Friday 22 February 2019

Phone firm faces action for 'rolling over' contracts

Stock photo
Stock photo
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

A discount telecoms firm is facing punitive action for 'rolling over' 12-month contracts against customers' wishes.

Yourtel has been served by telecoms regulator ComReg with a finding of non-compliance for the practice, which traps customers into contracts they don't want.

The German-based phone services company has fallen foul of the telecoms watchdog before, paying separate fines for billing customers for services it hadn't provided.

Last December, it was handed a €66,000 court fine for selling non-existent services, an action pursued by ComReg. It had attracted a number of elderly customers away from Eir and billed them for phone services despite not providing them.

Prosecuted by ComReg, a District Court found that the company had threatened the customers with debt collectors.

In June 2017, the company was also fined €2,500 for charging a pensioner for services it hadn't provided.

Yourtel offers to beat the prices of existing telephone operators such as Eir.

"The non-compliance relates to the prior notification requirements imposed on certain Yourtel customers who wished to cancel their contracts and to Yourtel's related practice of 'rolling over' customer contracts for a further 12-month period against their wishes," said a ComReg statement on the matter.

"ComReg has found that Yourtel's procedures for contract termination acted as a disincentive to the affected customers changing service provider and terminating their contracts with Yourtel."

Yourtel has six weeks to "state its views" on ComReg's finding.

Irish Independent

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