From 2020 change the conditions of telephone contracts: the novelty

A new regulation of the European Union requires telephone companies to present customers with a summary framework easy to understand

From December 21, 2020, signing a telephone contract will be clearer, easier and above all transparent for all citizens of Europe. This is what the new Regulation of the European Commission establishes, which obliges telephone operators to summarize the general conditions of the contract before obtaining the customer's signature.

The new rules apply both to telephone contracts and to those who provide internet and messaging services. Switching to the new operating mode will be very easy for companies: in fact, the Commission has not only established which information will have to be transmitted, but has also made available to companies a standard template that telephone companies will have to fill in and submit to customers before signing the contract. This is an important step towards greater transparency and consumer awareness.

New conditions for telephone contracts: what has the European Commission decided?

The new rules set by the European Commission and active from December 21, 2020 speak for themselves. Telephone operators will have to provide a series of details linked to the contract before having the customer's signature. Among the compulsory information are the rate of the proposed package, the services included, the duration of the contract, the rules for termination and renewal, any facilities for users with disabilities and connection speed. All these data will have to be inserted in a standard template available to all providers.

The objective is to help the consumer to understand the contract before signing it and to orientate himself in the sea of alternatives proposed by the market. In fact, thanks to the grids in the template, comparing different offers will be much easier. At the moment, each operator presents its services and packages in an autonomous way, inserting some data and omitting others. Consequently it is very difficult to understand what are the substantial differences between the telephone contracts.

New telephone contracts: how will be the new summary and template

The so-called "contract summary" will have to be contained within a single page for each service, and up to a maximum of three for packages. It can be hand-delivered (if you ask for information in-store) or emailed (if you contact them by phone or online).

Of course, it should be sent to both businesses and end consumers. In short, before signing the contract in full, the supplier will be obliged to send a summary in electronic format, unless the end customer explicitly renounces receiving it and therefore wants to sign the contract immediately. But this communication must be in writing, justified and signed.

Why do you always require the summary before a contract?

The summary that the supplier sends before the final signature is an additional security for the end customer. It does not imply any obligation to sign. The information contained in the template can give a clear and immediate idea of the contractual conditions. This is a good way to ensure that your firm's clients have a clear understanding of what is required. The procedure is similar to the request of many quotes before buying a good or a service of another type.

Only after the positive feedback from the potential customer, the provider can send the real contract and obtain the subscription.

The legislation aims to a greater protection and awareness of the consumer and also protects users who buy messaging services, such as Skype and WhatsApp. Finally, users will be able to compare all available offers in detail before choosing one thoughtfully.