The new premium recharges of Vodafone, Tim and Wind ended up under the eye of Codacons: started the complaint to the Antitrust and AGCOM
The new premium recharges of TIM, Vodafone and Wind are not liked by consumer associations. First Altroconsumo and then Codacons have decided to denounce the new practice to AGCOM and Antitrust, because the "premium" recharges would be a pretext to steal money from users without them having the opportunity to defend themselves.
Let's go with order. Let's start from the beginning. First TIM and then Vodafone and Wind have decided to introduce new recharge cuts that in addition to credit provide users with the activation of a premium service. In many cases, these new cuts have completely replaced or flanked the classic top-up cuts of 5 and 10 euros. This new policy adopted by telephone operators immediately met with resistance from consumer associations, which sent a complaint to both AGCOM and the Antitrust Authority. After the querelle on 28 day billing, telephone operators and consumer associations have found another common ground to clash. We'll see what happens in the coming months.
Addio top-up from 5 and 10 euros, how do the "premium" top-ups work
The functioning of the new top-up cuts is very simple: by paying 5 or 10 euros you do not receive a credit of equal size. Usually it's 4 or 9 euros of credit and the extra euro is used for the activation of a premium service.
With Ricarica+ by TIM you have the possibility to use unlimited minutes and giga for one day. Vodafone, on the other hand, has launched Giga Ricarica: in addition to the credit you receive 3GB of traffic to use in a month that are added to those of your subscription. Wind's Ricarica Special allows you to use unlimited calls and data traffic for one day. The new recharge methods are available in the main sales channels of the operators.
The Codacons complaint to the Antitrust
As mentioned, the behavior of the operators did not go unnoticed, with the consumer defense associations that immediately presented complaints to the Communications Authority and the Antitrust. Codacons, in its complaint to the Competition Authority, directly links this new "commercial practice" to that of 28-day billing. According to the association in defense of consumers, this would be a ploy to get back the losses caused by the transition from 28-day billing to monthly billing.
"All this - we read in a press note of Codacons - takes place without the consumer during the purchase has been adequately informed about the new practice, and only after recharging their credit (and spent money) will realize the subtraction of 1 or 2 euros. Moreover, the user has no possibility to choose whether or not to accept the additional services offered by these new recharges, services that he often has no need of. For this reason, Codacons has presented a complaint to the Antitrust Authority and the Communications Authority, asking them to open an investigation into this new practice that, in effect, seems designed by managers to recover the lower revenue guaranteed by the illegal 28-day bills.