Domestic plots do not voluntarily relax the payment discipline

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In the current situation, the role of telecommunication infrastructures is especially appreciated, as part of their social responsibility, industry players like to emphasize the important role of their network in most areas of life during the new coronavirus epidemic, such as work, study, communication or communication. in the fun. At the same time, prominent players in the domestic market do not seem to see at all how many subscribers and families find it extremely difficult to pay (in time) the infrastructure costs that become even more critical in the meantime.

TAXOR, FIZESS! [19659003] Accordingly, the largest players in the domestic market do not relax the payment discipline in any open form, ie everyone still has to pay the monthly service fee on time, otherwise after the grace period (which is also unchanged) the company may limit the service, ultimately and you can eliminate it. Although the risk may have diminished somewhat as the risk of the epidemic subsided, the possible shutdown of Internet service in such a situation could increase the vulnerability of subscribers (including residential and business customers) in a difficult situation.

A government initiative was launched in March in the United States to counteract this. which asked local telecommunications companies to suspend service restrictions (including complete termination of access) for a limited period due to non-payment of bills. In the end, all the big American plots went into this without much fuss, although it is a fact that in the United States many more people took to the streets compared to Hungarians, and it would not have been elegant to cut off families who had lost a significant part of their income. mode. By the way, a similar moratorium is already in place in Europe, with Portuguese telecoms operators recently going in to not terminate their contracts for non-payment by September.

In connection with telecommunications expenses, for example, if someone bought a a 100% HUF-free smartphone (perhaps a TV or notebook) does not have to pay the installments until the end of the year, while if a subscriber has purchased the same device from an mobile service provider for an interest-free installment, he must continue to pay by the latest. deadline. At the same time, there is no known practice on how service providers collect their claims in the current situation in case of non-payment, however, the fact that in such a case the customer can only be blacklisted on the service providers' own list

Market participants have repeatedly emphasized during the threat of the epidemic that they do not recommend personal administration to their customers, including the payment of bills involving personal presence (customer service, postal yellow checks). . Incidentally, companies have been advocating electronic bill payment methods for years, one of the most basic forms of which is to offer a different amount of discount from the monthly subscription fee if the customer agrees to pay the fees electronically. Magyar Telekom, Vodafone Hungary and Telenor Hungary all have such a scheme (called e-pack or e-comfort), which, regardless of the service provider, provides a gross discount of HUF 300-1000 per subscription from the monthly fee.

DISCOUNT OR PENALTY [19659003] However, in order to use the discount, it is also a condition that the customer pays the invoice before the payment deadline, if this is not met, the discount is lost for the relevant month, the amount is debited to the next month's account. All of this could impose an additional financial burden on hundreds of thousands of customers in financial difficulties following the epidemic, but providers do not appear to want to rewrite this clause voluntarily. At our request, Telenor Hungary said that the terms of the e-comfort package were still unchanged, and we did not receive an answer to our question at Magyar Telekom and Vodafone Hungary until the article was published.

According to a financial and consumer protection expert interviewed by CountingNews, service companies are really afraid of any payment facilitation. Máté Siklósi, the managing partner of the consumer protection consulting company CP Contact, told our newspaper that in all cases when it comes to the fact that the customer has to perform temporarily or on more favorable terms in order to use a service, it may affect payment morale in the future.

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