Orange Romania, the largest telecom operator on the market with more than 10 million clients, received a RON 20,000 fine (approximately EUR 4,500) for failing to inform the clients who enrolled for the company’s services from a distance that they can opt out of the contract within 14 working days, and for not allowing them to drop the contract without penalties, announced the Romanian telecom watchdog ANCOM in a press release.
The ANCOM investigation found that Orange did not inform its clients, before they agreed on the phone to sign a contract with the operator for internet services via a modem stick, about the date when the contract was considered as signed.
Clients were also not informed they could opt out of the contract within 14 working days since the contract was signed and the equipment was delivered to them, without having to pay penalties and without even having to give a motive, as stipulated in the government emergency ordinance 111/2011.
Once the equipment was delivered, the clients signed the contract. When they wanted to drop the contract later, without having to pay penalties, Orange considered the contract was a written one and not one which was agreed upon at a distance, and denied their request, asking them to pay in advance the tax corresponding to the number of remaining months stipulated in the contract.
The ANCOM investigation revealed that the clients’ agreement was obtained on the phone, so the contract was struck using distance communication means.
Orange must now identify the subscribers who enrolled for its services in similar conditions and were unsatisfied about the way the contract was signed and inform them in writing that they have the right to denounce the contract.