Last year alone, the Finnish Consumer Agency received nearly 800 reports about contract terms, marketing, and customer service for communications services such as phone subscriptions, broadband, and television. The number of reports is large, yet one may estimate that it represents only a fraction of dissatisfied consumers. Reports have also been forwarded regularly for the information of any companies mentioned in them. We have selected some excerpts from typical reports sent to us.
My son ordered 'free wallpaper' for his phone. Now the phone gets service messages costing €4 each, and the service has not been discontinued even though we've sent a cancellation request three times already."
If you buy something, exercising a normal amount of caution, you should at least be aware of it. Soon things will get to the point where you don't dare to buy a carton of milk because there might be text behind a shelf somewhere that says you will get a hundred litres a week delivered to your home if you buy one."
A text message advertised as free turns out to include a long-term subscription that costs €14. The mention of the subscription is hidden unless it occurs to the recipient to scroll down."
The company is advertising a wireless Internet connection on television so that an uninformed consumer might think the connection works in any old backwoods as long as you can get there on a dog sled."
Finland's leading mobile phone operators have launched phone sales campaigns in recent weeks trying to hook customers on contracts as much as two years in duration using really paltry benefits or discounts. In my opinion, a contract term even of one year, definitely two years, is too long to agree on over a single phone call. Older people in particular will fall for it and agree to long contracts over the phone, attracted by offers that will turn out to be a bad deal one year later."
The operator uses these huckster types as salespeople, and I was fooled by one of them, too. I was told that I could switch to another operator at any time, but even though I asked about it they neglected to tell me that I would still have to be their customer for a year and pay the bill even if I didn't use the connection."
I have tried to contact the company's Customer Service several times to no avail. The bills have been arriving a few days apart at best, and the due date has passed by the time I get them."
The enclosed illustration was published on 22/4/2008. On page 5, phones are advertised at one (1) euro each, with no mention that the minimum price of the phone is actually (€7.90 x 24 months) 189.60 euro!"
The horrific GPRS transfer fee came as a complete surprise. I was in Norway, opened one web page on my cell phone, looked through it and then turned it off. Later I got the bill for the transfer of 5,028 kB of data at a cost of €46.41. I think that such an expensive service should somehow inform you of the amount and cost of the data before transfer begins."
The speed of broadband connections promised does not hold true for anyone. This is because of the bandwidth used for ADSL connection technology, which makes the stated speed of the connection unattainable. I have measured it dozens of times and the result is incontrovertible. There is a 19% difference, which is much too much. In a grocery shop, would you pay for 1.2 kg of flour if you got a one-kilo bag?"
None of the cancellation attempts have helped. So I have no other option but to close the connection and get a new one. That means I'll have to get a new number, too."
In its advertisement, the company promises that 'you'll have broadband set up in three business days'…This happened eventually, nearly FOUR WEEKS after the agreement was made. What I learned from all this is that the company engages in false advertising, does not take care of its customers, and does not respond to feedback or forward it to the people responsible. I have wasted a lot of time on this fight."