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New negative record at RTR conciliation body: roughly 42% of the 5,470 conciliation procedures filed in 2011 are related to mobile data services

“Last year 5,470 conciliation procedures were filed with the RTR conciliation body, setting a new negative record since our beginning. Roughly 13% of the procedures related to fixed telephone services, while 87% originated in complaints involving mobile services. The majority of procedures involved A1 Telekom Austria and T-Mobile,” Georg Serentschy, Managing Director of RTR’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Division, announced as he presented the findings from the most recent conciliation report. “At 2,317 or 42%, the subject of the majority of the complaints filed were, as expected, issues relating to mobile data services. One of the reasons for this trend is clearly to be seen in the number of subscriptions with smart phone tariffs, which more than doubled between 2010 and 2011, increasing from 822,000 to 1,793,000,” Serentschy continued.

Average amount in dispute: EUR 611

“Another phenomenon we have observed from the procedures and enquiries is a consistently high amount in dispute: EUR 611 on average. For this reason it is all the more gratifying to see that a settlement was reached in 52% of the disputes filed and that we were able to help so many of those affected.”

Many RTR ordinances – effective user protection

“As far as the trend in conciliation procedures this year is concerned, I am expecting the number of complaints concerning mobile data service to drop considerably. Earlier in the year we adopted the RTR Cost Limitation Ordinance (KostbeV) which, since entering into force on 1 May 2012, should protect consumers against any ‘bill shocks’ from mobile data services,” Serentschy said with reference to the RTR ordinances. We are currently conducting public consultation of an ordinance specifying information requirements, so that in the future operators will be required to provide customers with more transparent and understandable information about any changes in their general terms and conditions.”

Since the amendment of the Austrian Telecommunications Act 2003 (TKG 2003) in November 2011, other ordinances have been adopted by RTR in the interests of protecting users, including the Itemised Billing Ordinance (EEN-V) and the Number Porting Ordinance (NÜV).

The 2011 conciliation report and the ordinances adopted by RTR can be found at the follwing links:

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