All of us have called at some time in our lives what are known as ‘special rate numbers’, and it sure began with 902, the most widespread currently according to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. The bad? The shock the following month to see the telephone rate soared because of the call, because of that abusive and illegal extra pricing that the government is finally going to cut in the bud.
The 902 with special pricing
With the Law in hand, we see that every company or professional has the obligation to provide telephone attention services in order to ensure that it is a “fast and efficient” communication and, according to the legislation, they must have a number that does not have a cost higher than the basic rate.
But according to article 21.2 of the LGDCU, if the employer makes a customer service hotline available to consumers and users, its use may not entail a cost higher than the basic rate for the consumer and user, which It is understood as the “ordinary cost of the call in question, provided that it does not include an additional amount for the benefit of the employer”.
Ban the numbers 902 in Spain
The most common are the 902, which today have “very high costs and high surcharges on monthly household bills.” This is because the 902 are more expensive than a provincial call but cheaper than a national call, a price that was established in the past. However, today, where all operators offer flat rates for calls from landlines and mobiles, “the 902s have become obsolete.”
The Government is preparing a legislative amendment to prohibit the use of any additional rate number in customer service services, including those that use the prefix 902. With this measure, the Government seeks that consumers always have access to a geographic number of the basic rate for its relations with companies and thus end “abuses and extra costs in monthly bills” benefiting the entire population, especially those with fewer resources.
Modify the Law
To do this, the Government will modify article 21.2 of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users (LGDCU) to clarify this point, in accordance with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). In this way, it will be avoided that companies can apply prices to calls to their customer service services that exceed the price of calling a geographic telephone line.
“Customer services cannot be a cost to the pocketbook of consumers and a business for a few companies. It is a measure of social justice, which will put an end to a generalized and aggravated abuse in the context of Covid by the restrictions of capacity, mobility and presence “, they point out from the Ministry
Effective before next summer
How long will this new Law enter into force? The current problem is the reality that we are living with the Coronavirus, which is slowing down everything, but the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, has advanced today Friday that he is confident that before next summer the legislative amendment announced by his department may be in force to prohibit the use of any premium rate numbers, including those using the 902 prefix, in customer service.