In the most difficult times of the pandemic, the Government took several measures to help the most needy families. With regard to telecommunications, more than 2300 consumers benefited from extraordinary measures. It is in this context that the new telecommunications law (LCE), however already published in the Diário da República, in the last edition. Thus, this law intends to simplify the rules applicable to electronic communications and aims to main goals: give a bigger legal clarity and certainty to all contracts for the provision of electronic communications services; and increase the consumer protection.
First, the new telecommunications law maintains without any amendment:On the other hand, alter:Law 41/2004, of August 18th and the Law No. 99/2009, of September 4th.Decree-Law nº 151-A/2000, of July 20th and the Decree-Law 24/2014, of February 14th. Finally, revokes still:
In practice, what changes?
According to the new telecommunications law, operators cannot “demand the consumer who holds the contract to pay any charges related to non-compliance with the loyalty period” “, in case of “Unemployment situation “, provided that the contract has been cancelled: by a “dismissal of the employer initiative for a fact not attributable to the worker”; and that this “implies loss of income monthly available to the consumer”. In addition, this law will also allow early terminations at no additional cost for all consumers who have:a “permanent or temporary disability lasting more than 60 days“, that is, for reasons of illness; and still a loss of monthly income available.Consumers can also terminate the contract at no cost during the loyalty period, if there is an “unpredictable change of the permanent home of the contract holder to a third country”. Finally, if you are not in any of the above situations, do not despair! In other words, there is still the possibility of terminate the contract without legal reason. To do this, you can do it in two ways:paying 50% of the remaining amount of the loyalty period – if the termination takes place during the first year of validity of the contractual period; or by paying 30% of the amount of monthly dues – if the termination takes place during the second year of validity of the contractual period.The new telecommunications law, which comes into force within 90 daysalso presents specific measures for: citizens with disabilities; number portability; control of expenses on invoices; the provision of information by companies; among others.
New telecommunications law: context general
The Government’s draft law had been sent to the Assembly last year, but it ended up not moving forward due to the failure of the State Budget, which led to early elections. In April, the Government approved the draft law on the ECL, which transposes the directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (ECEC), which should have been completed by the end of 2020. In view of this delay, the The European Commission brought a case against Portugal in the Court of Justice of the European Union, accusing the country of not having transposed the directive in due time, as it should have done. in general lines, “enters into force 90 days after its publication” in Diário da República. However, some approved specific articles”attached to this law, enter into force on the day following their publication”.Also read: How to change operator and what precautions to take?