The Council of Ministers has given the green light to the extent to which the customer service telephones of companies providing basic services, public and private, become free, and thus prevent companies from using special rate numbers. , such as 902, to provide this service.
This was announced by the executive, who clarified that, for the rest of the companies, it is mandatory to have a landline or mobile phone number, which must be present in the customer service advertising.
“The Ministry of Consumption ends with the widespread abuse and additional costs in the telephone bills of working families to make use of a fundamental right,” said the head of the department, Alberto Garzón, who had previously announced that it would be before the summer of 2021.
The consumer organization FACUA also celebrated the approval of the measure:
In this sense, as the government explains, so far many companies have opted for special tariff items that discourage consumers and users from accessing customer service services, especially vulnerable consumers.
Water, gas, electricity or banking companies
In the group of companies which provide basic services of general interest, and which must have a free telephone number for customer service, are the suppliers of water, gas, electricity, financial services and insurance. In addition, it includes postal, air, land and sea transport companies, health protection companies, as well as sanitation and waste management companies.
“The measure of the Ministry of Consumption will put an end to the abuse and cost overruns of telephone bills caused by calls to customer service whose, for 902 numbers, the cost per minute is between 0.12 and 0.40 euros, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation ”, he stressed.
Likewise, the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users incorporates as an offense the breach of these obligations in terms of customer service, thus ensuring the imposition of sanctions by the Autonomous Communities in the event of non-compliance.