In 2016, about 460 thousand people resorted to the Portuguese Association for Consumer protection. The Deco has anticipated its annual balance sheet, as is usually done usually on the World Consumer Day in march. The main reason is the fact that it is a “balance of continuity”, according to Paulo Fonseca, a spokesman for the association, since the major areas of complaint remain, with telecommunications leading the table again.
The number of requests for assistance was much lower than that recorded in 2015, which was considered by Deco an atypical year, due to the numerous complaints in the sector of Energy and Water. Thus, it is not strange that in 2016 the telecommunications lead again, with 45.515 complaints only in this sector.
Although the past year have brought “a positive law for the consumer, the telecommunications operators continue to attack with strategies and “unfair commercial practices”, and “will always continue to lead the ranking of complaints,” says Paulo Fonseca. The reason for so much discontent is related to the question of the loyalty of the clients, because the carriers opted for offerings of long-term commitment (two years), “which only hurt the consumer.”
The Law of Electronic Communications has changed in the past year, and reinforces, now, the protection of consumers in contracts for the provision of electronic communications services, with a period of loyalty.
However, in 2016 the requests for information and clarification on the part of the senior community there has been an increase over the previous years, for being one of the age groups most affected by a lack of information.
Soon after the telecommunications comes the sector of Energy and Water, which represents 27.708 requests for clarification to the Portuguese Association for Consumer protection, essentially relating to the billing, due to the lack of sending of the same, the recovery of consumption prescribed, or even to double billing.
The Deco is also concerned with the sector of Purchase and Sale provides for an increase of dissatisfaction of the customers, because the trend is toward consumerism online, and there are more and more people to adhere to the shopping on the internet. In this sector, the number of complaints was 27.430 and the Deco is already trying to prevent that the number does not increase too much, looking for a solution to the unaccountability of the marks when there are problems with the purchase.
“In our culture is the face-to-face prevails and it becomes difficult for the consumer to obtain trust through the internet,” says Paulo Fonseca, pointing to the risks in the safety of the consumer when buying through social networks or sites that promote brands, but that does not take responsibility for them.
The association still leaves a question in relation to digital rights, you want to respond in 2017: “personal data is a fundamental right or a currency exchange?” Indeed, there is a growing concern with the personal data, which are increasingly used by companies that are unknown to the creation of a profile, without that this has been agreed with the consumer.