The Ministry of Trade has passed a decree according to which ground and mobile telephony users would be able to terminate their contracts with providers without having to continue to pay subscription on the basis of the terminated service contract.
Also, mobile and ground telephony companies will no longer be allowed to charge penalties for early termination of contracts with customers and will have to change their general terms and conditions. This will also apply to cable and internet providers in Serbia.
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According to the recently adopted decree by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, telephone services users often complained about being charged penalties for terminating their contracts earlier than stipulated and the Ministry concluded that, according to the Law on Consumer Protection, this practice was unfair.
Users, who have terminated contracts with operators for whatever reason, have so far had to pay the remaining subscription even though they no longer used the services of a telephone company. If a user, who after two months of signing a two-year contract, decided to change the operator, they were obligated to pay the 22 remaining monthly subscription installments. In this way, users were practically punished by the operators for choosing another company.
So, most of the users just waited for their present contract to expire so that they can move to another operator.
t is clear that it was easier for many users to be dissatisfied with the service and wait for the expiry of the contract, than to go with another operator. If they decided to terminate the contract earlier than stipulated, they had to pay a hefty sum to their existing operator.
“The point is that the user should be given an opportunity to choose what is better for them, and not be forced into continuing to have a contractual obligation against their will. For example, these contracts often stipulate discounts for the Internet use, so if the user is under contractual obligation they would pay 500 dinars a month for Internet use and if don’t have a contract, that fee would be 700 dinars per month. It would only be fair that a user, who wants to terminate the contract, only pays the difference in that price, and not the entire sum for the duration of the contract”, explains Tamara Samardzic from the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Trade.
(Nova Ekonomija, 10.07.2018)
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