Cost of telephone contacts in customer relations
Consumers have the right to benefit from customer service after making purchases and signing contracts. Customer service must be offered through a telephone number subject to basic rates for matters related to prior purchases, sales and contracts, such as:
- Delays or faults in goods or services
- Contract cancellations or terminations
- Queries concerning unclear matters on invoices
The basic rates allowed in customer relationship management are:
- Numbers that are completely free of charge.
- Corporate numbers whose prices are indicated with the acronym pvm/mpm (local network rate or mobile charge), when the price of the call is determined by the caller’s telephone subscription. The local network rate (pvm) is charged for telephone calls made from a landline, while a mobile charge (mpm) applies to calls made from a mobile phone. calls to numbers whose price is indicated by the “pvm/mpm” acronym are not usually included in the monthly price of a package telephone subscription, but the price is separately laid down in the price list. Also, in pay-per-use telephone subscriptions, the price of calling mpm/pvm numbers can differ from the subscription’s basic rate per minute.
- corporate numbers whose prices do not exceed the basic rate set by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, namely EUR 0.084/minute. Calls to these numbers are not usually included in the monthly price of package subscriptions.
- Mobile phone or land line numbers whose prices are the regular call tariffs dependent on the consumer’s telephone connection and operator.
If a consumer calls about a matter concerning a prior purchase or contract, and the company applies a charge higher than the basic rate, the company must compensate the consumer for the phone charges incurred.
The basic rate requirement for customer services does not apply to contracts related to financial services or instruments, such as credit agreements and insurance policies.
Corporate and service numbers
If the consumer’s query is related to something other than a prior purchase, sale or contract, the requirement concerning basic rates for customer service numbers does not apply. Separate pricing can be used for corporate or service numbers, for example, related to shop opening hours, products sold, additional services or advisory services subject to charge (such as legal advice).
Corporate numbers begin with 0101-0109, 0201, 02021, 02024-02029, 0203-0208, 02090-02097, 029, 0301-0309, 039, 059, 071, 073, 075323-075329, 075753-075759, 075983-075989. These numbers are commonly used by businesses and several authorities. Call pricing to corporate numbers depends on the number and the telecommunications operator.
For some corporate numbers, the cost of calling is the same for all callers (x cents/minute or x cents/call + x cents/minute). Call prices usually differ depending on whether the caller uses a land line or a mobile phone.
For some corporate numbers, call prices are determined by the consumer’s subscription contract. This price is indicated after the corporate number, with the acronym pvm/mpm (local network rate or mobile charge). Calls from land lines are charged at the local network rate (pvm). Mobile phone calls are subject to mobile charges (mpm). These charges are laid down in the subscription contract’s price list.
If the consumer’s mobile phone subscription is a package subscription with a fixed monthly price, calls to corporate numbers are not usually included in the price. Their price per minute may also differ from normal prices for subscriptions with a per-minute charge. You should check call prices from the price list in every case.
Charges for calls made from corporate numbers begin to accumulate as soon as the call is connected. If the call is routed to an automatic service, charging begins when the service requests the caller to press buttons in order to select an option.
Service numbers are telephone numbers with separate pricing principles, which are usually not included in the free call packages offered by telephone operators. These include, among others, numbers beginning with:
- 0600-–0700: service numbers subject to charge, where waiting times are charged according to regular call tariffs
- 0800: freephone (entirely free) service numbers.
Announcing the cost of telephone contacts
Companies must indicate clearly which of their telephone numbers is for queries concerning existing contracts, and which is intended for other purposes.
They must also ensure that all those who call a number are aware of the cost of the call. In other words, the price must be indicated whenever the number is mentioned in advertisements, directories, terms and conditions of contract, websites, etc.
Compensation of charges incurred from complaints
According to the Finnish Consumer Protection Act, consumers must not incur any costs from complaining about a defective product or service, because the company in is obliged to correct the defect at its own cost.
If a consumer makes a valid complaint, the company must compensate the consumer in arrears for the telephone charges incurred in relation to the complaint. In order to file a complaint, consumers may use the forms provided on our website.