RTR tackles abuse of value-added services: Reports now possible via RTR's web portal

Press release dated 24 April 2008

"RTR's web site [www.rtr.at/beschwerden] now makes it possible to report cases of abuse involving value-added services quickly and efficiently," notes Georg Serentschy, managing director of RTR's Telecommunications Division, in introducing the new service on the RTR web site. "The reason for enhancing our dialog with interest groups, operators, ministries and, of course, with consumers affected by the problem is RTR's concerted effort to improve our protection of consumers from dubious value-added service providers, in particular value-added text messaging services, for example where ring tone subscriptions cannot be canceled, fee information is not sufficient, charges are incurred for unsolicited text messages, and many other cases," Serentschy explains.

Service monitoring through enhanced dialog with parties involved

"In this area, we can only combat abuse – which is detrimental to both consumers and legitimate service providers – by enhancing our cooperation with all of the organizations which receive such complaints, such as chambers of labor, consumer protection organizations and telecommunications authorities, and by involving the operators, service providers and consumers themselves. As the regulatory authority, we can only take far-reaching measures if complaints and violations of the relevant laws are reported to us. In this way, we can identify the 'black sheep' among service providers and bring the available range of sanctions to bear on them, even involving law enforcement authorities," comments Serentschy on the background to this initiative.

"On the one hand, we wish to encourage consumers to report problems with value-added services, and on the other hand we ask all institutions which receive frequent complaints to pass the information on to us. This will enable us to recognize 'waves' of problems as soon as they arise and to take rapid, effective measures against the companies causing the problems," Serentschy concludes.

The complaint form can be downloaded from the RTR web site (www.rtr.at/beschwerden).