The consumer information subpage of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) at nmhh.hu/hirkozlesiszabalyok summarises the most important changes to the Hungarian electronic communications rules. Some of the more important amendments had already been announced earlier, and this communication presents further new rules. According to the changes that came into force last summer, for example, service providers must offer free and easy subsequent number porting, so-called “uninterrupted switching” between internet service providers, and they must regularly inform their subscribers about their cheapest tariffs.
Under the new European Electronic Communications Code, service providers had to revise their general terms and conditions (GTC) by 30 June 2021. In this article, the NMHH provides useful information on switching internet service providers, number portability, new types of regular information and alternative tariffs. The details of these and further information on electronic communication services can be found on the NMHH thematic website at nmhh.hu/hirkozlesiszabalyok .
Easier, faster switching between internet service providers, and access to previous email and customer accounts
In addition to an easy switch between telephone service providers, subscribers can switch uninterruptedly between internet service providers too, if it is technically feasible. This should be requested only once and in one place: subscribers should request the switch at the new provider who will arrange for the termination of the previous contract and cooperate with the previous provider to ensure that the loss of service during the provider switch does not exceed one working day even if the technical conditions for an uninterrupted switch are not provided. If the subscriber is connected to the service with a delay or deficiency, the legislation provides for a compensation to be paid. As a general rule, the compensation is paid to the subscriber by the transferee service provider.
If the subscriber uses an e-mail service from a service provider in addition to an internet subscription, and the subscriber contract about the internet access is terminated, the service provider must, at the subscriber’s request, provide access to the account for at least another six months or forward the emails to an e-mail address provided by the subscriber.
After the subscriber contract is terminated, the service provider is obliged to provide the subscriber with access to the information stored on the electronic storage space linked to their subscriber contract for one year.
Free subsequent number porting, mandatory information on the cheapest subscriptions
If a subscriber terminates a contract, they may request to keep their telephone number within one month after the termination of the contract. In cases of such subsequent number porting the former subscriber may port their number to another service provider for free, the administration of which is the responsibility of the new service provider with the cooperation of the former service provider.
Electronic communications service providers must inform their subscribers about the best available tariffs:
- internet and telephone service providers annually, or at any time at the request of the subscribers,
- any electronic communications service provider in general three times in the 90 days before the expiry of a fixed-term subscription contract.
In reality, this is nothing new, but the new Electronic Communications Code makes it clear that the term “for a fee” no longer means just a service settled by payment, but the subscriber also “pays” by providing personal or other data. So, an electronic communications service can also be a service that is free of charge in monetary terms – and is subject to the rules protecting users – provided other definitions apply.
The infocommunications authority checks whether service providers have updated their general terms and conditions (GTC) and regularly informs consumers about new rules to watch out for to raise subscriber awareness.