What you need to know about internet service subscription agreements

Infocommunication service providers providing subscription services such as mobile operators, internet or television service providers, are required to develop their own general contracting terms (GTC). The GTC must be communicated to each subscriber before contract conclusion.

NMHH registers these GTCs and the list included 570 operating service providers at the end of 2016. The NMHH keeps a register of GTC modifications and, for the protection of consumer interests, it is even entitled to pre-control terms before they enter into force. Also registered by NMHH, changes in the GTCs mainly concern the following areas: the conclusion and terms of subscriber agreements, the termination of subscriber agreements, charges, the payment of charges, invoicing, damages and liquidated damages, and the means of disabling and restricting the service.

In addition to the general terms and conditions, the Authority also pays attention to the individual subscriber terms and conditions. There are a number of rules to protect subscriber interests when contracting with the service provider. We have compiled 7 things you definitely need to keep in mind:

  1. You can cancel your subscription due to low quality or lower number of channels
    You can terminate your fixed-term contract with no legal consequences if the quality of the service is inadequate on a regular basis, the provider unlawfully increases the service charge or removes even a single channel from those stipulated by the contract.
  2. We can select from the offering more transparently and aggregated by service provider
    Service providers offering internet access collect and publish on their websites in a uniform, comparable table format the features of all internet access services offered by them, along with the parameters of their offers. These tables are worth studying to make your selection process simpler.
  3. Better safeguards against disadvantageous modification offers
    Service providers may unilaterally modify the substantial sections of their fixed-term subscriber agreements, including the tariffs and the period, only if required by legislative changes. Service providers may increase the service charge of contract concluded for indefinite terms if a specific cost to them has increased, i.e. the broadcasting fee was raised or it is justified by inflation. In the case of implied contracts for indefinite terms, the service provider needs to obtain the consumer’s preliminary consent to be able to change the price even if the consumer does not clearly react to the offer, if at all. No fixed-term contract may be modified with implied amendments.
  4. Consumers are entitled to more kinds of compensation from their service providers
    You are entitled to compensation with a detailed explanation not only when the service provider is late with troubleshooting or fails to resolve the issue at all but also when the service provider is late or fails to inform the consumer that the service is available again.
  5. Downloadable filter software on the website of all service providers
    Internet service providers offer access through their websites to fast and easy content filter software and their user manual.
  6. Consumers are entitled to a written summary once a year even if only a verbal agreement is made
    Even upon contracting without a formal written contract, providers are required to send a written document to the subscriber containing the basic content of the agreement. Once a year, subscribers may request providers to provide a summary, free of charge, outlining the basic content of the contract effective at any given time.
  7. The details of the promotions are available on the website of the service providers even after they expire
    Service providers are required to list the terms of their promotional offers and their amendments in their GTCs even after such promotions end. 

This topic is explained in an animated short film portraying the Careful family who explain the details of the relevant decree.