New Consumer Friendly EU Telecoms Laws

New Consumer Friendly EU Telecoms Laws

September 26, 2016

Just six years ago the EU issued regulations governing mobile phones. These were thorough and far reaching laws that helped consumers avoid unscrupulous providers.

But such is the speed of change in the mobile market that these laws do not tackle issues that had not even been invented with the legislation came into force.

Malcolm Harbour MEP has now steered a new set of laws through the European Parliament to bring the legislation up to date with modern mobile technology.

The new intuitive is aimed at giving EU citizens greater choice, stronger rights and added privacy protection with regard to mobile device use.

The main points of the new legislation cover:


    Transparent pricing and clear contractual information;

    Strengthened personal data and privacy protection;

    Easier to switch service provider by quicker transfer of an existing mobile number;

    Maximum contract lengths is now 24 months to prevent consumers being locked into long term deals;

    Notification of a serious breach of their data such as bank details;

    Disabled users will enjoy greater access to e-services and terminal equipment.

The point of the new changes is to take into account the massive changes in the mobile market since the last set of laws were enacted in 2002.

One of the main objectives was to outlaw excessively long contracts often imposed with “free” phones.

It also intends to make the contracts much simpler and clearer for consumers to understand.

The penalties for breaking long contracts were previously excessive, with consumers forced to pay large sums should they try to escape the deal before the end of its term. The new laws should alter that situation.

One side effect that Mr Harbour envisages from the new set of rules will be new offerings and packages from suppliers that will be more beneficial to the consumer. He also hopes that national governments will adopt similar sets of rules.

Tim Yeo

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