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RTR evaluates Cost Limitation Ordinance: extreme decline in the number of complaints concerning mobile data services

The Cost Limitation Ordinance (Kostenbeschränkungsverordnung) issued by RTR became law on 1 May 2012. The aim of this RTR ordinance is to introduce effective cost protection measures in the market and to protect consumers, among other things, from bill shocks arising from mobile data service use.

Conciliation cases relating to mobile data services dropped by 50%

“We evaluated the ordinance as of 31 December 2012, that is, after eight months – the results are highly gratifying and well worth mentioning. Whereas 2,327 of the 5,470 conciliation cases filed with RTR in 2011 related to mobile data services, this number was halved in 2012 with only 1,175 reported cases,” Georg Serentschy, CEO of RTR’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Division, announced, citing figures from the evaluation report on the Cost Limitation Ordinance. “The dramatic drop in conciliation cases related to mobile data services from June 2012 onwards is particularly noticeable and illustrates the positive impact of the protection measures enacted through the Cost Limitation Ordinance.”

The evaluation report on the Cost Limitation Ordinance may be viewed (in German) on the RTR website.

On the Cost Limitation Ordinance:
The ordinance contains measures applying to mobile data services in Austria (whether via mobile phone, smartphone or mobile internet access). The user’s mobile network operator is required to send a warning, either before the data volume included in the contract is used up or when EUR 30 in overrun fees are incurred (basic monthly fees and package fees are not included in this amount). The warning may be issued as a text message, for example. The mobile network operator is required to block the connection or to limit bandwidth once the overrun fee reaches EUR 60. However, no more than EUR 60 may be charged to customers without their express consent. An information sheet providing further details (in German) on the Cost Limitation Ordinance has been published on the RTR website.

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