PRESS RELEASE: As from April, changing an operator will be faster and cheaper
Prague, 30 March 2020 – The new amendment to the Electronic Communications Act, which will enter into force on 1 April, will significantly speed up the process of transferring to another operator and will also make it cheaper. The deadlines for porting a number will be shorter and the contractual fines for early termination of a fixed-term contract will be capped more significantly. The new amendment applies not only to all new contracts (concluded after 1 April) but also to the current ones.
The providers of electronic communications services will be therefore obliged to add so-called verification subscriber code into the subscriber’s contract which will be applied when porting a telephone number. This will be done similarly to unilateral change of the concluded contract pursuant to Section 63(6) of the Electronic Communications Act. The verification code is necessary when applying for porting a number. The customer will submit the application to a new provider, who will then undertake all necessary steps (the one-stop-shop principle). The providers will now have a maximum of 2 working days to port the number.
Furthermore, the amendment implements a significant restriction of contractual fines for early termination of a fixed-term contract. For natural persons (consumers or natural persons engaged in a business activity), these fines will be charged only if the contract is terminated within three months after its conclusion. In such case, the contractual fine is limited to 5 % of the total monthly lump-sum (or the minimal monthly performance) which remain until the end of the concluded term, provided that the payment amount is derived from the amount paid during the contractual relationship.
CTU is prepared to supervise the compliance with legal obligations. Pursuant to Section 118(14)(ab) of the Electronic Communications Act, the operator commits an offence when they fail to indicate all information according to Section 63(1) in the contract, or the information will be incompatible with this provision. The offence is also committed shall the operator apply conditions for termination of a fixed-term contract contradictory to the amended Act. A fine of up to CZK 15 million or up to 5 % of offender’s net turnover for the last completed financial year, whichever is higher, can be imposed for the given offences.