providers who offer their services in the Czech Republic. In the case of contracts with recurring performance, we are used to the fact that the more advantageous price offer we want, the longer the commitment, for which we have to “subscribe”.

But what if, after signing a two-year contract, we are not completely satisfied with the services of our operator? What if we found a better offer or the existing tariff no longer suits us? What to do if you need more free minutes, SMS or data, or on the contrary we have found out that we do not need the agreed services and do not want to pay unnecessarily for something that we will not use?

Since April 2020, these situations have had a simple solution. The new legislation stipulates that a user of electronic communications services who is a consumer may, after three months from the conclusion of the contract, terminate the contract with impunity, even if the contract is concluded for a definite period, for example, two years.

If the consumer wishes to terminate such a contract earlier, ie in the period from the conclusion of the contract to three months, then he must count on paying his operator a maximum of 5% of monthly lump sums remaining until the end of the agreed term or 5% of the minimum agreed monthly performance remaining until the end of the agreed duration.

Compared to the previous regulation, which made it possible to charge a sanction of up to 20% in the event of early termination of the contract, there was a significant reduction.

Beware of mobile phones at a discounted price and similar offers

However, what the consumers need to be careful about are the terminal equipment that the service provider provided us when concluding the contract on favourable terms. How to understand it? If you also took advantage of interesting offers and when signing a contract for a definite period, you took your phone for a discounted price, or even for free or for a symbolic one crown. Then, in the event of early termination of such a contract, you must take into account that the provider may want to reimburse you for the costs incurred, simply put, you will be charged the price of the phone. So if anyone would expect to take advantage of such an offer, go to another provider in three months and enrich themselves with a new device at an amazing price, then we must disappoint such a person.

However, we will please those who have so far resisted change because they wanted to avoid conflict situations, were afraid of the complexity of the whole process, or simply did not know how to do it.

It is easier than you think

Let’s be honest, giving such a statement at the branches of various companies is not something pleasant for consumers.In the Czech Republic, you can elegantly avoid this unpleasant phase from this year on. The new service provider will do this for you and will take steps to terminate the contract with the original provider. When changing the operator, you deal with only one subject. This new system is called the “ONE STOP SHOP”.

You can keep your number – portability of the phone number

If you are worried that people will not be able to call you after the change, and you will have to notice all your contacts and tell them your new number, then this fear is unnecessary. You have the right to port your telephone numbers from one telecommunications service provider to another, now completely free of charge. Until now, some operators have charged a symbolic fee for this service. You will not lose your phone number when changing operators.

It is faster than you would think

Porting the number from one operator to another should not take longer than 2 working days(until now, it was 10 days).

Recently, you will not lose your prepaid card balance at the end of the contract

If you use prepaid services (so-called prepaid cards) in the Czech Republic and terminate the contract after April 1, 2020, the operator must return the remaining balance of the subscription at your request.Attention, the application must be submitted no later than 30 days from the date of termination of the contract! However, this refund may be subject to a fee if it meets the legal requirements.

From these changes, the legislator sees greater competition between mobile operators and thus lower prices for customers, which in the Czech Republic are one of the highest in Europe. Only time will tell whether we will see significantly better prices.

For the sake of completeness, we remind you that the supervisory body for the field of telecommunications is the Czech Telecommunication Office, which you can contact when you encounter a violation of the above rights.