From 2023, the nearly 2 million users of prepaid telephone cards will be able to change operators without losing their remaining call credit, Minister of Telecommunications Petra De Sutter announced on Wednesday. A royal decree will come into force in 2023.
“A lot of people use prepaid cards and they lose their remaining credit when they change operator. I find this absurd: you paid a certain amount, so in the event of a change of operator, you should be able to keep it. From 2023, customers will keep their call credit,” the minister said.
This money will not be automatically moved to the balance of the new phone provider. Instead, “holders of a prepaid card can ask their former telecom operator to reimburse the remaining amount.”
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The refund will typically be received in a customer’s bank account within four weeks. To receive it the customer must have already taken the steps to open a new prepaid account with their new operator and transfer their existing number.
Phone providers can still charge €5 to switch to a new operator, the minister reminded.