Switching telecom providers is getting easier in Belgium. Petra de Sutter, the Minister of Telecommunications, recently announced new rules that help consumers change providers and receive compensation in the event of delays.
The Easy Switch system has allowed Belgian consumers to switch telecom providers in the past five years. However, the system is not yet working properly and has generated many consumer complaints over time.
By updating the system, the minister wants to simplify switching and ensure that consumers can always opt for the cheapest provider. According to De Sutter, the overhaul tackles several problems. Ultimately, the change should lead to more competition between providers. According to the minister, prices will drop as a result.
Compensations and double invoices
The renewed system should reduce the number of double invoices, which are one of the biggest sources of irritation among Belgian telecom consumers. To avoid double invoices, customers will receive a control number in addition to an identification number from now on.
Furthermore, consumers will receive more compensation when telecom installations are delayed. Compensations go up to €30. The maximum compensation is currently €10 . Additionally, instead of manually having to apply for compensation, the compensation is provided automatically.
If the activation of fixed Internet or a bundle is delayed, customers are automatically entitled to compensation of €6 per day. Consumers will have to apply for this form of compensation themselves.
Lastly, some Belgian telecom operators will be required to improve the training of customer service employees. The new regulations have been published as a Royal Decree in the Belgian Official Gazette. The rules should enter into force next year.