Consumer Ombudsman and FiCom negotiate general contract terms for telecom companies

The Consumer Ombudsman and the Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics (FiCom) have negotiated general contract terms for telecom companies’ services for consumers. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority and telecom companies also participated in the negotiations and the drafting of the contract terms. They will enter into force on 1 July 2015 at latest.

The new contract terms comply with the new provisions laid down in the Information Society Code that will enter into force on 1 July 2015. These require that contract terms must be written in a clear and understandable language. The negotiating parties also clarified the ambiguous passages of earlier contract terms. In order to serve the customers, key matters are now summarised in the beginning of the contract terms.

“The general terms that have now been negotiated are important because they lay down the rights and obligations of consumers and operators for example in the case of defective service or amendment of contract terms. Properly functional and reliable operator services are a crucial factor in the digitalisation development.  Clear and reasonable contract terms are among the preconditions of gaining the customer’s trust,” says Consumer Ombudsman Päivi Hentunen.

“I’m delighted that together with the authorities we have been able to renew the sector’s general contract terms to comply with current, increasing provisions. If we want consumers to receive more advanced and better services in the future, some burden of the increasing regulation should be lifted off the sector,” says Reijo Svento, CEO of FiCom.

FiCom recommends that its member telecom companies use the contractual terms. Using the terms does not prevent the companies from offering better terms to their customers.

The Consumer Ombudsman and FiCom will monitor the feedback given on the contract terms and, if necessary, they may also reopen unclear or ambiguous passages for negotiation. The parties previously negotiated the corresponding contract terms in 2011.