PS12300-PS12302-PS12303-PS12304 - Italian Competition Authority: Vodafone, Wind, Telecom and Fastweb fined for billing customers after contract withdrawal
The four companies were fined a total of 1 million euro. According to the Authority, the telephone providers implemented unfair practices in managing withdrawal from landline and mobile telephone contracts.
The Italian Competition Authority issued the following fines: Vodafone S.p.A. 400,000 euro, Wind Tre S.p.A. 300,000 euro, Telecom S.p.A. 200,000 euro and Fastweb S.p.A. 100,000 euro. The Italian Competition Authority’s investigations ascertained that the four telephone providers behaved unfairly in managing withdrawal from landline and mobile telephone contracts, including when transferring the service to a new provider.
Specifically, critical issues were identified in the management of internal procedures for contract withdrawal, which led to - at least since January 2020 - customers being charged even after their withdrawal. In the event of customers requesting a transfer to a new provider, they were unlawfully requested to pay the bills of both the new and the previous provider, effectively doubling their bills.
According to the Authority, such unlawful prolonged billing - after the contract withdrawal request - is attributable to anomalies and technical misalignments between the IT systems of each company's internal processes, whereby each provider, albeit to differing degrees, failed to adopt efficient control mechanisms and timely preventive measures.
The four telephone providers have been cautioned regarding their continued implementation of this unfair practice and they must inform the Authority of the steps they have taken to resolve the issue within 90 days.
Rome, 3 April 2023