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The Consumer Protection in
Electronic Communications in Bulgaria
Andreana Atanasova
Member of the Communications Regulation Commission
Prague, February 3rd, 2015
Workshop “Electronic communications services today and tomorrow”
Contents
• Communications Regulation Commission
• The protection of consumers’ interests according to the Law
on Electronic Communications
• Decision No. 928/19.12.2013 amending and supplementing
the General requirements for the provision of public
electronic communications
• Measures for transparency of the information regarding the
coverage of the terrestrial mobile networks
• The protection of personal data according to the Law on
Electronic Communications. The consumers consent
Communications Regulation Commission
• National Regulatory Authority. A collective body with five
members, incl. a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson.
• Regulatory and control functions under:
- Law on Electronic Communications;
- Law on Postal Services;
- Law on Electronic Document and Electronic Signature.
• Ensure a high level of consumer’s protection and contribute to
guarantee a high level of personal data and privacy protection
The protection of consumers’ interests
according to the Law on Electronic
Communications
• The undertakings shall:
- prepare General Conditions of the contract with end-users;
- offer conclusion of individual contracts.
• The individual contract and the General Conditions requirements:
- clear and comprehensive provisions;
- understandable and in a form easily accessible to consumers.
The Commission can give binding instructions.
• The Commission approves the General Conditions of the
undertakings providing the US.
• The undertakings are obliged to offer contracts with a term
not longer than two years as well as contracts with a term up
to one year.
• Entry into force of the individual contract:
- 7 days after the contract conclusion, or
- immediately after the explicit written consent of the
consumer.
• The term contract could be transformed as a permanent
under the same conditions. This contract can be terminated
with a one-month customer’s written notice, without
payment of penalty.
• The undertakings providing TV programs are obliged to annex
to the contract a list with the names of the programs. In case
of drop-out of a programs the consumer is entitled to
terminate the contract with 1-month written notice, without
payment of penalty.
Decision No. 928/19.12.2013 amending and
supplementing the General requirements for the
provision of public electronic communications
The main goal is to guarantee the right of the users to make
informed decisions through:
• easy access of the users to the General Conditions:
- in the shops - on paper, on a visible place;
- on the Internet - link to the General Conditions on the main
page and each internal webpage;
• easy access of the users to the content of the contract –
undertaking’s obligation to give the user the opportunity to
read to contract before signing and give a paper copy of the
concluded contract;
• clear and comprehensible clauses of the contract, including
writing them with an appropriate font size - the exact date of
its entry into force/expiry; at least a 10-point font; in "bold"
font of at least 12 points clauses concerning penalties, the
order for termination and renewal of the contract, included in
as last clauses immediately before the space left for the
subscriber's signature;
• guaranteeing the express, free and informed consent of the
users to:
- receive messages for the purposes of direct marketing;
- not to receive itemised bills;
- process their personal data by the undertaking for certain
purposes;
- the contract with the undertaking to enter into force
immediately.
These clauses should be placed in the contract after the space
left for the subscriber's signature.
• a notice inviting the user to become familiar with contract
content and the applicable general conditions before signing ;
• easy access to all elements and conditions of the selected
tariff plan, tariff or bundle - published in the individual
contract or in a separate document signed by the subscriber;
• the right of users to terminate the individual contract without
penalties in case of its unilaterally amendment by the
undertakings;
• prevention mechanisms against “shock” bills of using the
"mobile Internet" service – safeguard limit of 25 € and notice
when 80 % of the set financial limit has been reached;
• opportunity to select billing tariffs “per second after the first
30 seconds” – undertakings to offer at least two tariffs for
post-paid mobile telephone service, post-paid fixed telephone
service and pre-paid mobile telephone service.
