Telecom companies required to compensate customers for disruptions in service
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    Telecom companies required to compensate customers for disruptions in service

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Federal telecommunication minister Alexander De Croo wants to oblige telecommunication operators to compensate their customers for long interruptions in service. He expects that his bill will be approved next month at first reading by the cabinet, said Tuesday his cabinet. A consultation with the federal entities will then take place.

    In Belgium, telecom companies are currently not obliged to offer compensation to their customers. Minister De Croo is inspired from the Netherlands, where a legal framework has been in place since last July in the event of network disruptions.

    In the Nordic countries, operators are obliged to compensate their subscribers in case of a breakdown lasting 12 hours or more, by reimbursing them the subscription fee for one or more days.

    Minister De Croo announced that he wanted to introduce a system of compulsory compensation the day Proximus – the country’s largest operator with the government as majority shareholder – made headlines because of technical problems on its network.

    A general failure occurred Monday night in one of the company’s data centers, with the result that many TV customers across the country were deprived of access to television. Tuesday morning, the website Proximus was inaccessible at times and some customers encountered problems with the internet and sending SMS.

    Faced with the inconvenience to customers, Proximus decided on its own to offer compensation to TV subscribers amounting to two weeks of access to all programs that normally are charged.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times