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ACM is calling on providers of fiber-optic services to inform consumers better in advance

28-11-2019

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is calling on providers of new fiber-optic services to inform consumers better in advance about what they offer. In many cases, providers still give insufficient information about the date on which the new fiber-optic network will be completed. The same goes for information about the conditions under which consumers are able to cancel their contracts. Furthermore, the costs that consumers have to pay if they wish to purchase services later are often unclear, too. Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: ‘Consumers are entitled to correct and clear information before signing any contract. We expect providers of fiber-optic services to make improvements in this department so that consumers are able to make decisions based on correct and useful information.’

Clear information for consumers

ACM wishes to see an end to consumers being provided unclear information. When signing contracts, consumers must know in advance what they can expect from them. ACM wants providers to provide consumers with correct information when they are about to sign a contract. Such information should inform consumers about the conditions under which they sign the contract. In addition, providers have to inform consumers about the progress of the network’s construction. If the agreed-upon completion date cannot be met, providers are required to give a new date. They will also have to give consumers the opportunity to cancel their contracts.

Reports filed by consumers

Over the past few months, ACM regularly received reports from consumers about unclear and incomplete information from providers of fiber-optic services. In areas with fiber-optic roll-out plans, completion dates are often uncertain. Providers first have to attract a certain number of buyers before launching the roll-out of the fiber-optic network. Consumers who sign contracts in this preliminary stage of the roll-out often face uncertainty for a long period of time over whether and, if so, when they will have fiber-optic. Over the next few months, ACM will monitor these reports filed by consumers, and will check whether the providers of fiber-optic services offer the required clarity.

See also

28-11-2019 Letter to providers of fiber-optic services with ACM’s call to inform consumers better (In Dutch)