Mobile Networks Coverage:
Transparency measures
• In general network coverage in Bulgaria is provided by all operators at reasonable
levels (data declared by operators, 31.12.2013):
• The CRC received complaints from consumers about lack of coverage or weak
network signal
• Leading mobile operators publish different information on network coverage and
availability
• No comparison is possible between operators
Mobiltel Telenor Bulgarian
Telecommunications
company
Coverage by
territory
97,87% (UMTS)
99,51% (GSM)
80,39% (UMTS)
99,99% (GSM)
97,90% (UMTS)
99,60% (GSM)
Coverage by
population
99,73% (UMTS)
99,99% (GSM)
96,09% (UMTS)
99,98% (GSM)
99,81% (UMTS)
99,99% (GSM)
Information published by Mobiltel
Information published by Telenor
Information published by BTC
Decision 512 of 07 August 2014
• Public consultations on the draft decision
• The CRC ordered operators to publish online coverage checkers subject to
requirements regarding:
• Scale of each quadrant 100 meters x 100 meters which represents an area with
specific signal level (averaged)
• Each signal level is represented with different colors:
• The electronic maps should contain all data on settlements and roads
• Search functionalities
• The coverage checker must be accompanied by guidelines on factors affecting
signal levels
Coverage Level GSM UMTS color
No coverage X ≤- 104 dBm X ≤ - 105 dBm White
Acceptable - 85 dBm < X < - 104 dBm - 85dBm < X < - 105 dBm Green
Good - 85 dBm ≤ X < - 65 dBm - 85 dBm ≤ X < - 65 dBm Yellow
Very Good X ≥- 65 dBm X ≥- 65 dBm Red
Implementation of Decision 512 of 07 August
2014
• To date all three mobile operators implemented the decision
GSM coverage
Mobiltel Telenor BTC
Implementation of Decision 512 of 07 August
2014
UMTS coverage
Mobiltel Telenor BTC
The protection of end consumers’ data
according to the Law on Electronic
Communications
• The protection of the personal data of the consumers of
electronic communications services is regulated by the Law on
Electronic Communications in compliance with Directive
2009/136/EC (ePrivacy Directive) and Directive 95/46/EC
(Data Protection Directive)
• The consumers’ data can be processed by the undertakings
only where such data are designated directly for the provision
of electronic communications services
• The consumers’ data include:
- traffic data;
- data necessary for preparation of the subscriber bills as well
as for proof of their authenticity;
- location data.
The consumers consent
• In certain cases to process the consumers’ data the presence
of an explicit consent is required.
• The consent should be freely expressed by the consumers - no
negative consequences should arise for them, in case they
refuses to give their consent.
• The consent should be concrete - not a general, clearly
defined, not allow an expanded interpretation, provided in
special clauses, separated from the general conditions.
• The consent should be informed - the consumers shall receive
directly sufficiently clear and comprehensive information
regarding the purposes, for which the data shall be processed,
right before giving the consent.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR
ATTENTION!

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Consumer protection Bulgaria

  • 1. The Consumer Protection in Electronic Communications in Bulgaria Andreana Atanasova Member of the Communications Regulation Commission Prague, February 3rd, 2015 Workshop “Electronic communications services today and tomorrow”
  • 2. Contents • Communications Regulation Commission • The protection of consumers’ interests according to the Law on Electronic Communications • Decision No. 928/19.12.2013 amending and supplementing the General requirements for the provision of public electronic communications • Measures for transparency of the information regarding the coverage of the terrestrial mobile networks • The protection of personal data according to the Law on Electronic Communications. The consumers consent
  • 3. Communications Regulation Commission • National Regulatory Authority. A collective body with five members, incl. a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson. • Regulatory and control functions under: - Law on Electronic Communications; - Law on Postal Services; - Law on Electronic Document and Electronic Signature. • Ensure a high level of consumer’s protection and contribute to guarantee a high level of personal data and privacy protection
  • 4. The protection of consumers’ interests according to the Law on Electronic Communications • The undertakings shall: - prepare General Conditions of the contract with end-users; - offer conclusion of individual contracts. • The individual contract and the General Conditions requirements: - clear and comprehensive provisions; - understandable and in a form easily accessible to consumers. The Commission can give binding instructions. • The Commission approves the General Conditions of the undertakings providing the US.
  • 5. • The undertakings are obliged to offer contracts with a term not longer than two years as well as contracts with a term up to one year. • Entry into force of the individual contract: - 7 days after the contract conclusion, or - immediately after the explicit written consent of the consumer. • The term contract could be transformed as a permanent under the same conditions. This contract can be terminated with a one-month customer’s written notice, without payment of penalty. • The undertakings providing TV programs are obliged to annex to the contract a list with the names of the programs. In case of drop-out of a programs the consumer is entitled to terminate the contract with 1-month written notice, without payment of penalty.
