Breadcrumb

News

ACM takes action following abuse by directory assistance provider Telinfo

07-01-2019

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has withdrawn two numbers of directory assistance service provider Telinfo after it had discovered abuse of these numbers. Consumers who have been harmed will get a refund.

As a standard practice, Telinfo had callers put on hold for almost ten minutes. In many cases, callers were simply disconnected after these waits, and in some cases, they were put through. Consumers who made calls to Telinfo’s numbers between September 7, 2018, and October 3, 2018, will get a refund of their call charges from their telecom providers. The consumers in question do not need to do anything for their refunds. Several thousands of calls are concerned.

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, adds: “Consumers must be able to rely on providers not keeping them on hold unnecessarily, and on providers offering a real service. Consumers need to know what they can expect before the making the call. This was certainly not the case here. That is why we are glad that we have been able to get refunds for the callers who have been harmed.“

Complaints

Telinfo offered directory assistance services at a per-minute rate. ACM launched an investigation following multiple reports. The investigation revealed that abuse had indeed taken place. It was standard practice to have callers put on hold for almost ten minutes, and then charging them for those minutes. As soon as this abuse was discovered, the numbers were immediately withdrawn in order to prevent further abuse.

Automatic refunds

Even though the telecom providers are not the ones to blame for this abuse, the law does stipulate that they are responsible for refunding to consumers the charges that had been wrongfully billed. These consumers will be refunded automatically, and there is no need to contact the telecom providers.

See also:

7-1-2019 Decision: ACM takes action following abuse by Telinfo (in Dutch)