The world is still in a COVID-19 pandemic. The news that reaches us is not very encouraging and the numbers in Portugal have been growing. In the face of a pandemic, there were several exceptional measures that were taken by the governments of the countries.
In Portugal, it was recently learned that 2300 consumers benefited from extraordinary measures with regard to telecommunications.
COVID-19: 2300 consumers benefited from the exceptional measures in terms of telecommunications
ANACOM has carried out, since the declaration of the state of emergency in March 2020, a proximity monitoring to verify the response capacity of the communications sector to the increase in use resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the problems that affect communications customers.
Between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022, a set of legislative measures was in force aimed at ensuring the protection of users of essential public services, the application of which ANACOM evaluated with regard to the sector it regulates.
According to ANACOM's analysis, between March 20 and September 30, on the other hand), there were 2300 consumers who benefited from the exceptional measures, 39% less than between January and June 2021, and 44% less than between March and September 2020.
The acceptance rate of customer requests varied between 55 and 100%, depending on the provider (in the previous period, the acceptance rate had been 54%). You providers took, on average, between 2 and 4 days to give a final response to requests for access to the guarantees established (in the previous period it had varied between 2 and 6 days).
The main electronic communications providers received 932 requests for unilateral termination of contract or temporary suspension of contract, 59% less than in the previous period and 42% less than in the first period in which the guarantees were in force.
Of these, 638 customers benefited from the aforementioned guarantees (519 contract terminations and 119 temporary suspensions), 65% less than in the previous period and 55% less than in the first period.
Between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022, there were 993 customers with outstanding amounts following the non-suspension of the service and who agreed on payment plans, 12% less than between 01.01.2021 and 06.30.2021, and 62% less than between 03.20.2020 and 09.30.2020.
It is estimated that the average value per customer covered by the payment plan was 768 euros (including VAT), an amount 12% above that recorded in the previous period, around 9% higher than the Minimum Guaranteed Monthly Remuneration in force (705 euros) , which corresponds to about 22 average monthly bills for bundled services. Per provider, these values ranged between 270 and 1805 euros.
It is estimated that the provision reaches, on average, 79 euros per month, which is equivalent to 2.3 average invoices for service packages.