  • 6. Decision No. 928/19.12.2013 amending and supplementing the General requirements for the provision of public electronic communications The main goal is to guarantee the right of the users to make informed decisions through: • easy access of the users to the General Conditions: - in the shops - on paper, on a visible place; - on the Internet - link to the General Conditions on the main page and each internal webpage; • easy access of the users to the content of the contract – undertaking’s obligation to give the user the opportunity to read to contract before signing and give a paper copy of the concluded contract;
  • 7. • clear and comprehensible clauses of the contract, including writing them with an appropriate font size - the exact date of its entry into force/expiry; at least a 10-point font; in "bold" font of at least 12 points clauses concerning penalties, the order for termination and renewal of the contract, included in as last clauses immediately before the space left for the subscriber's signature; • guaranteeing the express, free and informed consent of the users to: - receive messages for the purposes of direct marketing; - not to receive itemised bills; - process their personal data by the undertaking for certain purposes; - the contract with the undertaking to enter into force immediately. These clauses should be placed in the contract after the space left for the subscriber's signature.
  • 8. • a notice inviting the user to become familiar with contract content and the applicable general conditions before signing ; • easy access to all elements and conditions of the selected tariff plan, tariff or bundle - published in the individual contract or in a separate document signed by the subscriber; • the right of users to terminate the individual contract without penalties in case of its unilaterally amendment by the undertakings; • prevention mechanisms against “shock” bills of using the "mobile Internet" service – safeguard limit of 25 € and notice when 80 % of the set financial limit has been reached; • opportunity to select billing tariffs “per second after the first 30 seconds” – undertakings to offer at least two tariffs for post-paid mobile telephone service, post-paid fixed telephone service and pre-paid mobile telephone service.
  • 9. Mobile Networks Coverage: Transparency measures • In general network coverage in Bulgaria is provided by all operators at reasonable levels (data declared by operators, 31.12.2013): • The CRC received complaints from consumers about lack of coverage or weak network signal • Leading mobile operators publish different information on network coverage and availability • No comparison is possible between operators Mobiltel Telenor Bulgarian Telecommunications company Coverage by territory 97,87% (UMTS) 99,51% (GSM) 80,39% (UMTS) 99,99% (GSM) 97,90% (UMTS) 99,60% (GSM) Coverage by population 99,73% (UMTS) 99,99% (GSM) 96,09% (UMTS) 99,98% (GSM) 99,81% (UMTS) 99,99% (GSM)
  • 13. Decision 512 of 07 August 2014 • Public consultations on the draft decision • The CRC ordered operators to publish online coverage checkers subject to requirements regarding: • Scale of each quadrant 100 meters x 100 meters which represents an area with specific signal level (averaged) • Each signal level is represented with different colors: • The electronic maps should contain all data on settlements and roads • Search functionalities • The coverage checker must be accompanied by guidelines on factors affecting signal levels Coverage Level GSM UMTS color No coverage X ≤- 104 dBm X ≤ - 105 dBm White Acceptable - 85 dBm < X < - 104 dBm - 85dBm < X < - 105 dBm Green Good - 85 dBm ≤ X < - 65 dBm - 85 dBm ≤ X < - 65 dBm Yellow Very Good X ≥- 65 dBm X ≥- 65 dBm Red
  • 14. Implementation of Decision 512 of 07 August 2014 • To date all three mobile operators implemented the decision GSM coverage Mobiltel Telenor BTC
  • 15. Implementation of Decision 512 of 07 August 2014 UMTS coverage Mobiltel Telenor BTC
  • 16. The protection of end consumers’ data according to the Law on Electronic Communications • The protection of the personal data of the consumers of electronic communications services is regulated by the Law on Electronic Communications in compliance with Directive 2009/136/EC (ePrivacy Directive) and Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive) • The consumers’ data can be processed by the undertakings only where such data are designated directly for the provision of electronic communications services • The consumers’ data include: - traffic data; - data necessary for preparation of the subscriber bills as well as for proof of their authenticity; - location data.
  • 17. The consumers consent • In certain cases to process the consumers’ data the presence of an explicit consent is required. • The consent should be freely expressed by the consumers - no negative consequences should arise for them, in case they refuses to give their consent. • The consent should be concrete - not a general, clearly defined, not allow an expanded interpretation, provided in special clauses, separated from the general conditions. • The consent should be informed - the consumers shall receive directly sufficiently clear and comprehensive information regarding the purposes, for which the data shall be processed, right before giving the consent.
  • 18. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!